Monday, April 28, 2014

A Festival of Sheep!

EverythingDogBlog #154: Highlights of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for Dog People
Have fun watching working Border Collies at work. Highlight of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for Dog People – the SheepDog Demos!
Be one of the thousands of people at the Howard County, MD, fairgrounds this weekend for the 41st annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Always the first full weekend in May, the festival is responsible for tremendous traffic backups on Routes 70 and 32 so get there early (Sunday is best) but please leave Fido at home. 
     Saturday 9-6 pm
     Sunday 9-5 pm
Highlight of the Weekend
Working sheepdog demonstrations will be held Saturday and Sunday at 11 am with Nancy Starkey (Mt. Airy) and Mark Soper (Woodbine).
Always a crowd-pleaser, these 30-60 minute demos are very well attended.
Rye working the sheep
In the following photo, notice the typical Border Collie crouched posture: tail down, head down, giving the famous 'eye.'
Lark taking the sheep in a figure 8 pattern around the cones

Soper is a farrier, Border Collie breeder, trainer and trialer while Starkey is also a Border Collie person, competing in competition as well training the breed, all while raising sheep on Trial & Error Acres Farm.
It seems almost miraculous how these dogs can drive the sheep to and fro, around fences, through gates, in a figure-eight pattern - all by whistle command, or seldom-heard phrases (at least in the US) such as "Come bye." Does your dog have such talent, skill, control and ability?
Think you want a Border Collie? Stop at the Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue (MABCR) booth and find out if a Border Collie is the dog for your family.
For the Whole Family (of the 2-footed human kind)
You know how much fun you have at the county fair in August so come to the fairgrounds this weekend for cotton candy, rides, sheep shearing, wool spinning/weaving/knitting/crocheting, the crowning of the queen, story-telling, and yarns galore so this is your chance to stock up on lovely colors.
I’ll be selling T-shirts, so stop by to get yours. To see the winning posters/T-shirts from years past and for 2014, click on this link.
And, to get in the mood, here is short book to read by Valerie Hobbs: Sheep.
Sheep. Click on the link for the review, previously published here.
Read more about it:
Trial and Error Acres working sheepdog farm is a 20-acre sheep farm with Border Collies, Great Pyrenees and Maremmas, livestock guarding dogs (LGDs)
(Sheepdog photos by Teresa Ballard)

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