Thursday at the South Plains Fair, participants competed in the Sheep Trials, but in these trials there were no sheep, so the title may be confusing. Actually sheep dogs or border collies were herding goats, to try to win money.
At the Sheep Trials, owners bring their working dogs out of the office for just a little bit and let them compete at the fair. Larry Burke has been competing in sheep trials for 15 years. At home, he uses border collies to herd sheep, goats, and cattle. "These are very fascinated dogs, the border collies are what we call Einstein of K-9 they are the smartest dog," said Larry.
Larry even got his wife Lita involved 2 years ago, and now she competes as well. Lita says there is a lot that goes into judging a competition like this. "When the dog leaves what we call the handlers post, the handler's side, he is supposed to make a wide, pear shape and go out and gather the goats and try not to disturb the goats very much," she said.
But not everything always goes as planned. "When my dog made circles around the pin I lost points," said Lita.
But the Burkes love what they do and couldn't be more impressed with the work ethic of their dogs at home. "They just want to help you, they are workaholics is what they are. The perfect employees," said Larry.
For most owners, the fair is just is just a chance to qualify to get to the state finals.