Two new events added to Meeker Classic schedule

The Meeker Classic has added two new evening events to a week already loaded with activities.
The inaugural Meeker Classic Lamb Cook-Off will be held on Thursday. Food vendors at the trials have been invited to prepare the best ground lamb or lamb shoulder recipe with the lamb furnished courtesy of the Colorado Sheep & Wool Authority and the American Lamb Board.
The Future Farmers of America will serve cook-off samples along with appetizers furnished by Brother’s Processing at the art social on Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Wilber Barn. After sampling, you can vote for your favorite lamb sample to receive the People’s Choice Award. A team of experts will judge the entries for taste, tenderness and creativity and determine the first- through third-place winners of $250, $100 and $50, respectively.
On Friday at about 8:15 p.m. at the old elementary school, “Away to Me,” a heartwarming, feature-length documentary on the world of sheep dog trials will be shown on a 40-foot by 60-foot outdoor screen.
Subtitled “Ewe Can Run But Ewe Can’t Hide,” this film follows three sheepdog champions as they prepare for and then compete at the invitational Soldier Hollow Trial in Utah. Meeker fans will recognize them. Amanda Milliken from Canada and Faansie Basson from South Africa are 2011 and 2012 Meeker Classic winners, respectively. Haley Howard Hunewill, the movie’s third principal subject, has competed at Meeker and she judged the event in 2010.
Lastly, Bill Berhow, a three-time winner and Meeker Classic judge who has competed at the event since its beginning in 1987, also makes an appearance. Milliken, Basson and Berhow are all competing in Meeker again this year.
The filming from across the world is visually spectacular, and the camera shoot at the trial is riveting. With six cameras strategically positioned around the course, the audience intimately participates in the action on the field and the visual results speak for themselves.
Filmmaker Andrew “Drew” Hadra, a self-described hard core dog lover, explains the movie’s universal theme.
“As most of us have experienced with our own pets, it’s the extraordinary depth and complexity of the communication and the relationships — in this case between the handlers and their dogs — which lies at the heart of “Away to Me,” at the heart and joy of watching a sheepdog trial in person,” Hadra stated. “To be successful, each (handler and dog) is completely reliant on the other to perform at their peak.
“Anything can happen, at any time,” he said. “There’s incredible drama built in to any sporting event, and sheepdog trials are no different. Add compelling characters and spectacular scenery from around the world and it’s a highly cinematic combination.”
The DVD version contains bonus materials, including the handler’s and judge’s running commentary during the winning run.
Hadra adds, ”The insights into how the dog/handler partners manage the course and how the judge is scoring the runs – in real time – took my enjoyment of the sport to a whole new level.” The DVD will be for sale at the screening and at the Western Border Collie rescue booth at the trial.
Prior to the movie, downtown merchants will hold sidewalk sales and sponsor fun activities. They will also have soft drinks and popcorn available at the movie.
Admission to the movie is free.
It will be a great time to meet and chat with Hadra.
Those who view the movie are advised to bring a lawn chair and blanket to enjoy this part-travelog, part-sports and part-human-interest film.