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Updated: Oct 20

Three days of herding tests and trials across two farms had great weather.


AKC Herding Trials at Acorn Acres, Florida July 2023 [galleries below]

Fall delivered a great break from the very hot 2023 Summer in central Florida and near perfect conditions for a three day show of Herding Tests and Trials. Friday, Acorn Acres (near Bushnell, FL.) hosted a day of Cattle and Ducks trials and Herding Tests for some newcomers.

The trials for Saturday and Sunday moved the Penn Y Caerau farm near "The Villages" in Lady Lake, FL.

Over a dozen teams competed and included the ever popular breeds like Border Collies and Blue Heelers (Australian Cattle Dogs) and less common Bercerons and Tervurens. After a long summer break for most of the teams, the weekend had elements of a family gathering the handlers were visibly happy to renew friendships. As a rural activity, both locations provide some beautiful scenery and plenty of fresh air.

About herding

Herding and hunting are perhaps the oldest of partnerships between man and dog. There is something magical to watch these teams in action across the fields with sheep and cattle. The trials provide simulations of common ranch tasks. Driving the stock to a pen, splitting a herd (known as a shed) and leading through a "chute".

Unlike many popular games like dock diving or Fast CAT, the practice and training in herding requires dedication, patience and perseverance. The best first step is to attend the trials. See how the events run and meet the owners and trainers. An additional online resource for those interested is a Facebook group; Herding in Florida, where many of the community post news, upcoming events and discuss all things herding.

Hero Dogz Information for those with disabilities.

It is important to remember the trials are held at working farms and ranches.

Acorn Acres is near rural Bushnell, FL. There is ample parking and the ground is level but not paved. There is no permanent seating, so spectators bring their own chairs.

There are two restrooms available, but neither are accessible to wheelchairs. The farm has converted one of the barns to host the registrar and act as an informal cafe for visitors. As a working farm, visitors should tread lightly. Don't leave anything behind that was not there before you arrived.

Penn Y Caerau is in Lady Lake, FL. Lady Lake is neighbor to The Villages communities, so plenty of stores are nearby. A single Non Wheelchair restroom is available. Parking is plentiful and well marked. No on site food or refreshment is available. As a working farm, visitors should tread lightly. Don't leave anything behind that was not there before you arrived.

Further contact information below the gallery.

PHOTO-FEATURE AKC 2023 Oct Herding in Florida


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