Rural Hill just celebrated their 19th annual Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival on November 9 & 10. Each year features The United States Border Collie Handler’s Association, Carolina Dock Dogs, The Greater Charlotte Shetland Sheepdog Club, and more! The sheepdog trials involve three things; the handler, a dog(border collies at this trial), and a group of sheep. The handler must use his dog to herd the sheep through various gates and into a pen by only using his voice and whistling to communicate.
The festival does not only feature sheepdog trials, but also vendors and activities for attendees to participate in. The Carolina Dock Dogs, dog sports demonstrations, kid’s activities, historic demonstrations, tractor exhibits, pumpkin chunkin, and hay rides all play a huge part in making the festival such a great hit! Visitors are also allowed to bring their four-legged friends with them to the festival. If you are interested in learning herding techniques, there will be experts available to offer advice!
Admission for kids(0-4) is free, ages 5-12 is $7, and adults 13+ is $10. The gates open at 8am and close at 5pm. Tickets are available online at www.ruralhill.net/sheepdogtrials.asp and can also be purchased the day of event.
Whether you are looking for an actual meal or simply a snack, you can find it here! With everything from grilled hotdogs, to sausages, and burgers, they have delicious grilled meats. Some of the snack foods available are fresh made funnel cakes, kettle corn, and french fries. In addition, there are homemade baked goods available in a bake sale tent. Highland Brewing will have a vendor selling their North Carolina brewed craft beers and Shelton Vineyards will also be present with a variety of their local wine. Be sure to bring your valid 21+ ID if you plan to partake in any alcoholic beverages!
There are a variety of merchandise vendors and other businesses that are present at the festival each year. Be sure to check out the local vendors and purchase something. There will be merchandise for both dogs and dog-lovers!
1. Get a Group and Go! The Sheepdog Trials and the rest of the festival will be a great time for visitors of all ages.
2. Bring a Camera. There will be so many talented dogs and you will want to be sure to take a few snapshots of their skills!
3. Visit the Vendors. Make sure you take time to walk through the vendors and check out the available doggie merchandise.
4. Check out the Food! There will be lots of food and drink vendors, so take a tour!
5. Explore. In addition to the sheepdog trials, there are hay rides, kids activities, tractor exhibits, and other demonstrations to partake in.