Dogs moving cows through a course part of the Nebraska State Fair
Cattledog competition is one of the many unique entertainment options offered at the Nebraska State Fair. Local4 News' Russ Batenhorst visited Tuesday with one of the organizers of the event. Here is a transcript of their conversation:
Russ Batenhorst: Hey that's right we are here at the Five Points Bank Arena where today it's the Cattle Dog Trials. This is cattledog competition. It's dog, cattle and men - everything combined together. We're with Jeff Mundorf with the cattledog. program here. It's an obstacle course, a little bit of everything. What's the idea here?
Jeff Mundorf, National Cattledog Association Board Member :"The idea is to test the abilities of these working dogs. The skills that they use to fetch cattle, drive cattle, pen cattle. The obstacles are set up in such a manner that the dogs have to negotiate the course with the cattle. They have three head of cattle out there. They put them through different panels and obstacles to test all of those abilities.
RB: It's a definite skill set and the owner of the dog has commands that they are following as well, but the idea is to get the cattle around, get them in their pins. Are these skills born on American ranches?
JM: Absolutley. These are similar skills to what these dogs would use at home on farms and ranches working cattle at home.
RB: We have finals in this tonight. What does it entail for competition?
JM: Tonight the competition here at 7:00 p.m. at the FIve Points Bank Arena will be the finals. In this class currently, which is the open class, which is the highest level of handlers and dogs, we have 38 dogs entered from all around the country and tonight that will be narrowed down to the top ten from combined runs of yesterday morning - Monday morning - and this morning and the top ten will come back at seven o'clock to vie for that Nebraska State Fair championship buckle.
RB: Is there a particular dog breed that's better at this?
JM: This event is pretty much dominated by border collies. There is one Australian sheperd and a couple of Australian kelpies competing here as well, but 90% of the dogs competing here are border collies.
RB: Pretty tight group of guys that go around and do this?
JM: Yeah, pretty much everybody knows everybody. It's a good bunch of friends. And these events - we're not only here for the competition, but also the comraderie and to catch up with friends that we see all over the country.
RB: Alright there will be more of that going on tonight. The finals are at seven o'clock at Five Points Bank Arena. It's free to get in to, so come on down and enjoy that if you're here at the State Fair. Thanks Jeff.
JM: Thank you.