The national final of herding dogs, organized by the Haute-Loire Herding Dog Association (Act 43) on the Loudes aerodrome site, crowned its winner this Sunday.
From 8 a.m., the first dogs set off on the two-kilometre course to lead a batch of five cattle in less than 20 minutes. The trials ended around 7 p.m.
Course of the tests and results
All the performances were evaluated by Dominique Roux and Joël Ballet, the two judges of the day. The competitors each had 110 points at the start. Penalties were applied for each error made, some being even eliminatory.The climb in the cattle truck (without ramp) was the most dreaded ordeal. This perilous exercise, especially when it comes to capricious cattle, has brought out all the qualities required of a breeder and his dog. The most seasoned competitors were able to make the difference during this final test.
Nicolas Blanc and his dog Ixos finally won the competition with a remarkable score of 96 points. The veteran (it was his 8th final) from Haute-Saône had already finished second in 2014 at Mazet-Saint-Voy.
Tençois Julien Delabre and his dog Oslo were unfortunately disqualified. However, they can boast of having reached the national final for their very first participation and hope for a better result in a future final.
The handing over of the prizes took place in a most convivial atmosphere, testifying to the closeness that exists between these breeders, who are nevertheless competitors.
The president of Act 43 Stéphane Laurent, accompanied by the mayor of Loudes Laurent Barbalat and the departmental councilor Jean-Marc Boyer, wanted to thank the many volunteers, organizers and partners without whom the event would never have taken place.Nicolas Blanc (in burgundy, on the left) and his dog Ixos, from Haute-Saône, won the competition.
The two elected officials congratulated the organizers “who have brought honor to the region and to the profession” and said they were very proud to “welcome in our department these guests from all over France”.
Bad weather and entertainment
The only downside is attendance at the event. The organizers, a few hundred members of Act 43 and volunteers, hoped for more people. The heavy rains and thunderstorms that fell during the day undoubtedly got the better of part of the public. Some 2,000 people, from all over France, still went there.During a test
But no matter, this final was more than a test. It was above all a great moment of celebration and exchange around the herding dog.
The competition tests proved to be a very good demonstration of the daily work of a breeder and his dogs. There were many people crowding around the barriers to attend.
Other activities were able to attract the crowd, in particular the one offered at the MSA stand. The horse-drawn carriages also had a great success and continued to roll during the day.Refueling during the national final in Loudes
Finally, the children were able to have fun on the inflatable structures, the make-up workshops or the herding dog competitions which were dedicated to them. The more daring were even able to learn about parachute jumping or their first plane flight.