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The fast and furr-ioust compete at Millerton’s Caora Farm

MILLERTON — The sounds of sheep could be heard running around the fields behind Caora Farm in Millerton, as it hosted the annual Sheep Dog Trials during the last weekend in June, from Thursday, June 24, through Sunday, June 27. It was a hot few days for both man and animal.

Though the trials were closed to spectators due to COVID-19, this year’s event welcomed an abundance of trained herding dogs from as far away as California, including 22 dogs younger than 3 years old in the nursery class and 113 dogs in the open trial of fully trained dogs, according to Beth Murray of Caora Farm.

Each phase of the trial tests the dogs’ agility as well as the trainer’s ability to control the dogs (and then the sheep) through whistles, commands and hand gestures.

“The sheep are an exceptionally healthy and clever wool flock,” Murray said, “and it’s quite a challenge for most dogs to manage the course. This really brings out the most talented and best trained dogs, and of course great handlers that can partner with the dogs.”

— Kaitlin Lyle

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