The 14th annual World Stock Dog Championship, presented by Halliburton, started with 60 teams, hailing from all over the continent, on July 11, 2010 in the Pengrowth Saddledome at the Calgary Stamped. Monday July 12, after 2 morning go-rounds they will have whittled down the competition to 15 dog and handler teams.
In each of the 8 a.m. go-rounds on Sunday and Monday, and the 15-team final on Monday evening, dogs will have four minutes to guide three sheep around a demanding obstacle course of barrels, through a chute and into the pen.
"The World Stock Dog Championship is one of the most prestigious stock dog trials on the continent," notes Greg Alexander, who chairs the Stampede's Sheep committee. "This is the largest crowd most of these handlers have ever worked in front of . . . and after more than 10 years, this event has made a name for itself. It brings in the foremost professional handlers in North America, and they're coming on a regular basis."
This year Manitoba was represented by a local handler and dog team from just north of Warren, Manitoba; Lara Forchuk and her 6 year old Border collie, Max, made their debut at this year's Calgary Stampede. Lara and Max have been trialing together for 4 years and have participated in many local trials hosted by the Manitoba Stockdog Association as well as Agribition held in Regina each year.
On July 11 at the World Stock Dog Championship the Manitoba team had a fair first go around, but did well enough to still be in the running for the following day. Lara and Max had a a blistering fast run the 2nd go and posted the fastest time of the day out of 60 teams placing them in 7th place overall which assured them a birth in the finals with the 14 other teams. After the finals Lara and Max were 11th overall, they had a good run, but had a tough time at the pen.
When asked how Lara felt about her results, she replied; "I came to the Stampede and hoped to just fit in and fly under the radar, I couldn't be more pleased with our efforts."
Dave Claypool from BC and his dog Glen won the prestigious trial this year. The Stampede's World Stock Dog Championship, which began in 1997, is sanctioned by the United States Border Collie Handlers Association and the Alberta Stock Dog Association.
If you have interest in coming out to see these talented working dogs work the Manitoba Stock Dog Association will be hosting the Triple Crown in Eriksdale, as well as many other events through out the year. Please feel welcome to come out and cheer on the dogs and handlers of Manitoba.