Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On the River- Double Lift- July 26, 2009

Fianlly the last part of the "On the River Series"

The first setout.

The second setout.

Before our run


We got up early to walk the field for the Double Lift. The morning was cool and crisp with a few stray patches of fogs that had entwined its fingers around the bases of the large evergreens. The sheep were let out and slowly ambled towards the river’s edge, perhaps to reflect their runs for the day. A hint of smoke was in the air and it was discovered that lightning had hit several trees next to the set out. The three trees were blackened and any remaining life in them would soon die out. Dirk had moved the sheep into the exhaust for the night; had they been in the set out for the night, they would have not survived the lightning hit.

I was running second to last and there were twelve handlers running. The first gather was in the opposite direction of where we had been sending the dogs all weekend. The sheep were in a dip and the dogs had to go over a hill, then down the dip and then swing behind the sheep. The dip turned out to be the bane for many of the dogs as it would suck them up the dip and into the heads of the sheep. The second gather was in the same spot as we had been running all weekend. The fetch panels were between the two fields and up on a hill. You would not know if you hit the panels until the last minutes and there was a high chance of going out of the dip in the wrong line with no time for correction.

The drive away was to the right and was a long crossdrive. There was a slight dip in front of the cross drive panel that fooled people into being low. Five sheep were marked and you have to shed off four of them. There were ten sheep and they were wily Scotties. Then you had to pen the sheep and they were hard to pen all weekend.

Several of the dogs were determined to go to the area where the sheep were set out from the weekend but they finally got to the sheep. Most of them crossed on the second gather. The second fetch proved to be the undoing of many dogs, as they did not do the dogleg fetch but brought the sheep straight down the field. The drive was tough as the day got very hot and the sheep’s feet turned to stone. Three people got the shed and pen.

Watching this all day made me nervous so I went and hung out with Nan, had lunch and then took photos. Then it was my turn and Nan and I walked to the post as a team. She gazed into my eyes like Tess used to do and we had a special connection at that moment. I set her up to the first field and sent her. She shot off like a rocket then slowed down, realizing she was going in the other direction than she had been doing all weekend. I gave her a hard, long come bye whistle and she ran at full speed. She came up at the dip and saw the sheep and I was ready to give her a big flank to prevent her from doing up short but she whipped out wide and deep behind the sheep and my heart sang with joy. She took my flanks and I thought we were off line so I gave her another flanks and that caused us to miss the fetch panel. We lost three for the outrun, one for the lift and 13 for the fetch.

We dropped the sheep she did the turn back to go for the second set. I looked and to my horror, the sheep were not there. Therefore, I dropped her and waited. It was about three minutes before the sheep came out and I sent her before they were at the post, as I did not want to lose any more time. She flanked out correctly and had nice lift. The sheep tried to run back to the setout but she got them and did her dogleg fetch and we missed the panels. We lost seven for the outrun, one for the lift and eight for the fetch.

Meanwhile the first set had drifted down to the exhaust. I fetched the second set until they were parallel to the first set, picked up the first set, and brought them to my feet.

Nice first leg of the drive.
Perfect at the second drive panel.

Nan had a stunning turn at the post and held the first leg of the drive dead on, had a tight turn at the first panels, straight as an arrow to the second panel, dead on and a nice turn to the ring. She lost 4 points for the drive and it was an amazing drive. The sheep wanted to stop and eat all the time but she really leaned on the sheep and kept them moving. She brought them smartly into the shedding ring and we began our work in earnest.
Lining them up in the ring.


More patience.

Cutting the set.

Driving them off.

Down to four collar and one uncollar when the fifth collared one comes back.

OK, then we did the last cut.

We lined them up, made our cut, and began to slow slough off the sheep. I was to take four of the five collared sheep off and were down to four collared and one uncollared. The uncollared was a lamb whose mother was one of the collared ewes. We were having a hard time but were working hard at it. The fifth collared ewe who I had cut out suddenly realized that her four buddies were in the ring and she was not so she bolted in. I quickly took advantage of this, cut out the collared ewe and her lamb, and made the shed. We lost 13 on this aspect.

Nan is a penning machine.

Nan marched the ewes into the pen like the pro that she is and we were done. Nan lost no points on this section and was the only dog to have a perfect pen. Her total score was 120. I was very happy with Nan. We rushed off the field to get water. Nan took a dip into the water trough and Dirk brought me water to drink, as I was feeling faint from the heat.

After it was all done, I had to rush home to change to go to Joe and Heather’s wedding. It was refreshing to sit under a huge tent, be cool, and enjoy the wedding.

Final Placing:

Dirk/Amos 123
Diane/Nan 120
Brian N/Pleat 101
Nancy Neal/Lad 90
Lorri/Quill 89
The next seven were RT or DQ.

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