The Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival, now in its twenty-fourth year, is set to return on November 12th and 13th in Huntersville, North Carolina. This beloved event promises an action-packed weekend for dog enthusiasts and families. Join us as we explore the exciting highlights and essential details of this fantastic festival.
A Festival Packed with Activities
Sheep Herding Competition – Open Competition Ongoing All Weekend
At the heart of the festival is the thrilling Sheep Herding Competition. This challenging event sees handlers and their champion Border Collies work together to guide sheep through a series of gates and into a pen, all while using voice and whistle commands. The precision and teamwork displayed in this competition are nothing short of impressive.
Dock Dogs – High-Flying Action
If you’re a fan of dogs leaping through the air with grace and skill, you won’t want to miss the Carolina Dock Dogs competition. With various categories like Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve, these talented dogs will leave you in awe.
Sports Demonstrations – Unleash the Fun
Throughout the weekend, there will be exciting sports demonstrations featuring activities like Flyball, Disc Dogs, Agility, and the Canine Good Citizen Test. These demonstrations showcase the incredible athleticism and obedience of our furry friends.
Bring Your Dog!
Yes, you can bring your dog! While the Sheepdog and Dog Sports Competitions are closed to new entrants, if you have a Border Collie and are interested in herding, there will be experts on hand to give you advice.
Plan Your Visit
Admission and Hours
Admission is free for children 0-4, youth 5-12 are $8.00, and adults 13+ are $11. The gates will open at 10:00 AM and close at 4:00 PM on both days. Tickets may be purchased online or on the day of the event.
If you’re traveling from out of town, consider staying at the Hampton Inn Cornelius, the official dog-friendly hotel of the Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials.
Delicious Food and Unique Shopping
You won’t go hungry with our diverse food vendors offering grilled hotdogs, sausages, burgers, funnel cakes, kettle corn, fries, and more. And don’t miss our bake sale for a taste of home cooking. Plus, enjoy North Carolina beer and wine from NoDa Brewing and Shelton Vineyards. When it comes to shopping, explore several merchandise vendors to find the perfect gift for the dog or dog lover in your life.
Pumpkin Chunkin’ – A Unique Experience
Experience the thrill of launching your old Fall pumpkins into the air with our catapult, sending them as high as 40 feet! It’s a fun and messy way to recycle your pumpkins.
Supporting a Great Cause
All proceeds from this event go to benefit Historic Rural Hill Inc., a non-profit organization that manages the Rural Hill property. This historic site, a county-owned piece of public land, serves as a working farm, events site, and education center. By attending this festival, you’re supporting educational and fun outings for students, families, and community groups throughout the year.
Don’t miss out on the Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival! Bring your family, friends, and furry companions for a weekend filled with canine excellence and a wide range of activities that will make memories to cherish. Get your tickets, mark your calendars, and be prepared for an unforgettable experience in Huntersville, North Carolina!
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