Monday, June 17, 2019
Ode to a Sheep Dog—Trials Get a Literary Note
Analicia Josie Koeplin volunteered with the Trailing of the Sheep Festival Friday night as part of her National Honor Society requirements.
Sunday, October 9, 2016


A literary touch has been added to the Sheep Dog Trials taking place in Hailey’s Quigley Canyon this year.

Not only did they expand in scope, going from two days to three, but they attracted an English class from Wood River High School.

Rhett Broderick’s class took advantage of the trials being held during school on Friday to tromp over to the canyon near the high school where they observed handlers and sheep dogs working together to try to pen sheep.

A herder works the sheep during the Sheep Dog Trials.

Each will now write an essay on some aspect of what they observed and experienced.

“I was so excited because the Trailing of the Sheep is my favorite event of the year,” said Analicia Josie Koeplin. “I love the sheep and other animals.”

“I was amazed at the preparation that goes into training dogs for an event like that,” added Neftali Reigle. “They’re smart dogs but none of them were able to pen the sheep while we were there.”

That changed on Saturday when Shelby Huff and her younger sister were allowed to run with one of the border collies. With a little two-legged help, the dog had no trouble penning its five sheep.

That’s pretty unusual because the sheep, which belong to the Flat Top Ranch Company, have been grazing in the mountains all summer and are pretty feisty compared to sheep raised in more civilized circumstances.

“I was so excited we got them penned,” said Huff, 20, who was granted a visit to the festival by Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Laura Musbach Drake, the festival’s executive director, said "the festival elected to expand the trials because they usually have a waiting list."

The trials—a national point qualifying sheep dog trials—run from dawn until 2 p.m. today, Sunday, Oct. 9. To get there follow Fox Acres Road, which begins opposite of Friedman Memorial Airport, past Wood River High School to the alfalfa fields.

The Trailing of the Sheep Parade, featuring 1,500 of John Faulkner’s sheep, starts at noon today on Ketchum’s Main Street.


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