Top sheepherding teams from across the country will be competing on Vashon a month than usual earlier this summer --August 22-25, Misty Isle Farms. That means more day light hours for the dogs, sheep and spectators. This is the biggest event of its kind on the West Coast. And this year promises to be the best ever. Three days of top dogs and handlers competing for cash and prizes are scheduled. A fourth day of competition has been added on Monday to allow younger dogs and less experienced handlers a chance at a modified course.
Last year the Vashon sheepdog trails attracted 3500 spectators over a three-day period. Even bigger crowds are expected this summer as the century old sport continues to gain in popularity.
Competing dogs are almost always border collies because of their speed, intelligence and the ability to apply compassionate pressure to move sheep. Each team has ten minutes to move sheep down from the top of the field through series of fences, to the handler at the other end and finally into a pen --all tasks that might be required of working farm dogs.
In addition to the dogs, there will be the interactive Skacel Fiber Arts tent with free demonstrations, workshops and community “yarn storming.” There will be local food and drinks available to purchase throughout the day. Many local artisans will be selling their wares.
Each evening ends with bagpipe music & the release of the flock into the fields for grazing. Saturday evening spectators can stay for a fun field party where they can sample more local food & drink, listen to live music & meet the competing handlers & dogs. A shuttle service will be available to and from the Fauntleroy ferry dock on both Saturday & Sunday.
There are terrific photos & more information available @