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Henderson, Brianna – WILLOW


A “team player” at both herding and as a recreational sled dog, Willow will run for the first time at Soldier Hollow, having won the double lift championship at Trailing of the Sheep last fall.

Brianna lives in Logan, Utah and also volunteers here at Soldier Hollow.

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Redsky Willow is a 6-year old female from Shauna Gourley.  Willow is a biddable team player who has always had the ability to listen at long distances. At a year old, she was taking commands at 300 yards away with ease.  Willow is a natural outrunner and was very easy to train. She always gives 200% and is a happy, cheerful dog. Willow is also a fantastic sled dog and leads a recreational team for Brianna. She takes commands just as well when leading her sled team as she does on the sheepdog trial field and makes the sled very maneuverable–she will lead the team a little to one side or the other on the trail, or she will give a full turn if asked. She is smart, capable, and has a sense of humor. When she was 3 years old, Willow won the first Open trial Brianna entered.  This year, at 5 years old, she qualified for and then won the first Double Lift she’s ever competed in – Trailing of the Sheep in Hailey, Idaho

Brianna’s first passion was eventing (jumps on horseback) but she says sheepdogs are more fun because the communication is “easier” – dogs want to partner with you. Brianna bought her first border collie, Charlie, as a pet and at the time had a lot of little miniature dairy goats that she milked in the morning and evening. Charlie showed a lot of interest in them so she started wondering if he could learn how to herd.  Working with local trainer, Shauna Gourley, Brianna trained Charlie so that they could trial together, driving all over Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho to compete in Nursery trials that first year.  She has been hooked ever since.

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