Stock Dogs Put On A Show

September 18th, 2005-- Posted at 5:45 p.m. CDT

Cherry Valley, AR-- It's a sport that doesn't get much attention on television...stock herding. But Sunday participants came from as far Massachusetts to compete in a stock herding event right here in Region 8. What is stock herding you may ask?

"The dog has to move the stock through different obstacles or around posts or cones or like we are doing today taking a ribbon off a sheep," said dog handler Cynthia Buckmaster.

It's a natural instinct for these dogs to herd and control livestock. With stock herding the handler controls the dog and the dog controls the livestock.

Over 45 dogs competed in the 3rd Annual Cherry Valley Stock Dog Trials. An event that is different than similar ones across the country.

"You've got your 10 minutes to run so you can actually train in the trial situation so it's a little bit more laid back we want it to be a fun experience for the dog and the handler," said Buckmaster.

Although most think of football, baseball, and basketball as team sports, dog herding is a team sport too. It's a team sport where everything depends on your teamate.

"Its a situation where you just have to rely on the confidence of your dog and your dog has to rely on you because you have to work as a team," said dog handler Doyle Ivie.

All the money raised for the 3rd annual event stays in Cherry Valley to help the city park and development commission.

If you are interested in getting into the sport, it isn't cheap. A good herding dog starts at $2500 and can cost in excess of $10,000. Best advice is to talk to someone in the sport before making the huge committment.