A couple dozen of the West’s more talented dogs will gather near Sumpter this weekend to show their prowess.

The particular canine skill in this case is herding cattle.

Clint and Cassi Johnson have organized the Huckleberry Mountain Invitational Dog Trial Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 at the Warnock Ranch.

Although the event is in its fourth year, Clint said this is the second trial that the couple has been promoting widely and inviting people to attend as spectators.

There is no admission fee.

Handlers will be on horseback as they take their dogs through the course, which will feature cattle in realistic scenarios, Clint said.

Competition starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday and at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

The top 10 dogs, based on combined scores from the first two rounds, will compete in a short round starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The Warnock Ranch is at 11684 Huckleberry Loop, about two miles south of Highway 7. To get there, turn off the highway just west of Milepost 28, at the sign for the Sumpter Valley Railroad. There will be signs posted directing people to the dog trials, Clint said.

He expects about 27 dogs to compete, most, if not all, purebred border collies.

Clint said dogs will be coming from Central and Eastern Oregon and from several other states, including California, Nebraska, Montana, Utah and Idaho.

Breakfast and lunch will be available for sale both days.

More information is available at huckleberrymtn.com.

The website includes a list of recommendations for spectators:

• Please, no pets. This can disrupt the dogs competing in the competition.

• Bring a lawn chair. There is a great viewing area but no grandstands.

• Please stay away from the fence and area where the competition is going on. People going near the fence can mess up the cattle and competition.

• Remember this is an actual ranch, so there is equipment and tools and supplies stacked around the area. Please do not climb on anything.

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