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36th (Almost Didn't Happen) Virginia State Fair SDT

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October 4, 2012 marks the 36th State Fair Sheepdog Trial. As many Virginians know, our State Fair has fallen into some rough times, culminating in it's bankrupcy and auction of the real estate and property of the Fair. When the Fair announced its fate, it also regretfully announced there would be no fair in 2012. The new property owners (Universal Fairs of TN), and our Virginia Farm Bureau Federation have sprung into action to assure us that we WILL have a fair this year, and a short few weeks ago, they contacted Karen Thompson about hosting the SDT again this year. She called me, and I said YES!, as this is a tradition in agricultural exposition we want to see continued.


Sadly, they contacted us past time when we could have any trial sanctioned by USBCHA or VBCA, so the trial we are hosting is not going to be for the points handlers. We explained that to the FAir folks, but they ordered us four sets of six ribbons, and we hired a judge. We have the privilege and obligation to showcase working Border Collies in the big equine arena (same one American Cowgirl Chicks had last year!) from 10am til 4pm. We have entries, but not a whole lot. It is on a Thursday and there is no payout. T


What we propose to do is run classes with the entries we have, and in between classes, we will have demonstrations of non-competing dogs, and those who have finished competions. Our Judge, Julie Poudrier of Oxford NC, will be available for critique and an informal judging clinic of the classes was we work through the day. We have even proposed a jackpot Open (as in, anyone can enter) skills class with farm and trial elements. We are open to suggestion, we want the folks at the fair to succeed this year, and have us back next year, all sanctioned and payback if possible. This year could be critical, and we ask you for your support, if you can come, contact Karen (www.thompsonsbordercollies.com) for more information.


Thanks for taking the time to read...


Debbie Crowder (since 1992, a State Fair participant and volunteer)

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It's sad to hear the Fair is doing so poorly. It was the Va State Fair trial that got me involved with the likes of Ethel Conrad who invited me to one of her wonderful clinics (instructed by a young Jack Knox). It was also there I met a man with wild hair wearing bib coveralls with a young Border Collie on a chain lead pulling as hard as he could. This fellow said he had entered the trial because he had sheep and got a dog and had no idea how to train or work the dog. He figured there would be people at the trial who could help him learn.

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