Kingston’s 32nd annual Sheep Dog Trials attracts 7,000 dog lovers

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Thousands of people attended the Sheep Dog Trials in Kingston this weekend to watch the competition – Aug 11, 2019

The annual Sheep Dog Trials drew in thousands to Grass Creek Park to watch one of the top three largest trials in North America.

This marks the 32nd year of the annual sheep dog trials in Kingston, where more than 7,000 people came to check out the competition.

But this year one dog in particular showed the crowd that anything is possible.

A golden retriever named Sergeant Pepper has been performing in  dog shows since he was a young pup.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Sergeant Pepper is a little different from the other dogs here.

READ MORE: Labrador retriever tops list of Canada’s 10 most popular dog breeds

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“Pepper came to me born blind in his left eye, and he is still able to get out here and do stuff,” says Karen Sandford, Pepper’s owner.

One of his best qualities is cleaning up after every show. Sutherland says he literally will go around and pick up every disc left on the ground.

Sandford told Global News it wasn’t until a visit to the vet that she was told he had a vision problem. He was already seven years old when they received the news.

Now aged nine, he’s still able to run drills and jump just as high as other breeds in the WoofJocks canine all-stars shows.

“We like to highlight dog sports and put fun little twists on it,” says Sandford.

Even though Pepper is partially blind in one eye, it doesn’t stop him from taking a bite out of the competition. This is the first time that WoofJocks are performing at the sheepdog trials.

In addition to the WoofJocks, the amount of talent at this year’s trials is endless.

The festival offers other forms of entertainment, including obstacle courses, as well as the Kingston police’s K9 unit, which demonstrated how their trained skills assist in fighting crime.

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In the midst of all the events taking place at the festival, hundreds gathered on the grass to watch as eighteen sheep dogs competed.

“We are one of the top three trials in North America,” said Amanda Milliken, chair of the trials.

READ MORE: Crowd of 7,000 expected at annual sheep dog trials in Kingston

“They’ve got real skills and you’ll see really quite lyrical beauty of that movement,” says Milliken. “It’s a beautiful thing to see.”

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