Sunday, January 4, 2009

Whidbey Trial results by Sue and George MacDonald

I'll write up my part on the trial in the next entry. This is from Sue and George who did the trial. Many thinks to them for hosting the winter series. We love them. They help foster the growth.

We started out from home here at 5:30 a.m., hoping to catch the 8 a.m. ferry to beautiful Whidbey Island and High Country Farm. It was darn cold when we loaded up, 30 degrees cold, ice and a dusting of snow on the highway as we 'cruised' on down the Key Pen. highway. By the time we hit highway 16 all was clear and we had smooth sailing until we got to Mukiteo!

SNOW on the highway and all the way down to the ferry landing. We caught the 8 a.m. ferry as planned, along with several other handlers. Snow again ont he other side... a little inkling of panic set in.... is Susan's place under snow? Alas, NO, she was clear! Cold, clear, a little blue sky, no snow, rain, sleet, hail, wind! Great!

Field was set, coffee and pastries were offered and Brian did his handlers meeting, 3 sheep, right hand drive, single then pen. Don't leave the post until ALL sheep are in the ring. Do it all in 7 1/2 minutes.

So with the local resident Eagles busy rebuilding their nest (carrying some of the largest branches I've EVER seen in a birds mouth!!! My God!) off to the post goes Diane Pagel and Tess, the first team on the roster. Sheep were light and touchy, moved well off the dog, but they were reading the dogs pretty carefully and would turn and stand a dog if given the opportunity. We had two sheds, Dirk and Skipp and George and Huck... well really three, but Maggi and Kep decided (actually KEP decided) they would do a team take down. Really nice run until then! We had 15 open dogs (14 with one N/C). This is how that went!

Open 15 to the post 100 points possible

1. Diane Pagel and Nan, beautiful outrun lift, nice fetch and only 5 off her drive. Quite a feat as touchy as the sheep were. Cross drive was the best of the day! No shed or pen..... 71 points
2. Diane Pagel and Tess, the first run on the field, no shed or pen 61 points
3. Lynne Green and Kurt, really nice outrun, lift, no pen or shed... 53 points
4. Heidi Hanson and Pete, nice out work, decent drive, no pen or shed... 51 points
5. Dirk Vansant and Skipp, nice out work again, trouble on the dirve, but did get that pesky shed, no pen 51
6. Bob Hickman and Mojo, a little trouble on the drive and no shed or pen... 48 points
7. George MacDonald and Huck, nice outrun, but had to give a redirect, perfect lift, trouble with the drive, but got his shed and made it to the pen, just didn't have time to work it.... 46 points
8. Sue MacDonald and Jan, nothing spectacular.. just consistent work but no shed or pen... 44 points ( have you noticed how fast the points are disappearing???)
9. George MacDonald and Chris, good out run, lift and fetch, but his drive sucked! As did his shed and pen!! 37 points
10. Maggi McClure and Lil, just couldn't seem to put it all together and ended with a 35 score
11.Sue MacDonald and Skye, the last team on the field, again like Maggi, just couldn't seem to get things under control and ended the open class with a 31 score.
We had three retireds (one of those was the N/C run) and one DQ... naughty naughty Kep..... :-)

A short lunch break, WONDERFUL chilli made by Susan's daughter Alison, mouth watering scones made by Dick Wilson's wife and misc. breads, chips and sweets... reset the the field and off we went with the Pro Novice class. Oh did I mention the wind? The blue sky had disappeared and the wind had arrived! Still no dampness, but boy did that wind drop the temperature!

We had several handlers running two dogs in this class, or running the same dog twice. George and I set the last half of this class and all of Ranch and Novice and I want to say, there are some REALLY nice dogs out there coming up the ladder!

Maggi, you have not one BUT two grand looking pups... I really liked your Gwen at the top..... Dave Imas has a nice dog in Cap, Pamela Harding has done WONDERS with Caymus... you would NEVER know he was the same dog you were running last year, WOW! Kathleen Torkelson's Emma is a really nice girl also! Jezz, they are all great!!

