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National Finals – Sheepdog Trials
October 5, 2021 - October 10, 2021
The National Sheepdog Finals are the North American championship of working dogs and their handlers from across the United States. One hundred and fifty competitors have earned the right to compete in Finals through their success at local sheepdog trials throughout the year.
The event will be on the large front field at Belle Grove and will begin with open preliminary rounds Tuesday through Friday in preparation for Saturday’s semi-finals. The top dogs and handlers will compete in the final competition on Sunday. It is the most difficult test of handler and dog communication, the Double Lift, in which the dog must fetch one group of sheep, bring it to the handler, and then go back and fetch another group.
The competition will begin at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 7:00 a.m. on Sunday and continue until all the runs of the day are complete (around 4:00 p.m.). On Sunday there will also be an Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m. and an awards ceremony when the competition concludes in mid-afternoon.
In addition to the main competition, there will be concurrent Finals for nursery dogs (under three years of age) that will take place Wednesday through Saturday. This will take place on another field at Belle Grove and is included in the spectator ticket for the event.
Food and merchandise vendors will be on the property during the entire event. Spectator tickets include touring Belle Grove’s Manor House, which will be open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Museum Shop will also be open these hours. Belle Grove requires masks be worn when indoors.
Spectator tickets are on sale now at www.bellegrove.org until Monday, October 4 at 4 p.m. EDT and then will be available at the gate during the event.