The top herding dogs and handlers in New England are gathering at Tattersall Farm this weekend to participate in a timed sheep dog trial.
The course is similar to the demands and needs of everyday farm work. It consists of skills like gathering and outrunning sheep, lifting, fetching and driving and penning. Each dog is judged on how quickly and efficiently it herds the sheep back to its handler while avoiding obstacles.
During the trials, handlers volunteer to take turns explaining what is happening during and between runs over a public address system. They may also address questions from the crowd.
Spectators are also invited to explore the grounds and walk the trails of Tattersall Farm. The 150-acre farm has belonged to the City of Haverhill since 1999. Due to conservation efforts, dogs are otherwise not allowed on the property.
The trials take place Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine, at Tattersall Farm, 542 N. Broadway, Haverhill. The event is free and open to the public, though donations are welcome.