Vernon businesses cashing out on cattle dogs

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Cattle dogs are in the spotlight all weekend in Vernon and they are barking up bucks for the city's businesses too.

More than 110 dogs and 55 people are competing in a tradition that has been going on for generations at the four-day event.

The cattle dogs lead cattle through an obstacle course in under seven minutes. The dog owners are also on the move.

"I live about 80 miles north of New Orleans and then you got Mississippi is a little bit north of me," Robin Dillon said.

Driving from Louisiana can build an appetite.

"We ate at the Rusty Spur while we were here in town and some might delicious steaks," Dillon said. "I cleaned my plates both nights. I sure did."

Three Hearts Steakhouse is attracting new customers too.

"[There was] a lot of people I didn't recognize so they're either passing through or they're here for that," Misty Bryson Three Hearts Steakhouse owner said. "We had a neat group of people here last night specifically for that event," Misty Bryson said.

Chase Leblanc, a dog handler, said he stepped looked on the pedal for 10 hours to show off his dogs. A cattle dog who performs well at the trials can be sold up to $5,000.

"I'm staying at the Hotel Vernon," Leblanc said. "It's close and it's a nice hotel."

"They bring so many people every year," Ashich Patel owner of Vernon Hotel said.

According to Patel, 40 percent of rooms are occupied by the competitors. His hotel sold out so some of the cattle dog handlers were turned away.

"All the hotels here get filled when they come here," Patel said

Ever since the Southwest Cattle Dog association decided to move their dog course to Vernon, both sides said they have benefited.

"The city and the county and the businesses have been very supportive of the event and that's kind of why we're here," Langdon Reagan the organization's president said.

Some of the Vernon businesses decided to show their appreciation for the new customers they donated money to pay for some of the prize-winning buckles.

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