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The 2010 National Western Stock Show Stock Dog Trail herding finals

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As the 2010 National Western Stock Show came to a close, so did the slew of competitions building throughout the two-week long series of horse, cattle and rodeo themed events that took over Denver and The National Western Complex from January 9-24.

The Stock Dog Cattle Trials were one of them.

Over the course of the stock show, through several preliminary and semi-final rounds, the Stock Dog Trials whittled down the competitors to a select group of the best cattle herding dog and trainer pair at the show.

In the end, Gerald Bunney and his dog Ladd had the gold medal penned.

The object of the trials were to herd three sheep through a figure eight pattern around a couple of barrels, and then send them through two series of corrals. The trainer could only step in and direct the sheep once they were headed into the corral, but for the majority of the run, they could only tacitly direct the dog’s movements through verbal commands. The dogs could not bite or nip the sheep, which would result in a disqualification.

Take a look at these photos of what many trainers in the animal world would agree are some of the most intelligent and skilled dogs in the world.

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