Sheep handlers from all over the world came to Cooperstown for the 15th annual Leatherstocking Sheepdog Trials.
The trials were held in a field on Beaver Meadow Rd. from August 13 to 15.
The sheepdog trial is put on by the Leatherstocking Sheepdog Trials Committee, which is sanctioned by the North East Boarder Collie Association (NEBCA).
The event is a competitive dog sport in which dogs move sheep around a field, fences, gates, or enclosures as directed by their handlers. Handlers instruct a dog with a whistle or with voice commands.
Each test element is assigned a maximum score and a judge deducts points for each fault made. For example during a drive the judge may deduct points when the sheep move off line. For example, during a drive the judge may deduct points when the sheep move off line. Competitors must negotiate each element in sequence before proceeding to the next.
There is a set amount of time for the whole course; however, there is no advantage in completing the course in a short amount of time, but if the competitor runs out of time, points will be lost for the element they were in the process of completing and all those that they have yet to attempt.
The competitor’s score is the sum of their score for all completed elements and the competitor who receives the most points wins.
The annual event is a qualifier for the national championships planned Sept. 17-26 at the Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.
The trial was sponsored by Dog Wild Canine Supply.