By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
More than 40 cattle dogs and their handlers competed in the Chase County Fair cattledog trials held in the fair arena Saturday.
That represents one of the largest turnouts of dogs at the trial since the event began five years ago.
A change of date made a big difference as the event became part of a Nebraska-Wyoming circuit in late July and August. This allowed handlers to get their dogs into as many as seven trials over a two-week period.
This year’s event drew handlers from Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, California and Arkansas.
Saturday’s event was a sanctioned event of the Midwest Region of the National Cattledog Association. Points accumulated at the trials determine cattledogs that qualify for the national finals next June.
In the event, the handler, mostly with whistle commands, directed the dog to move a trio of cattle through a course set up in the arena.
The dogs got points for each head of cattle that went through each of the course stations.
The open division represents the best dogs and handlers in the trial. This year, several dogs notched perfect runs with their time used to determine the winner.
Bob Wagner and his dog, Zoe, of Nunn, Colo., took the top prize in the open division.
Other divisions included nursery, where dogs are no more than 36 months of age, pro-novice, intermediate and rancher.
When a dog and his handler win at a lower level, they must advance to the next level.
Most all of the dogs competing in the trials Saturday were border collies.
The dogs are trained to move the cattle primarily with a stare-down, with the handler positioning the cattledog where needed to move the cattle through the course.
The goal is to use the stare-down as much as possible. The cattledog does not go after the cattle unless they try to break off from the group or need some nudging to get the cattle to move.
Results from this year’s trials are as follows (handler, dog):
Open—1, Bob Wagner, Zoe, Nunn, Colo.; 2, Lyle East, Sis, Clinton, Mo.; 3, Bill Reed, Ann, Germantown, Tenn; 4, Anna Guthrie, Tikkle, Valley Center, Calif.; 5, Bill Stone, Jade, North Platte, Neb.; 6, Anna Guthrie, Raskle; 7, Lyle East, Spot; 8, Bob Wagner, Odi; 9, Lyle East, Liz; 10, Dan Korf, Tater, Akron, Colo.; 11, Bill Reed, Glen; 12, Marvin Daniel, Ben; Billings, Mo.; 13, Bob Wagner, Abby; 14, Lyle East, Bob.
Pro-Novice—1, Randy Bradford, Chief, Clinton, Ark.; 2, Landon Minor, Spec, So. Coffeyville, Okla.; 3, Randy Bradford, Alex; 4, Jan Wagner, Bisc, Nunn, Colo.; 5, Dan Korf, Gertie; 6, Stephanie Whipps, Dos, Max, Neb.; 7, Landon Minor, Mac; 8, Eddie Merritt, Joey, Welfleet; 9, Bill Stone, Jessie; 10, Bill Stone, Dude.
Intermediate—1, Brent Phelps, Par, Denton, Texas; 2, Randy Bradford, Alex; 3, Brent Phelps, Zack; 4, Landon Minor, Spec; 5, Steve Knipmeyer, Sugar, Bartlesville, Okla.; 6, Stephanie Whipps, Dos; 7, Landon Minor, Mac; 8, Jan Wagner, Sky; 9, Jan Wagner, Bisc; 10, Randy Bradford, Chief; 11, Eddie Merritt, Joey; 12, Landon Minor Curly, Bill.
Nursery—1, Anna Guthrie, Skamper; 2, Steve Knipmeyer, Sugar; 3, Lyle East, Liz; 4, Bob Wagner, Zoe; 5, Jan Wagner, Bisc; 6, Bill Stone, Fatts.
Rancher—1, Booker Boyer, Jiggs, Brady, Neb.; 2, Stephanie Whipps, Ziva.