Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials set for Sept. 9-13

Last year’s champions, Dennis Gellings and Jake. Gellings placed second at Meeker and third at the national finals with Jake’s mother, Jan. All three return to Meeker this year.

Last year’s champions, Dennis Gellings and Jake. Gellings placed second at Meeker and third at the national finals with Jake’s mother, Jan. All three return to Meeker this year.
Last year’s champions, Dennis Gellings and Jake. Gellings placed second at Meeker and third at the national finals with Jake’s mother, Jan. All three return to Meeker this year.
MEEKER I The 23rd annual Sheepdog Championship Trials will be Sept. 9-13 at the trials site, west of town.
More than 120 dog/handler teams from North America and Europe will vie for a $20,000 purse. Prior Meeker Classic winners from the United States, including Beverly Lambert and Tom Wilson, will try to reclaim the titles from the four Canadians who took the top five prizes last year – all of whom will be back this year. Their main challengers, however, are the wily and wary sheep, fresh from Gore Range pastures, rated as the toughest sheep in North America.
Trial requirements replicate skills needed daily by a sheep rancher and his dog, and give a glimpse into Western Slope history as does a restored 19th century sheepherder’s wagon. Also on display all week will be a state-of–the-art American Humane Association Rescue Rig, complete with a veterinary surgery room, living quarters and a communications center.
Art contest and auction entries are displayed all week in the Wilbur Barn on site. Winners will be announced and cash prizes of $3,250 awarded at the Art Social on Thursday, Sept. 10, where attendees may vote for the “People’s Choice” award.
The Masons-sponsored pancake breakfasts open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11-13. There’s a petting farm and demonstrations by spinners, weavers, felters, saddlemakers, potters, painters, and a service/therapy dog trainer. At noon, Canada’s Scott Glen will demonstrate how to train the remarkable border collie. Saturday night, Sept. 12 features a barbecue on the courthouse lawn and a free concert by Pete Warnich and Flexigrass.
The Meeker Streaker runs Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. between the trials site and White River Inn, Blue Spruce Inn, Circle Park, the courthouse square and the Meeker Chamber of Commerce on the west end of Market Street.
Single-day passes are $10 for adults and $5 ages 8-16 and 65 and over. Five-day passes are $30 and $15, respectively. Children under 8 are admitted free. Rio Blanco County residents may buy tickets at half price in advance at Wendll’s Wondrous Things and the Meeker Chamber of Commerce.
n For more information, visit www.meekersheepdog.com for details.