Sheepdog Trials, Sponsored by Dynamite Specialty Products, Run Oct. 10-11

Share Article

Dynamite Specialty Products will sponsor the sheepdog trials Oct. 10-11 at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, celebrating Western history and ranked as one of the best fall festivals by six different travel publications.

Lavon Calzacorta with champion border collie Tess

It's all about guts - literally and figuratively - for the dogs.

Want to run sheepdog trials, like the ones coming up Oct. 10-11 as part of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival?

Assemble 50 border collies and 200 to 300 sheep. Find a place for the sheep with enough water and grass for them to eat for three days. You’ll also need a 40-acre field for the competition.

The sheep will sleep in the field. The dogs and their handlers prefer more upscale lodgings, although most are willing to stay in their own motor homes and campers. The handlers will bring food for themselves and their dogs.

By the way, though, the dogs also would like a wading pool so they can cool off after they compete.

These are just a few of the logistical challenges that face Lavon Calzacorta, head of the sheepdog trails at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. He also hires the judges who determine which dogs are the best at herding sheep, and finds an announcer and a hospitality tent for the competitors.

Calzacorta, who has been in charge of the trials for the past two years, not only trains his own nationally ranked border collies but also is operations manager of Dynamite Specialty Products, sponsor of the event and manufacturer of all-natural food and nutritional supplements for dogs, horses and most other living creatures.

Top distributors from Dynamite will be on hand to answer questions about nutrition for dogs and other animals.

Sheepdog trials are Calzacorta’s passion, in part because the nutritional challenges that face the hard-working, high-energy dogs coincide with his work at Dynamite.

“It’s all about guts” is his slogan, and it applies both to the Dyna-Pro prebiotic that fuels his dogs and the inner drive that spurs the dogs to round up the most recalcitrant ewes. He credits his work at Dynamite with helping him understand the nutritional requirements of his dogs, which have been ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Dynamite Super Premium Dog food is the staple of his dogs’ diet. The all-natural food contains prebiotics and probiotics to aid digestion and chicken cartilage that is rich in natural glucosamine to support healthy joints. No corn or wheat is used, as they are believed to be a cause of common allergens in dogs.

What are sheepdog trials like? The handler stands perfectly still beside a post and whistles to the dog, almost always a border collie. That’s the signal for the dog to run 400 yards, gather a group of four to five sheep, and bring them back. Want the dog to herd the sheep into a pen? Or separate a single sheep from the group? A well-trained border collie will do all this, guided only by hand signals and whistles.

Approximately 50 dogs from around the Western U.S. and Canada, including some of the top-ranked dogs in the nation, will compete here this year.

Calzacorta’s 10-year-old Border collie, Gus, already has qualified for the national finals later this year. Two-year-old Becca started her career in the nursery division of the national championships this year in Alturas, Calif.

The sheep dog trials will be at the Quigley Canyon Fields on Quigley Canyon Road from dawn until dusk both days. Admission is $3 and children under 5 are free. Spectators may bring lawn chairs. Additional information is available online.

A family-owned business that has specialized in nutrition for four generations, Dynamite Specialty Products makes all-natural horse feed and supplements and dog food, as well as nutritional supplements for humans and virtually every other member of the animal kingdom. All Dynamite products use only ingredients made in the United States for better quality control.

Dynamite, based in Meridian, has more than 4,000 distributors across the country. Additional information is available on the Internet at or by calling (800) 697-7434.

The 2015 Festival continues its three-year program “Celebrating Generations.” The idea is to listen, learn, share and save the memories of western families – dreamers, all of them, who live and work the land and are the keepers of open space. Ranching families will be attending from around the West to share their stories and help trail the sheep through the Wood River Valley.

The five-day Festival includes nonstop activities in multiple venues - history, folk and traditional arts, a Folklife Fair and Fiber Festival with classes and workshops, music, dance, storytelling as well as two days of Championship Sheepdog Trials.

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival has been recognized as one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World by travel, Top Ten US Fall Festivals by, Top Animal Festivals in the World and Top Ten Fall Festivals by USA Today, America’s Wackiest Fall Festivals by The Huffington Post, and One of the Greatest Cultural Events in the West by Northwest Travel. It also is the recipient of the Idaho Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage.

For information and a detailed schedule of events, go to

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sales Contact
Visit website