This Month’s National Sheepdog Finals in Carbondale, By the Numbers

6 days of sheepdog magic. In addition to watching the incredible talents of the best dog/handler teams around, event spectators can enjoy food, craft vendors, doggie demos, and more. Bring your lawn chairs and plenty of sunblock, but be sure to leave family dogs at home.

250 pre-qualified teams from across the U.S. and Canada. Keep an eye out for the two Roaring Fork Valley canine competitors vying for top honors: “Ben” in the Open division, and “Flicka” in the Nursery division (for dogs under three years old).

850 sheep. Fresh from summering in the mountains around Telluride, the sheep are owned by a family in Montrose and are brought in by the truckload. Every dog in all four days of Open preliminary runs is provided five new sheep that have never been herded through the course before.

75+ volunteers helping the event run smoothly. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Colorado Animal Rescue, which will have a large volunteer crew manning the parking area.

2011 was the first year the Strang family hosted the National Sheepdog Finals at their Missouri Heights ranch. The event alternates locations around the country annually, and this month’s event marks its fourth time with the Strangs.

$40,000 in prize money given to the winning teams. Awards will be presented at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 15.