It's nearly here! And it's a homegrown success story.
It's the 10th annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials May 10, 11 and 12. All the day-long trials will take place on the Hotchkiss Family pasture on Hotchkiss Avenue just a block south of Bridge Street.
The dog trials were founded by Richard Bailey. This year much of the day-to-day operations has been turned over to Gordon and Cheryl Hebenstreit. The Cedaredge couple has been helping with the dog trials for nine years. Gordon attended a Fun Day hosted by Richard Bailey where novice handlers and dogs could work with sheep. After that, both Gordon and Cheryl were hooked and they began volunteering for the dog trials.
"Richard was wanting to assume fewer responsibilities, and he asked me if I would assume more responsibilities. And I said I would be glad to," Gordon said. "[Richard] is still the dog trial though."
Over 77 dogs from 13 states will be put to the test during the trials. "We had to turn away the most dogs ever this year. That shows the popularity of this particular trial," Gordon said.
Each year at the trials, there's a new special event held. When asked what it would be this year, Gordon smiled and said, "I can't tell you." It's top secret and if you want to know what it is, you'll just have to be there Friday afternoon for this Jackpot Event featuring the more experienced handlers.
The nursery dogs which are three years old or less will start their two runs on Friday morning at 8 a.m.
The novice dogs and/or novice handlers will have two runs on Friday as well.
The trials start at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday Open is for the most experienced dogs and handlers running the longest course. The judge determines how much time the course should take the dogs to complete.
Following that will be the pro-novice dogs which have less experience. The course is shorter and less complex.
Sunday the order is reversed with pro-novice first followed by the open class.
The judge this year is Emil Ludbecke from Texas.
This year's featured artist is James Dawson. His art will be sold at silent auction during the trial. His painting, "Born To Do It" will be reproduced on T-shirts and posters for purchase at the trials.
Sheep shearing will happen on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Doug Hamilton of Cedaredge will be demonstrating how fast it can be done.
The San Juan Weavers Guild will have a spinning demonstration on Saturday.
Les Mergelman will be announcing the trials.
Hebenstreit said without the Hotchkiss Family donating the field and the Larry Allen Family which supplies the sheep, the dog trials wouldn't happen. He also thanked the Town of Hotchkiss and the Hotchkiss Area Chamber of Commerce for their annual support and the work of many volunteers.blog comments powered by Disqus