Miles City’s sheepdog trial expanded to three days

A highly trained border collie works the sheep through the course at the Sunday Creek Sheepdog Trial last year.

Photo courtesy of Rene LaBree

 

Back for a second year, with expanded days and classes, is the second annual Sunday Creek Sheepdog Trial, to be held June 17-19 near Miles City, Montana. This year approximately 45 handlers from across the nation and Canada have entered to compete with 94 highly trained border collie dogs. The trial is sanctioned by the U.S. Border Collie Handlers’ Association. Two classes each will be held for the categories of open, nursery, open ranch and novice. The dogs’ skills in gathering, driving, sorting and penning a group of sheep are evaluated on a points-basis in each class.

Host Rene LaBree, a rancher from Ismay, has competed in sheepdog trials for more than 15 years. Last year she started the inaugural trial at her own acreage at the Bergerson Ranchettes near Miles City. While there are numerous sheepdog competitions in surrounding states, this is the only field trial to be held in Montana this year. The event is also being expanded from two days to three this year, running from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon.

“We were excited and surprised with the turnout of spectators we had last year,” said LaBree. “We realized this is something people enjoy watching and learning about, so we want to welcome them back again.”

Spectators are welcome to come and view the days’ events, which will start at approximately 7 a.m. each day and last until mid-afternoon. The location is approximately 6 miles from Miles City. Take Highway 59 north past the airport to Highway 489 (Kinsey Highway). Go four miles, and turn left on North Sunday Creek Drive. Go 0.7 miles to the start of the course on Tuesday Drive.

Parking is available, and spectators are welcome to set up lawn chairs in a designated area near the course. Concessions will be available throughout the event. Please leave all pets at home and be courteous to the human and canine competitors.

For more information, contact Rene LaBree at (406) 234-6398 or renelabree@gmail.com, and also the event is on Facebook. Additional information on sheep dog trials is available on the U.S. Border Collie Handler’s Association site at www.usbcha.com.

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