So with Diane and Lynne on set out duties, we started the class.Dirk Vansant is lambing mode so asked if he could run early in the class so he could get home and check on sheep. Dirk ran a pup named Cap and things just didn't go as planned.... 13 points by the time time ran out....Dave Imas ran two dogs, his Russel and a youngster named Cap. Russel had a 38 and Cap a 44 when it was all done.Maggi also ran two dogs, one of my all time favorites, BETTY (Boop) and Johnny. Are they related??? Anyway, Betty had a great go and scored a 72 out of 90 and Johnny got a 39 (pens were no 'gimmies' in this class... you really had to work for them!) Corinne Berg ran Tay twice with a 40 on her first go and a retire on her second.

Now if things weren't going right a handler was allowed to leave the post and 'school' their dog and use up their time. This is really what happened here.. it will sure help in the future! Gael Gann ran Chip once and retired and Sweet twice with a 41 on the first go and a 52 on the second. Two almost identical runs as far as point deductions, except she got a pen in her second go!!!As I said before, Pamela Harding, keep up the good work! It is REALLY paying off! Nice run with a score of 61.

Janet Thorpe and Scott are a fairly new team to herding but did a very nice job with a 49 point run. Susan Crocker and Zen finished their drive!!! Way to go Susan, the pen is next! Very respectable 49 points! Dick Wilson and Rhett had some trouble with the outrun, perfect lift, but... retired on the fetch...

We shortened the outrun and made it a one leg drive and into Ranch we went! I thought I was going to become an icicle by this time, but George and I perceivered, relaying the sheep down field for each set.This is where I fist watched Gwen run.... WOW, nice little girl! Beautiful out work, with a 54 out of 80. They weren't able to get that pesky pen, darn. She also ran Johnny again in this class with nice outrun lift and got a 37 for their efforts. Janet Thorpe and Scott also ran again in this class with a nice outrun and lift and a perfect pen! 57 points won.

Dick Wilson ran a very nice girl named Raygan! Didn't get his pen, but got a 35. Told me later she had trouble getting in and picking sheep off people so this was a big breakthrough for her.

That's why we do this in the winter for you guys, become icicles standing out in the middle of a field with a smile frozen to our face....Susan Crocker our wonderful hostess and Rani, just through with a litter of pups, timed out on the drive and ended with a 21.

Bob Hickman and Kermit, oops, I mean Trooper, had a nice outrun and lift, but trouble on the fetch and retired. Very nice dog though, very nice...Kathleen Torkelson and Emma (did I tell you guys she's a very nice dog?) got through the pen and ended their day with a 43. Way to go team!

Then there was Dave Imas and Cap... where did this dog come from??? Very nice boy, getting through the pen and getting a 51.

We froze into Novice and Dick Wilson ran Raygan again with 3 off his outrun and nothing off his lift, fetch was a little off, but they got their pen with 6 points left and a final score of 39. Nice dog Dick! I like her a lot!

Kathleen ran Emma again with 5 off her outrun, nothing off her lift, 4 off her fetch and 8 off her pen, with a final tally of 43. Pete Carlson brought out his dog Annie, but let Dave Imas run her for him.... I think at the last minute, not sure. anyway, Dave got Annie off to a good start with 3 off her outrun and nothing off her lift, but then, ah well, there's always next time!!!

So with frozen fingers and toes, we set out one more lot of sheep for Brian to work and George and I headed for the truck to warm up. It was like a mass exodus, with a bunch of us leaving at the same time , trying to get on the same ferry, which we did.

Thanks to those that helped set sheep, scribe and Susan for the use of her place, Dave and Carel (I'm sorry, I have no idea how to spell your name... hope I'm close) for working the pens and being there to help Susan with set up and take down. Alison for the awesome chilli and help again in the pens. Loved your 'virtual' fire... say smoke during the open class, but by the time we got up to the top to set sheep, it was just a memory.....-- Sue and George MacDonald of Lakebay Wa USA

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