Find out who was the top stock dog at this year’s Calgary Stampede

The crowd quiets as George Walker steps out onto the dirt of the Nutrien Western Event Centre with his trusty sidekick, Drill.

They get settled in a circle and — once the clock starts — Drill races toward the other end of the arena, where three sheep are waiting. 

Drill steadies himself before the competition gets underway at the Calgary Stampede. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Then the dance begins. 

The stock dog listens to his owner’s calls and whistles to steer the sheep in a pattern before they’re ultimately penned up.

The goal is get the three sheep into the pen after the dog steers them on an intricate course. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Drill was up first but he was followed by 11 other stock dogs. Many of them have been doing the work for years. The final event comes after days of competitions that whittled down the field of 50 to the top dozen competitors.

On the line is $10,000, with a $4,000 prize for the runner-up.

Drill gives the iconic stock dog stare as three ornery sheep look on. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

For some, it was their first time under the Calgary Stampede arena lights. For others, it was familiar territory — with many former champions once again looking to come out on top.

In the end, it was 2016 champion Finn and his handler Milton Scott clocking in at 2:11, but it was a very entertaining hour of stock dogs doing what they do best.

Finn looks up at Milton Scott as they are awarded their $10,000 cheque for taking first place in this year’s World Stock Dog Championship. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

The competitors have four minutes to get the sheep in the pen, and those with the fastest time move to the top. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

There are judges spread out around the arena to help watch that competitors are following the rules and to make sure the sheep are not getting ‘overworked’ by the stock dogs. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Dogs of all ages take part in the competition. And while most of them are border collies, not all are — like Dan the Australian shepherd pictured here. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

The crowd fans out throughout the arena as most people get used to not dealing with any COVID-19 social distancing regulations. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Chris Jobe uses a whistle to communicate with her stock dog during the competition. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Another look at Dan the Australian shepherd, who won the championship in 2018, as he takes a rest after his run. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Competitors at the 2021 World Stock Dog Championship mill about in the holding area as judges tally the final scores. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

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