The Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic, the largest annual sheepdog trial competition in the world, is back this year in Heber City, Utah, from Friday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 2, with a variety of competitions and performances to celebrate the bond between human and canine.
Highlights of the event include the following:
The world's most highly trained dogs and their handlers will work together to herd Utah wild-range sheep on one of the most challenging courses for herding sheep. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top three scorers during the final round on Labor Day.
This year competitors come from Canada, South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States — including two nationally ranked Utah handlers. Notable competitors include:
Splash Dog Competition
A nationally recognized dog enthusiast event that promotes dock jumping and dock diving across the United States, Splash Dogs promises to provide a family-oriented competitive atmosphere. Dog owners can apply online at www.splashdogs.com. Splash Dogs tracks overall event and individual ranking and offers a multi-level titling program for all participants.
Soldier Hollow Shootout
New this year is a sheepdog competition on the main field that will take place on Monday, Sept. 2, at the end of the Grand Championship Competition. It will consist of short, compressed runs for the runner-up dogs. Runs will take only four minutes, making this brand-new component a fast-paced delight for spectators.
Muttallica Dog and Pony Show
Also new to the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic, this performance means attendees will literally be able to enjoy a dog and pony show. The performers include a Mini Horse and 15 rescued and adopted dogs. The dogs do amazing high jumps, tricks and Frisbee catching. They also include dancing, basketball, painting and even musical instruments in the performance.
Earthwings Raptor Show
Featuring owls, hawks, falcons and other unique birds, this demonstration shows the majesty of birds in flight.
Additional events include a Wild Wonders show featuring wild and exotic animals, pet first aid and care seminars, Navajo rugs, outdoor cooking demos, bagpipe performances by the Salt Lake Scots, police K-9 demos, arts and crafts. International food, beverages and products from sheepherding cultures will also be available, including Utah Lamb.
For ticket information, schedules and a video about the event, visit www.soldierhollowclassic.com. Please remember: spectators' dogs are not allowed at the event.