Sheep dog trials in UK?

Oct 26th, 2013, 11:44 AM
  #1  
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Sheep dog trials in UK?

I know absolutely nothing about sheep dog trials other than I've always wanted to see one(another "bucket list" item). We plan to be in England and Scotland in June/July of 2014 and would like to see one of these events. Which one(s) would be good for us to view? How long do they last? What else can you tell me? Thanks!
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Oct 26th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheepdog_trial for a fair amount of information. Each dog takes about 15 minutes to perform the task/s performed, so the length of the day depends on the number of competitors. The national trials last 3 days - the local/regional ones are doubtless a little shorter.
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Oct 26th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Thanks Grindeldoo- interesting and useful information.
Anyone else with more specifics?
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Oct 26th, 2013, 01:54 PM
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Back in the day, these used to be on UK television all the time. Probably good fun to be there, more than watching on television.
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Oct 26th, 2013, 04:13 PM
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Crufts is on my bucket list. Take a good pair of Wellies. I have friends that show dogs in the UK, they really dress different there for their shows than the US. Very practical and no frilly outfits when handling. I am into Boxers but would love to see the field trials.
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Oct 26th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/medi.../showdiary.pdf this is the calendar for Oct.
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Oct 26th, 2013, 04:57 PM
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Have a look at the links on the International Sheep Dog Society website and maybe contact some of the societies in the North of England http://tinyurl.com/ma2p9kc.
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Oct 26th, 2013, 10:40 PM
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The Kennel Club has nothing at all to do with sheepdog trials, and has limited involvement with most other contests of dog skills.

The sheepdog clubs under the KC's sponsorship are conventional boring beauty contests for collies and the like (but only if their pedigree matches the KC's preposterous demands), mostly stuffed with show dogs and attended by the kind of people who show dogs.

Sheepdog trials are about the skill of dogs and their human helpers at doing what they're bred for, and earn their living at - whoever their great grandfather might have been. The Kennel Club does take a more active role in some gundog (and bloodhound) field trials, but is still more preoccupied with dogs' bloodlines than developing dogs' skills and happiness, or their contribution to humanity.

It's very important at proper sheepdog trials to have either good vision or decent binoculars, as well as weatherproof clothing in the car and enough comfortable-ish fold up chairs (£5 a time from practically every petrol station in midsummer), for your party, probably a generous umbrella each and reasonable victualling from the nearest M&S. Some trials might stretch to a tea van, bit don't bank on it.

Trials are held in open country, usually in a natural amphitheatre, and tests cover a formidable amount of countryside: all theoretically visible from the viewing areas, but not if you're shortsighted. I've never found one where spectators are offered any cover, and in my (not comprehensive) experience, it seems generally assumed that only wimps flee to their cars when it rains. But many trials are organised so you could watch from your car if you really were that feckless.

The tests are fascinating to watch both as ballet and a insights into how extraordinarily dog skills can be developed. But - because the contest itself goes on so long - they're rarely interesting as competitive sports, and few of us can really get very concerned about who ends up winning. So there's rarely much point in staying for a whole day.

Unlike at most KC events, spectators usually come with their dogs. There is a sort of parallel contest among spectators in demonstrating how well-behaved they've taught their dogs to be.
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Oct 27th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Thanks flanneruk for the heads-up. No, we're not looking for "show dogs" but for working sheepdogs although my knowledge of sheepdogs is limited to the one neighborhood dog who tries to herd me as I take my daily walk. LOL We'll bring folding chair, umbrella, waterproofs, binoculars, snacks, etc. Can you direct me to a website that might show trials other than the 2014 National? That's the only one I have been able to access online and even that one has somewhat limited information.
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Oct 27th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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http://www.kinlochsheepdogs.com/Trials.htm

this gives a long list of 2013 dates in Wales; not quite what you are looking for but at least shows they do happen that time of year, and could be worth keeping an eye on.

http://dsider.co.uk/events/major-eve...eepdog-trials/ - this one is third week of July each year (I think)
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Oct 27th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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I so wish you could meet my one very young friend that shows in the UK. She does it on a tight budget, trains and handles her own Boxers and won at Crufts in the breed this year. They are her life and she travels from the Isle of Man to the shows. Her goal is to improve the health and longevity of the breed. I have heard the downplay of the kennel club in Europe but my last two Boxers have been from the UK and they are very healthy working dogs. Great therapy and agility animals as well as service dogs. Sorry, I just get upset when the KC gets put down. We aren't all monsters.
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Oct 27th, 2013, 03:21 PM
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here is a list of local trials
http://isds.org.uk/news/trials_diary...DiaryHome.html
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Oct 28th, 2013, 03:54 AM
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Good link, flpab! I don't think anyone was knocking the Kennel Club. It's just that Crufts and sheepdog trials or gundog field trials are totally different worlds from each other. Few show dogs would stand a chance in trials, and vice-versa. They are bred for different purposes.
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Oct 28th, 2013, 04:38 AM
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http://majesticbordercollies.com/

This is one example of a breeder that does both conformation and trials. Very impressive. I want to go see this now. My Uncle was a farmer for many years and every sheepdog he owned was named King. He always got them from Iowa and they were beautiful and trained to bring the cows to the barn for milking morning and night.
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Oct 28th, 2013, 05:18 AM
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This is what I referred to:

http://www.isds.org.uk/society/dog_r...abca_cbca.html

Note particularly this paragraph:

"Meanwhile, there is a growing separation in the identity and behaviour of the 'show' Border Collie as regulated by various national kennel clubs. Such breed standards are detrimental to the potential ability and health of a working sheepdog. A mutual recognition between those working Border Collie registers that have the same objective would be beneficial."

[italics mine]
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Oct 28th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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I know, we fight among ourselves all the time on the dog forums. My breed has changed so much over the years. My UK Boxers look very different than the NA Boxer. The Euro Boxers are even different. I went with UK because of health issues and I personally like the natural ear. I was reading some of the snti conformation things on the sheepdog sight. If only they could work together but I have been in dogs for 30 years and they are just giving credit due to the agility Boxers at nationals. They use to have their trials off site!
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Oct 28th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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>>Ackislander on Oct 26, 13 at 10:54pm
Back in the day, these used to be on UK television all the time. Probably good fun to be there, more than watching on television.<<

Back in the day?? We don't change THAT fast - 'One Man and His Dog', the national televised competition that pits England v Scotland v Wales v Northern Ireland was on Primetime BBC1 just last night!
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Oct 28th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Thanks, Kate! I missed it last night, so will have to catch up on BBC iPlayer. It's not the same without Phil Drabble, though, is it?
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Oct 29th, 2013, 01:28 AM
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I know. It's now part of Countryfile, so search for that title on iPlayer.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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There are sheepdog trials near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire in June, at Harden Moss.

http://holmfirthevents.co.uk/harden-...eepdog-trials/
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