The first sheepdog trial took place in 1876 when 100 “wild”
Welsh sheep were brought to Alexander Palace in London for a demonstration.
Three sheep were picked out of the flock and taken to a “far hill.” The Border
Collie’s responsibility was to bring the sheep to the middle of the park and
place in a pen. The audience was astonished at the dog’s intelligence and only
requiring the assistance of hand signals and whistle commands from their
handlers to move the sheep. The first recorded U.S. trial was at the 1880
Centennial Year Celebration in Philadelphia. The International Sheepdog Society
(UK) and United State Border Collie Handler’s Association (USBCHA) are now the
sanctioning bodies for sheepdog trials and the San Antonio Highland Games Sheep
Dog Trial is sanctioned by the USBCHA and the Texas Sheep Dog Association with
competitors competing for national and state points and prizes.
For more information contact the Texas Hill Country Stock Dog Association
or Ken Theus, DVM at Bcherding@gmail.com.