An interesting event has made its way back to Erath County for the third consecutive year. The Texas Sheepdog Association will host the State Finals Sheepdog Trial at Ashcraft Ranch Friday-Sunday.
Barry Lambert, a member of the Sheepdog Association, said the event is an interesting one involving handlers and their sheepdogs working together as a team.
"If you like dogs or livestock and enjoy watching animals do what they were born to do, then you will enjoy this event," Lambert said. "It's really neat."
To qualify for the state finals, each team must hold membership with the TSDA and have competed in a set number of trials during competition season.
The spectators are equally diverse, with everyone from avid trial enthusiasts to curious onlookers turning out to witness the skill and dedication exhibited by the handler and dog duos.
"What spectators will see is handlers and dogs working together to move sheep," Lambert said. "Handlers will use their voice and whistles to move the dogs through courses."
The association's final face-off of the year will welcome competitors to five classes - Novice to Open - with a champion crowned in each. There will be three days of open trials with the top dogs competing for the coveted crown Sunday.
Ashcraft Ranch is located just outside of Stephenville. To get to the ranch from the intersection of U.S. highways 281 and 67 in Stephenville, go east (toward Glen Rose) on Hwy. 67 for 5.6 miles until you reach CR 175. Turn left on CR 175 and go .7 mile to the first ranch entrance on the right.
Admission is free and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Competitions begin a little before 8 a.m. daily, and concessions will be available.