Newport, OR – For the 2nd year, Wolston Farms and their crew of shepherd, sheepdogs and sheep will take center stage at the Family Events Arena at this year’s Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games on June 14 & 15, 2014 at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds.
Moving herds with sheepdogs dates back centuries and Dr. Ian Caldicott and his wife, Raven O’Keefe who operate Wolston Farms in Scio, Oregon are keen to carry on this long-standing tradition.
They also host an annual Sheepdog Trial in July, offer educational tours, and sell their own handmade crafts, artwork, and shepherd’s crooks. Visitors learn that everyone on the farm has a job to do, including the cats, dogs, chickens and sheep.
“Patrons enjoyed their herding demonstrations so much, we invited them back this year and the Coastal Celtic Society offered to sponsor them making this a “win-win” for everyone”, said Executive Director, Belinda Goody.
Common herding breeds include the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Australian Kelpie, and Australian Cattle Dog. Other breeds with herding instinct include Corgis and Shetland Sheepdogs. Guardian dogs help protect livestock with Maramma, Akbash, Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherds being the most common while the sheepdogs work and manage the flocks.
The relationship between dog and sheep is natural and instinctive and the shepherd acts as an intermediary, using traditional commands: come by (go clockwise around the sheep), away to me (counter clockwise) and that’ll do (leave work and return).
Caldicott says, “what defines a dog and its handler in the heat of a trial is not the skill of neither the dog nor the handler. It is more primal than that. I think what draws a lot of people is that, to be successful, the level of relationship that you have to have with your dog is so much more intense than the relationship between you and a household pet,” Caldicott said. “It’s an understanding of each other that’s so much higher. When you love dogs bred for herding, you gain a whole new understanding of dogs and a whole new understanding of yourself.”
Ian and Raven will bring two of the farm’s six Border Collies along with two new “trainees” who will demonstrate just how they operate and work the sheep on the farm at regular intervals during the festival, so don’t miss this unique exhibition of a time honored cultural tradition at this year’s Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games in June.
For additional information about the Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games, please visit www.newportcelticfestival.com or contact us by e-mail at email@example.com
For more information about Wolston Farms, please visit www.wolston.com.