18th ANNUAL RURAL HILL SHEEPDOG TRIALS AND DOG FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 10 – 11, 2012, DOGS WELCOME
Featuring the United States Border Collie Handlers’ Association, Carolina Dock Dogs, Laura Moretz of the Purina Incredible Dog Team, the Greater Charlotte Shetland Sheepdog Club, and more!
What better way to wrap up the autumn season than with your canine pal and several hundred of his new best friends? Bring your dog (or dogs) to the Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival November 10th and 11th for one of the area’s best known dog events, now in its eighteenth year!. Many of the world’s best and brightest border collies will be on hand to perform their and their owner’s sheep herding skills to all in attendance.
New this year is the addition of Carolina Dock Dogs, an incredible dog event in which your pet can take part! Dock Dogs is a dock jumping and dock diving sport for dogs. It is rapidly growing and very popular in the United States and Canada which has been featured on ESPN and The Outdoor Channel. Dock Dogs is open to dogs of all sizes, breeds, and the only age requirement is dogs must be 6 months old. The sport is comprised of three disciplines; Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. For a great video portraying what a Dock Dogs Championship is all about, click here!
Be sure to stop over at the Dog Sports Demonstration area, featuring the Greater Charlotte Shetland Sheepdog Club, displays of agility, flyball, Police dogs, and the incredible talents of Laura Moretz, a nationally renowned dog trainer with the Purina Incredible Dog Team. Also on hand will be additional dog sports demonstrations, open trails, historic agriculture machinery, living history demonstrations in the 1760’s cabin, pumpkin chunkin’, corn launchin’, the Amazing Maize Maze, kid’s jump-arounds, food vendors, shopping, and much more!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1- What are Sheepdog Trials?
Excellent question: Sheepdog Trials involve three things, a handler, a dog (in our case champion border collies) and a group of sheep. The ultimate goal of a trial is for the handler to use his dog to herd the sheep through a series of gates and into a pen, using only voice and whistle commands to communicate. Points are awarded based on how well the dog and their handler complete several separate phases of competition. The team with the most points wins! For more information, visit the United States Border Collie Handlers’ Association website at www.usbcha.com
2- What else will there be to do on site?
In addition to the world class competition being held on the herding field, both Saturday and Sunday will be packed full with Dog Sports Demonstrations, Kid’s Activities, Historic Demonstrations, Historic Tractor Exhibits, Pumpkin Chunkin’, Hay Rides, Food and Drink, Merchandise Vendors, and much more!
3- Can I bring my dog? Can they participate?
Yes, you may bring your four legged friend, but unfortunately both the Sheepdog and Dog Sports Competitions are closed to new entrants. If you have a border collie and are interested in training them to herd, there will be many experts on hand to give you advice.
4- How much is admission, what are the hours, and when can I buy tickets?
Admission is free for children 0-4, youth 5-12 are $7, and adults 13+ are $10. The gates will open at 8:00 and close at 5:00 on both days. Tickets may be purchased online here or on the day of the event.
5- I’m coming from out of town, where’s a good place to stay?
Rural Hill highly recommends our friends at Comfort Inn and Suites, conveniently located at 14510 Boulder Park Drive in Huntersville, the friendly staff there would love to have you as a guest.
6- I’m hungry- what’s good to eat?
Whether it’s a snack you’re looking for or a complete meal, our food vendors will be glad to serve you right! Grilled hotdogs, sausages, and burgers are always a hit; funnel cakes, kettle corn, fries, and more are perfect to snack on. Don’t forget to stop by our bake sale in the tent, where our friends and volunteers have worked hard to bring you a little taste of home cooking! For the first time at the Sheepdog Trials, our friends from Highland Brewing will be on hand to supply you with some of the best brews in North Carolina!
7- What about shopping?
We have several returning merchandise vendors and many new comers ready to help you pick out that perfect gift for the dog or dog lover in your life.
8- I just missed the Amazing Maize Maze, can I still see it?
While the music staff of the great maze has left, for a small donation of $5, you are more than welcome to enter the maze and get lost for the last time of the season. Be warned, the maze will be unmanned - you’ll be going in solo!
9- Did I just see the words Pumpkin Chunkin?’ What’s that?
Bring your old Fall pumpkins and let us chunk em’ into the field for you using our large, powerful, and explosively fun catapult! This hallmark feature of the Sheepdog Trials will launch your orange friend as much as 40 feet into the air: Newton’s law of gravity still applies however, and it will soon land with a splat in our field. Later in the week we’ll give our Highland cattle an early Thanksgiving feast with them.
10- Sounds great, but who benefits from me coming?
All proceeds go to benefit Historic Rural Hill Inc., the non-profit organization that manages the Rural Hill property. Rural Hill is a historic site, county owned piece of public land, working farm, events site, and education center offering educational and fun outings to students, families, and community groups throughout the year. To find out more about us, poke around this website, we’ve got a lot to share!