ASTA was formed to encourage the use of Australian Shepherds on farms and ranches by demonstrating their ability to perform useful but challenging tasks and to promote calm, confident control of livestock using an objective trialing system. In keeping with these goals, ASTA strives to give assistance to trial organizers while affording them ample freedom to determine what best suits their location, livestock and personal preferences. ASTA provides the event insurance, advertising and course design assistance required to host an event, while allowing trial hosts a great deal of latitude in course design, scoring system, arena and/or field size and time/location of their event.

ASTA trials should be fun events that are challenging, interesting, and diverse. Trial organizers are never required to run any course more than once. In fact, ASTA encourages progressive adaptation and experimentation that is only bounded by the course designer's imagination and creativity. ASTA hopes to inspire your imagination, challenge your abilities, and help you and your stockdog partner grow in your capabilities of calm, quiet, confident control of livestock.

There are no judges in ASTA trials. Instead they are points/time and time only events. A points/time event is one in which competitors receive points for each head of livestock that completes the various obstacles comprising the course in a required manner, usually in a set amount of time. Time only events are set up with a series of obstacles. Usually all head of stock have to complete the first obstacle before going on to the second and so forth. The dog and handler that get all the stock through the greatest number of obstacles in the least time is the winner. Good points/time and time only trial courses are set up so that effective and precise stock handling rather than just speed wins.

The ASTA trial program aspires to showcase and promote good training and the breeding of ever better working Australian Shepherds. The system aims to foster good stockmanship and to be fair to all that come to compete, no matter the breed, no matter the registry.

To host a regional Australian Shepherd Trial Association sanctioned point/time or time only trial, the individual organizing the event must be a trialing member of ASTA. To join the Australian Shepherd Trial Association as a trialing member and gain access to sanctioning and entry forms as well as access to the Trial Guidelines and suggestion packet for point/time or time only trials, click here.

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