Herding trials offer a way for you and your dog to test your herding skills in a competitive environment that sets up herding situations as close to real-life as possible. Not everyone can work on a farm and get "on the job training" to figure out strategies for moving livestock from Point A to Point B. Trials satisfy a need for all the rest of us.
- You can leave the city and your office-job behind for a weekend and head out to test your skill at herding trials held all over the country.
At Magic's Legacy we host several herding trials per year sanctioned by different venues. The rules for herding trials vary depending on the sanctioning organization.
- See the COMING EVENTS page for the next trials scheduled on our calendar.
The American Kennel Club sanctions all-breed competition for purebred dogs holding an AKC number via one of the following:
- AKC Registration as a recognized breed.
- Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program for purebred dogs who cannot be fully registered.
- AKC Canine Partners which is for mixed-breed dogs and dogs ineligible for AKC registration.
- Foundation Stock Service (FSS) for recorded breeds on the road to full AKC recognition.
AKC offers classes in two categories: Tests and Trials. Dogs must have training and exposure to livestock before entering tests or trials.
- TEST classes are non-competitive events offering a standardized gauge by which a dog's basic instinct and trainability are measured.
- TRIAL classes are a competitive program designed to preserve and develop the herding skills inherent in the herding breeds and to demonstrate that they can perform the useful functions for which they were originally bred.
- Although herding trials are artificial simulations of pastoral or farm situations, they are standardized tests to measure and develop the characteristics of the herding breeds.
To learn more go to: AKC Herding Program
The American Herding Breed Association offers a similar program to AKC, however a purebred dog is not required. The AHBA Herding Trial Program allows herding dogs and their trainers to demonstrate herding skills at graduated levels of herding training. Your dog does not require breed registration papers to participate. The emphasis is on accomplishment of requirements rather than on competition (though everyone likes to be named the best at what they do well).
- Unregistered dogs need to apply for an AHBA Tracking Number. For more information: Tracking Number Policy
- All breeds and mixes are eligible for the JHD test class and any of the trial classes. To enter the HCT test class (Herding Capability Test for instinct) only certain breeds are allowed. See the list: AHBA Accepted Breeds for HCT
To learn more go to: AHBA Herding Program
The purpose of the Australian Shepherd Club of America Stockdog Program is to preserve and promote the instinct of the Australian Shepherd to be a versatile stockdog, showcasing the natural working ability of the breed through the use of certification programs for challenging trialing disciplines on several classes of stock.
- NOTE: ASCA trial classes are also open to other breeds. See the list in Appendix 5 of the ASCA rulebook: ASCA Stockdog Rulebook
To learn more go to: ASCA Stockdog Program
The United States Border Collie Handler's Association, Inc. (USBCHA) is the sanctioning body for sheep and cattledog trials throughout the United States and Canada.
- USBCHA trials are primarily for Border Collies as they require very long outruns in huge fields and few dogs in other breeds can handle the distances -- other breeds, however, are permitted to enter.
To learn more go to: USBCHA Home Page
Book the Farm at Magic's Legacy
The farm at Magic's Legacy is available to host trials, tests and special events for breed clubs and herding clubs.
- Email Shannon for details on the farms, facilities, livestock and stock-handling services.