Calgary – If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Multiply that “try” a few more times and you’ve got Milton Scott’s multiple attempts at winning the World Stock Dog Championship at the Calgary Stampede, a feat he finally accomplished on Sunday night in front of a packed house at the Agrium Western Event Centre.
“I’ve made the finals at least 14 times, maybe more,” said the 51-year-old from Airdrie, Alta. who took the Grand Champion title with his three-year-old border collie Finn. The duo’s time of 1:57 and 21 points earned a $10,000 payday by a scant two seconds. “I didn’t panic at the pen. I concentrated. This is a big one for me. I’ve been in the finals so many times and never got it. I really wanted it.”
The 20th anniversary of the competition got underway Saturday as 58 handler-and-dog teams from as far afield as Texas and Wyoming each guided three sheep through a challenging course involving a set pattern around three barrels, through a loading chute and then into a pen at the far end of the arena. Handlers directed the dogs through a combination of whistles and voice commands with the goal of penning the sheep as quickly as they could under the four-minute limit.
The field was narrowed to 12 for Sunday’s sudden-death final on a 21-point course, with competitors starting from scratch. Defending champion Corey Perry made history by earning three spots in the final with three different dogs. In the end, the Drayton Valley, Alta. resident placed third, fourth and 12th.
Reserve Champion Matthew Hadley-Roberts, who had two dogs in the final, earned $4,000 for his 1:59 and 21-point effort with border collie Glen. (He finished fifth with Callie.) His father Wayne also had two dogs in the last go ’round, placing sixth and seventh. Matthew’s 15-year-old son Travis, competing in his third Stampede, made it past the first round into Sunday’s second phase, but didn’t make the finals.
“There’s not many sports that a father, son and grandson can compete in against one another,” Matthew said. The Hadley-Roberts breed and train border collies, in addition to using their dogs to help run their Diamond O Cattle Company in Valleyview, Alta.
Competing and training together is a great family activity, he said, and Travis has travelled extensively with Wayne, including a trip to a show in Holland. Matthew said that it’s likely time for Travis to get a new dog, as his handling abilities have outpaced his border collie Kate.
“Kids are like sponges; they absorb so much. When they start young like that (Travis competed at his first Stampede at the age of 12), they will be hard to beat one day.”
Full results of the World Stock Dog Championship can be found here: http://ag.calgarystampede.com/results
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.