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International Sheepdog competition returns to Meeker

Posted at 11:32 AM, Sep 18, 2023

MEEKER, CO — Every year during the week after Labor Day, the town of Meeker, CO hosts thousands of people from around the globe to watch, volunteer and participate in the annual Meeker Classic competition.

The Meeker Classic is a five-day sheep herding competition that tests the sheepdogs' ability to maneuver sheep in a calm, controlled manner across 600 yards and through a series of obstacles.

The first three days are just preliminary trials, the top 30 dogs then progress to the semi-finals. After the semi-finals, the top 12 dogs progress to the final run. The level of difficulty increases from the preliminaries to the semi-finals to the finals.

Meeker Classic competitors come from every part of the world to compete, in past years some even made the journey from South Africa, Brazil, UK and Denmark.

The Meeker Classic competition is a premier Western Colorado event that draws thousands of spectators alone. Each year, over 375 volunteers are needed to help things run smoothly.

Other events going on during the sheepdog runs, included:

  • Jammin' Lamb Festival - a culinary and cultural event
  • International Art Show
  • Educational programs for youth
  • Educational programs and outreach for adults
  • Vending and Craft Fair
  • Cultural programs
  • Spinning, weaving, pottery, painting and leatherwork demonstrations
  • Flyball demonstrations
  • Dog agility demonstrations

This year, the $27,000 purse went to Handler Tom Wilson and his dog, Bett.


From Tuesday, September 26 to Sunday, October 1, the 2023 National Sheepdog Finals will also be coming to a city in Colorado.

The 2023 USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals is an intense herding competition that will be taking place after a year of qualifying trials around the country. The top 150 dog and handler teams will be competing in this year's Finals.

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