You will be amazed! Come and watch these incredible dogs gather sheep from more than a quarter mile away and move them around the pasture, through gates and into pens before separating them into two groups all directed by their human partner with whistles and voice commands. More information on sheepdog trials below
Star of the North SDT will be running from 8AM - 5PM on Friday September 24th and Saturday September 25th. On Sunday September 26th we will finish at approximately 3PM. The Gale Woods Festival of Working Animals will run all day Saturday. During the Festival, tractor rides will be available from the parking lot to the trial field. On Friday and Sunday, it is about a ten minute walk from the parking lot to the trial.
Friday we will start with Open Dogs followed by ProNovice
Saturday, ProNovice goes first, followed by the Open Class.
Sunday we start with the beginner Novice class and then the Open dogs.
Gale Woods is a working farm. Out of respect for the farm animals who live there, the Three Rivers Park District does not permit pet animals in the park. Please leave your pet dogs at home. Our sheepdogs have been bred for 150 years to work stock and trained for several years when to work and when to leave stock alone. Pet dogs will chase livestock. It's not their fault, it's just their nature but not fair to the other animals.
Enter the park through the visitor's entrance off Co. Rd. 110W in Minnetrista and park in the main parking area. From there it is a half mile walk through the farm (about 10 - 15 minutes) to the trial field. On Saturday, Gale Woods will be operating a tractor tram every 10 minutes from the parking lot to the trial field and back to the parking area.
This will be the 15th year of the trial which started as a crazy idea in 2006, not quite 2 years after I started running my first Border Collie Riel in sheepdog trials.
The judge this year will be Nancy Penley from Colorado
The plan is to run 3 Open trials, 2 ProNovice, 2 Nursery, and 2 Novice/Ranch classes. This is subject to entries of course and the following schedule is tentative and subject to change without notice to accomodate changes in entries. Tentantive schedule is as follows
Friday Sept 25th, 7:00AM Open 1, followed by Nursery 1 and PN 1
Saturday Sept 26th 7:00AM , Nursery 2, ProNovice 2, Open 2
Sunday Sept 27th , 7:30AM, Novice/Ranch 1, Novice/Ranch 2, Open 3
Novice and Ranch differ in that Ranch is essentially a small ProNovice course with a shorter outrun and drive for handlers who are thinking of making the movice from Novice to ProNovice. Ranch has a full drive (but 50 yards or less per leg) and the handler remains at the post. Novice has a wear instead of a drive.
There is room for camping east of the trial field to the north of the ProNovice setout. Come in via the handlers entrance and follow the road all the way around (keep right) until it meets the main farm road then turn left up the hill to the trial field. Close the bar gate behind you any time you enter or leave please. If you have a rig > 30 feet, come in via the spectators entrance no later than 6PM Thursda or Friday and follow the farm road (stay right when you enter the parking lot). If you use the front/main entrance, please do not leave before 5PM Saturday after the Gale Woods event.
Park to the east of the road at the south end of the trial field. Please do not drive on to the trial field and please stay off the running track. If you have guests coming on Sunday when there is no shuttle running from the parking lot, we do have a limited number of guest parking passes available so let me know on Friday or Saturday.
There will be coffee and breakfast items available in the morning and lunch on Friday. Saturday, we will take orders for food (burgers, brats, gyros) which will be delivered to the trial field. We will likely do something similar for Sunday.
There will be a handler's dinner on Sat evening. Details are still being worked out.
There are restaurants and grocery stores in Mound (3 miles from the trial site) and Spring Bank (4 miles from the trial site). Exit the handler's entrance and turn right onto Co 15. Mound is at the intersection of Co. 15 and Co 110W. Spring Bank and Minnetonka are straight ahead on Co. 15.