Stock dog trials attract 1,200 in HudsonArea News
-- Over 1,200 people came out to watch The Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association’s Labor Day weekend stock dog trial at the Badlands Sno-park in Hudson.
HUDSON - Over 1,200 people came out to watch The Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association’s Labor Day weekend stock dog trial at the Badlands Sno-park in Hudson.
“I’ve come to appreciate this sport while watching my wife compete and I helped at this year’s trial,” said Stephen Mahon of Hudson. “Over 60 handlers from eight states competed and I was impressed with my hometown’s hospitality. The Kinney family was fantastic, the snow park made an excellent course, and the crowds were engaged. One of the organizers was from Northern Ireland, the winning competitor from Scotland, and the judge from California. All had great things to say about Hudson.”
Mahon said the Hudson event drew the largest crowd he has seen at the event that displays the subtle skills required to move sheep using a dog.
“Many spectators came back multiple days and asked probing questions about the instinct and behavior of both the dogs and sheep,” he said. “Mostly new to this sport, the audience sat patiently in the hot sun and learned the details of something completely different than they had expected.”
The goal of a sheep dog competition is for a dog to move sheep in a controlled manner through a series of obstacles.
“To those who appreciate the unique partnership between a dog and its handler and the dynamic interaction between dog and sheep, the sport is both exciting and cerebral,” Mahon said. “I was inspired not only by the dogs, their handlers, and the warm welcome Hudson offered but by the crowds that came not just to watch but to learn. It really is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.”