New England’s top sheepdogs and dog handlers gather at Tattersall Farm this weekend to compete in a timed sheepdog trial.
The course is similar to the demands and needs of daily agricultural work. It consists of skills such as herding and passing sheep, lifting, fetching, driving and penning. Each dog is judged on how quickly and efficiently it brings the sheep back to its master while avoiding obstacles.
During practice, managers volunteer to take turns explaining what happens during and between races over a PA system. They can also answer questions from the crowd.
Spectators are also welcome to explore the grounds and walk the trails at Tattersall Farm. The 150-acre farm has been owned by the town of Haverhill since 1999. Due to conservation efforts, dogs are not permitted on the property.
Trials are held Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine, at Tattersall Farm, 542 N. Broadway, Haverhill. The event is free and open to the public, although donations are welcome.