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They're baa-ack: Sheepdog festival kicks off Friday

A sheep leaps over another as hundreds of the animals are released from trailers ahead of the 2018 Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship and Festival at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center near Midway on Wednesday. The annual event, which runs Friday through Monday, tests the herding skills of some of the world's most highly trained border collies and their handlers.

The dogs must gather wild range Rocky Mountain ewes, bring them down the mountainside along a preset course and through free-standing gates — all the while the sheep have other ideas about where to go. It ends in front of the stands where the dog must separate certain sheep from others and then place the sheep in a small pen. The work is judged for quality and care of the sheep and must be completed in 13 minutes. For a complete schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, log on to

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Correction: An earlier headline stated the 2018 Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship and Festival kicks off Saturday. The event begins Friday.