Tess as the armchair herder
Again, the morning rolled around too early and I got out of bed with Tess in tow. She was going to me back to the trial field and set out sheep with Janet in ProNovice. I grabbed a hot coffee and met Jerill and Janet at the barn. We loaded up Rainey and Sava into their truck and put Mattie in the barn kennel. Scott was already loaded. Off we went at 7:30 to run in the ProNovice, Ranch and Novice part of the trail. Janet had signed up Scott to run in PN and Ranch and Rainey in Novice. I signed up Sava for Ranch.
Traffic was light and we pulled up about the seventh run of ProNovice and got situated. It was quite chilly and I had forgotten my coat in my truck much to my dismay. Jerill kindly loaned me his fleece and it made a huge difference under my flannel shirt. It was low key at the trial and much laughter was heard. So far, the trial has been exceptionally good. We missed the Nursery runs.
The PN course was a straight fetch and a right hand drive and the crossdrive was down a hill but if your sheep were offline they would miss the second panel. Then an open side pen and you got to pick the side. The sheep were the Scotties and Coopworths which were perfect for the classes.
There were quite a few very nice runs in PN and skillful handling to make the tricky second panel. The sheep were clever as if you did not line them up correctly into the pen, they would sneak off to one side. Janet was later in the class with Scott and he cast our fast and wide. His lift was nice and he brought the sheep to Janet in a straight line. There was a fuss at the turn at the post and then off to the drive with a little fuss in the crossdrive which caused missed panels and then a line to a cone to settle the sheep down. It was a little messy and then to the pen where she timed out as the last sheep was walking in. It was a nice run with a few areas that needed a little polishing up but still quite good. I don’t know how she placed but it was like 10 out of 31 dogs or so.
Jeanne ran her Rocky and that team is one that is going to be taking home the ribbons soon. They had a bit of trouble on the crossdrive and that was the end of their run but the teamwork was a joy to watch. I look forward to seeing the dynamic duo again!!
First place in PN was Karen Mahoney and Grit? It was calm and quiet and a real joy to watch.
We took a lunch break after the PN runs and we had hot grilled burger served yet, once again by Norm. The sun came out and we all relaxed in the warmth. The PN awards were presented. First place was a Border Collie seat belt covers. Kathy Rivers made them and it was stunning!
Ranch was an outrun, lift and fetch and then a left hand drive and a pull through the fetch panels and then to the pen. Janet ran Scott in Ranch and it was a very nice run. She gave him a redirect and he had a nice lift and fetch, turn around the post and a gorgeous drive and then trotted the sheep into the pen. She did very well and handled the run very calmly and quite well. She should be proud of herself as she won first place.
Kathleen ran Emma and she was tight at the top and was offline on her fetch but they recovered and had a nice drive. I really like how Emma was pushing the sheep on the cross drive. They had nice pen work also. I really liked how Kathleen has worked with Emma and made her a nice working dog. She has nice flanks and great feel for her sheep. This is a team that is making a name for themselves!
Josie and Ceilidh also laid down a fast run. It may have not been the winning run but I really like what I saw in this dog. Fast, stock savvy and keen to boot. Later I found out that she is related to half of my dogs so that explains it!!
Second place was won by Jorgen and Merchex (sp??) who laid down a brilliant run that was calm and quiet. I think it was his first trial and he is a very nice guy. He will be an asset to the trial circuit. I really liked how well his dog ran.
I ran Sava who has never been on a trial field and has been working on the farm flock. She came back from Scott’s but is not finished yet. She just turned two but still is immature. She is a really sweet dog and was so excited to be on the field. I had to remind her that staying next to me was the first part of the journey on the trial field. She shook with excitement and I sent her away. She ran out and then widened out and then flung out and came behind the sheep. I gave her a few flanks to keep her out. She hasn’t lifted off a person yet so we had to overcome that hurdle. I stopped her at the top and she dropped like a rock and then I walked her up a few feet then downed her so the sheep would drift off the person. I walked her up and then downed her so she would not bring the sheep back to the setout and then called her name and told her to walk up. She came forward strong and I flanked her and she took it and the line was straight to my feet. She had a wonderful turn around the post and we started the first half of the drive. The first half of the first leg was straight and then one ewe wanted to break away and the rest of the sheep began to graze. I had her put the errant ewe back and the sheep stalled. She was having a hard time trying to push them so I flanked her several times and they would move a few feet and stop. Therefore, I retired and had her bring the sheep to me and we used up our time at the pen. She made swift work of the sheep at the pen with her wide flanks and steady walkups. We penned the sheep quickly and I walked off with her and was very proud that she did so well. She stopped very well for me, took her flanks, and tried her hardest. I know what we need to work on at home and she will not have any issues doing that. I am very happy with the quality of her work. She had a perfect outrun, lift and almost perfect fetch!!
Novice was the last class to run. It was a large class and consisted of an outrun, lift and fetch and a pen. Janet and Rainey were early up and Rainey ran out nice to the sheep but had a cross over. The setout person was walking away, the sheep followed her, and Rainey had a hard time getting the sheep of the setout person. She did finally get them off and was offline and Janet retired her. I know what we will be working on next. Kathleen had the same issue but I cannot remember how her run went. Kent and his Crook had a nice controlled run. Jorgen and Merchex had another nice run. There were some nice Novice runs.
I took tons of pixs so didn’t take any notes on the runs so when I get the results, I will post what I remember. In a day or so, I will post the pixs. I took a bunch!!