MEEKER I The most decorated border collie in North America added the final jewel to her crown by winning the 2021 Meeker Classic. Scott Glen and Alice from New Dayton, Alberta, Canada made an amazing run on Sunday, Sept. 12. The sheep were tough, and it took most of the last 11 minutes of the run to pen the sheep. Closing the gate with two seconds left Alice and Scott received a score of 150 points that put them on top above Barbara Ray and Grantham (second) Millboro, Virginia, and Faansie Basson and Jack (third) from Chico, Texas.
Nine-year-old Alice is a three-time national champion, she was the nursery champion in 2013 and has now won every major sheepdog trial in North America. Jenny Glen, Scott’s wife, ran Alice’s son, five-year-old Grit, in the finals, placing ninth overall. Running during a torrential downpour, she and Grit won the Biggest Heart Award for the day. While spectators fled for cover, seeking shelter from the hard rain, she and Grit stuck it out and finished the course. It was an impressive display of determination and skill to do so.
Record crowds, happy vendors and happy people were the theme of the sheepdog trials this year. Folks were happy to be there, to share their time in Meeker and to enjoy the hospitality and beauty of the White River Valley. The resiliency and good will of the community was on display throughout the event. Such was the case on Saturday evening downtown during the Jammin’ Lamb Fest. Members of HopeWest, Lions Club, Meeker FCCLA and the Meeker Classic braved a microburst and heavy rainstorm during the evening to serve loyal customers anxious to share a good meal of lamb and sides, truly a display of human natures best attributes. “We feel the Jammin’ Lamb went well, considering all the handicaps that occurred. We have not heard what the final number served was, but we hope that people were satisfied and enjoyed, in spite of the microburst. We all managed to keep things going and kept a smile on our faces. We did not run out of anything and for that we are grateful — it would have been terrible to turn people away after they stood in the rain to have our lamb! The Kabobs Un-done with tzatziki sauce were a big hit and something a little different,” said Gus Halandras of the evening. The words of Jenny Glen can best describe the event this year:
Some years we go home crying with our tails tucked and some years we can hold our heads high.
This year it was the latter.
We were asked what makes Meeker the Mecca that makes everyone want to come and try it. It’s the field, it’s the sheep, it’s the other handlers and their tough dogs, it’s the fans.
The current organizers and volunteers of the Meeker Classic are amazing. The skilled set out crew is the best anywhere and if you thought I was wet in yesterday’s storm, you can bet they were just as wet and probably hoping my dog would hurry up and turn back so they could get some rain gear on.
We are always happy to see Patrick’s name as a judge because we know he will be fair and accurate and has done it all before, so he also has some empathy for what happens out there at the Meeker post.
Julie Hansmire and her sheep make it an adventure every year.
The handlers. They come from both coasts to take on this trial and everyone cheers everyone else on because we are all in the same boat. Barbara and Faansie and the rest of the handlers brave enough to step to the post were tough all week along with Angie who has a special place in my heart. She told me after my first run that she was proud of me, and then tolerated my pacing panic during Alice’s pen in the last round, even though she was getting ready to run herself. We will see you all at the finals in a couple weeks.
And finally, thank you to the fans who make this the event that it is. Every handler was proud to show you what our partners, our dogs, can do.”
The Meeker Classic extends its sincere appreciation and thanks to every sponsor, volunteer, individual, fan, vendor and handler that contributed to a great post COVID year!
Special to The Herald Times