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Sheepdog Competition

Our 2022 Judge

Lyle began training Border Collies about thirty-five years ago, starting with her dog, Jock, to help with her flock of sheep. She has been training border collies professionally since then, giving clinics and lessons around the country as well as taking dogs in for training. Lyle has successfully competed at numerous major trials over the years, including winning the 2012 Nursery Championship with “Lucky” (aka “Kita”), a home-bred dog. She won the Bluegrass Classic three years in a row with her great dog Cap. In 2011, Lyle competed in the World Trial held in Penrith, England, placing 13th in a field of 240 dogs–the only woman competing in the final 16. Lyle has judged Soldier Hollow, the National Finals twice, the WWSDA Midwest Championship.

Our 2022 Set-Out Crew

Connie Fontaine & Carol Leyh Carol has worked with border collies for 3 decades, mostly ranch work. She enjoys setting because both she and her dog get to work a lot. Connie has been working with border collies since 1993. She trained, trialed and had a few litters and, somewhere along the way, started doing set out. She enjoys watching her dog work and the handlers’ dogs. At the end of the day if someone says” Great job Connie” that’s her win for the day, and a great job is what they both do!

2022 Yearling Rambouillet Ewes

This year the Okelberry Rambouillet yearling ewes return to challenge the handler-dog teams at Soldier Hollow. Wintering over the vast lands of the Utah-Nevada “west desert,” these sheep must fend off a host of predators on open range. Every handler that has run on them has described them as being among the most challenging sheep they have faced. These yearling range ewes are individually selected for even size, condition and confirmation. They have not been worked by dog and have rarely been around people. They are “the ultimate test.” Both Brian and Ann are fifth generation sheep ranchers and we are excited to have bring their sheep back to Soldier Hollow.The result are sheep self selected for generations for their ability to survive in dangerous terrain. They are athletic, tough and very wary. One handler called them “wicked.” They are “the ultimate test.”

Competition Course and Scoring

The trial course is set to test the dog’s ability to maneuver sheep in a clam, controlled manner. There are six scored parts to a course run, each designated to test a skill that working dogs need to help a shepherd with the daily management of sheep. While the layout of the course may vary slightly from trial to trial, depending on terrain, this trial, follows this general layout as all approved trials.

On the left, is a typical scoresheet for the preliminary runs.  The United States Border Collie Association (USBCHA) has adopted Judging Guidelines which are followed at all USBCHA sanctioned as well as here at Soldier Hollow.  

For a description of each element of the course and the how it is scored, tap or click the button.