Border Collies lead cattle through obstacles at the Texas Oklahoma Fair

Ranchers and their dogs were at the Texas Oklahoma Fair early this morning to compete in the Cattle Dog Trials.

"They got started just to show off how good your dog was trained," Vice President of the Southwest Cattle Dog Association, Tommy Blessing said.

Most of these dogs are border collies who also herd cattle every day on the ranch.

"That's what they're bred to do and you just have to control them and get a right and a left and a back and a forward," Blessing said.

The dogs listen to a series of commands and whistles from their handler. The goal is to navigate four cows through five obstacles in the fastest time.

"Being in the right spot is the whole key to the whole thing," Blessing said, "and knowing how to read the cattle. It takes several months to get one anywhere near ready to go to a trial."

Tommy Blessing is the Vice President of the Southwest Cattle Dog Association and he is also competing with two of his own dogs.

"I'm real proud of them and like everybody they're your children. You love them," Blessing said.

The dogs are separated into classes based on their skill level and age listed in order from top to bottom, Open, Ranch, Intermediate, Novice and Nursery is for dogs three years and younger. Blessing said he has another dog who will compete for the first time in the futurity run the organization hosts in Vernon for first time dogs.

"After his futurity run in Vernon in November we'll put him in the nursery class next year and then theoretically the next year he'll be in the ranch and then he'll move on up to the open class," Blessing said.

More than 50 dogs competed today from across the country including Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and New Mexico. The top three results from each class are listed below.


1st: Steve Knipmeyer and Kate: 4:59.39

2nd: Jimmy Walker and Pippa: 5:06.31

3rd: Tommy Blessing and Toc: 5:48.94


1st: Trey Buras and Naomi

2nd: Jim Rochester and Tex

3rd: Glenda Blessing and Doc


1st: Allen Miller and Rue

2nd: Allen Miller and Mirc

3rd: George Slaughter and EZ


1st Jeff Christiansen and Casey

2nd: Tony Jetensky and Quinn

3rd: Tony Jetensky and Riggs


1st: Glenda Blessing and Wings

2nd: Andrew Schilke and Banks

3rd: Steve Knipmeyer and Nikki

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