Junction’s 4th Annual “Junction’s Trial on the Pecos Trail”, TSDA Sanctioned Sheep Dog Trials took place last Wednesday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Junction’s Sheep Dog Trial is still the largest TSDA-sanctioned sheep dog trial in Texas.This This year, the four year old event included handlers and dogs from Hico, Brenham, Boerne, Meridian, Corpus Christi, Christoval, San Angelo, Fredericksburg, Zephyr, Goldthwaite, Sandia, Valley Mills, Willis, Florence, , La Vernia, Ozona, Junction, Hockley, Santo, Ft. Worth, Groesbeck, Normangee, Throckmorton, Lufkin, Walnut Springs, Bowie, Point, Aledo, Meridian, and Brashear, Texas. Also handlers came in from Larkspur, Alamosa, Monte Vista, Parker, Carson City, and Carbondale, CO, Zirconia NC, Andover CT, Socorro NM, Limestone TN, Honey Creek IA, San Diego, CA, Leeton and Butler MO, Foster, Tecumseh and Edmund OK, Canton GA, Carrieve MS, Bowman ND, Sundance Wy, Coldstream and Dawson Creek BC Canada, and a professional dog trainer named Fonzie and his wife from South Africa. These handlers –they are offering service dog training in Bay Area and they ran their various dogs in over 200 runs over this five-day event.
This was a daylight-to-dark event that began very early Thursday morning and went non-stop until dark every day through Sunday. Folks competing in the dog trials are amazed at the level of spectator participation in Junction. This level of attendance is really appreciated, as is local hospitality, the excellent facilities, the warm welcome.
Junction’s Sheep Dog Trials were again managed by Emil Luedecke of Zephyr and Pierce Holt of Cristoval. In 2014, Luedecke was inducted into the American Border Collie Hall of Fame. Holt is a graduate of Angelo State University and played many years for the San Francisco 49’ers. Both Holt and his wife participate in the trials.
The Chamber partnered with the Hill Country Fair Association to use the “infield of the old racetrack” for the actual dogs running, and the area outside the contestants gate for RV parking. Directors of the Fair Association coordinated with the Chamber to get the grounds in good condition for the trials. Handlers and families enjoyed true camp-style breakfasts and lunches daily, courtesy of famous camp cook Henry A. “Johnny” Lackey, who has faithfully supported this event from the beginning, representing American Legion Post 237. Lackey was assisted by his daughter Shay Hale, Brodie Caudle, John Loeffler, Don Glover, and Jim LaFosse. Mac McMahan and the Chamber donated briskets, and Connie Booth cooked peach cobblers for the terrific goat, chicken and beef dinner for the contestants on Saturday evening.
Hay sponsor First State Bank and sheep sponsor Hill Country Titles Inc .helped with the expenses.Luke Tillman Trucking/Tillman Tire Company helped haul 300 sheep used in the trials. Javier Reyna of JR Welding helped get the sheep-holding pens in order. The City of Junction/Junction Police Dept. provided a vehicle for the Judges to use during the trials. Bryan Booth made multiple trips hauling fencing, posts, a Polarias, putting up banners, and toting supplies both before and after the event. We refer to Bryan as the “best unpaid volunteer of the Chamber”.
Participants bragged on Junction’s set up saying that it is the most beautiful and spectacular setting for a dog trial of anywhere they go to compete. “Right here under the bluff – beautiful!”
Next year’s trial will once again be under the direction of Holt, assisted and “kept an eye on” by, Luedecke. It will again be the third weekend of February, 11-16, 2020, so mark your calendars.