GRAND ISLAND, Nebraska — Draft horse and stock dog competitions will dominate the early events at the Nebraska State Fair.
The draft horse hitch competition will take place Aug. 28-30, while the stock dog competition is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 1, according to the Grand Island Independent (http://bit.ly/1Ta90Re ).
Livestock Superintendent Bill Angell says the draft horse competition comes in several forms, including single horse hitched to a buggy, four horses hitched and six horses hitched.
Angell said horses are judged based on how well they work as a team. The horses are put through various gaits such as walking and trotting, and they also have to work together as they follow commands to change directions.
The number of entries in the stock dog show has its maximum. This year's fair will feature 70 dogs and about 40 handlers. Angell said the competition is popular because audiences like to watch dogs herding cattle through gates.
"It gets the crowd going," Angell said.
The Nebraska State Fair is one of the shows set up for dogs and handlers to earn points for national rankings, Angell said. That also helps attract the top competitors from around the nation.
"It has become one of the premier national stock dog trials in the country," Angell said.
Angell said it's also important that handlers and their dogs feel comfortable while they are in Grand Island.
Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com