News Briefs | March 21 edition

The Vashon Sheepdog Classic returns, and can you perform title and licensing services on the island?

Sheepdog Trials

The organizers of the Vashon Sheepdog Classic announced last week that the event will again not take place in June 2024.

The event, which drew thousands annually and raised funds for local nonprofits, long took place in a rolling pasture on SW 220th Street and Old Mill Road. The last public edition of the Sheepdog Classic took place in 2019. The 2020 edition was canceled by the pandemic, and the 2021 edition was held as an event for dog handlers only.

The pasture where the event took place was part of the sprawling Misty Isle Farms estate amassed by the late Tom Stewart. King County now owns the pasture — part of a 2022 purchase of 110 acres of the estate, now called Wax Orchard.

Immediately after the purchase, Maggi McClure, who founded the Sheepdog Classic in 2010 as a nationals-qualifying event for the U.S. Border Collies Association, said that she hoped to bring the event back to the pasture in 2024 if the county would work with her organization.

A September 2023 update from the county regarding Wax Orchard said the event “can continue at this site, and King County Parks is working with the Sheepdog Classic organizers to plan for a future event.”

But in a brief email last week, organizers of the event ruled out a return in 2024.

“As we work to reorganize the event, there is a chance of a classic old-fashioned “bare-bones” competition for less environmental impact on the beautiful field,” the email said. “We will post updates to our website and social media platforms if this option becomes available.”

McClure, in a brief interview, reiterated the organizers’ concern for the event’s environmental impact on the field, saying that organizers would continue to work to reenvision and reorganize the event.

“We certainly hope 2025 will be the return of the VashonSheepdog Classic,” she said.

County seeks applicants for vehicle/vessel licensing subagent

King County is looking for someone to perform title and licensing services on the island.

Applications are due no later than 2 p.m. on April 12.

Subagents are privately owned businesses, empowered by the state Department of Licensing to perform vehicle and vessel title and licensing services. The county could open a new office, in a location yet to be determined, if a qualified applicant is selected.

Vashon Vehicle Licensing, the previous licensing office that operated for decades on Vashon Island, closed to the public last year. Owner Dick Franklin said at the time that he was unable to keep the business going after his business partner, Cathy Garcia, suffered a serious accident.

Currently, the closest licensing offices are in Seattle, Tacoma, and the Kitsap Peninsula.

For more information, visit or contact one of the following at King County:

  • Vicki Nakamichi 206-263-9299
  • Michelle Poste 206-263-9303