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Sheepdog Classic happening in Midway this weekend

Courtesy of Carol Clawson

It’s a big weekend coming up for the Midway area. While the Swiss Days festival goes on downtown, some of the world’s top sheepdogs will put on a show at Soldier Hollow.

Besides competitions judging sheepdogs and handlers corralling sheep, the Soldier Hollow Classic will also feature duck herding, bagpipes, a petting zoo and other festival attractions.

The event begins Friday and wraps up Monday, which is Labor Day. Each day starts with the national anthem at 7:50 a.m., then sheepdog competition events on the Soldier Hollow main competition field at 8 a.m. Festivities wrap up around 5 p.m.

The competitions follow judging and standards of the United States Border Collie Handlers Association and test dogs’ and handlers’ ability to steer sheep. Handlers send dogs through open pastures with obstacles and a pen where dogs must guide sheep. Judges score dogs’ technique, speed and discipline, as well as how effectively they herd the sheep.

Besides the main field, there will be a food court, beer garden and activities like face painting and sheep shearing. People can meet police dogs and birds of prey, play corn hole and hula-hoop, and watch other competitions with highly trained dogs.

The Utah Highland Games Championships will test human competitors’ strength throwing and moving weights in Celtic and Gaelic traditions. Events are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Personal pets are not allowed at the Sheepdog Classic.

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