Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Semis- First half

Thanks to Allen McPherson of Total Computer Solutions, Inc.,, for use of his aircard. He is on his anniversary vacation and has been generous for the use of his aircard so you can read the blog. Yesterday it was Jeanne B who donated the aircard time.

Good morning everyone! A brisk and beautiful clearless sky start to the day of semifinals here at Klamath. Not much haze to the air as compared to before. Your bloggers today are Lise Anderson, Ben Kercsmar and me!! I also took pixs and will put them up when I get back home.

Dawn Boyce with Juno drew up first. I missed most of her run but she missed the second drive panel low and did not finish her pen and single. Score was 137.

Kathy Knox and her 10 yr old Tweed. She has made all her panels with a slight fast wide turn on the first drive away panel, where the sheep have a tendency to run up the hill once thru the panel. Her run is pretty smooth arriving into the shed ring with 7:45 remaining. A 1 minute shed of the two unmarked sheep and with 6”30 left the sheep have passed the pen slightly but repositioned in the mouth and they walked right in. 5 minutes remaining to shed the single collar. Her patience at 2:15 remaining rewarded her with a wonderful single. Her score 173.

Mike, with 3 time National champion Bill Berhow, are up third. His sheep have been quietly set at the top by one dog and person. They appear content to be here at the finals. A nice outrun with a slight left lift. A bit off line before the panel. His sheep are very happy to be going along with Mike, a lovely black and white large male. So far, the first 3 handlers have been exceptionally quiet with their whistles and demeanor. The sheep are approaching the 1st drive panel at a lope and they slowed before the panel before walking thru allowing Mike to turn the sheep tightly. Oh these morning runs are going to be lovely…the sheep are delightful….air cool…what a terrific trial. The drive was lovely and calm. 6:45 to shed the two uncollared. The Semi final handler’s sure do bring out their “A” game. Bill has a calm quick shed leaving 5:40 to pen. The sheep appear to be going right in….one popped out and Mike covered her. A collared sheep rings around the pen….they appear so calm……..there they go in at 3:50. Plenty of time for Bill to get his collared single. His run ends at 3:14 with a perfect single. Score: 174

Don Whittington and Fionn, a striking marked Border Collie walked to the post in the crisp, cold air. Even though there was sun on the hills, we all shivered with our thick coats. A scattering of handlers wandered about. The outrun was fast and Don had to work to slow Fionn down. They had a nice drive and waltzed into the shedding ring. There was a bit of fuss and dust flurried about but they got the pen and the single was a real crowd pleaser. Score of 156.
Gayle Richardson from Georgia came walking by and I was awed by her pink boa. She made it and I quickly looked at it. She also made the pink sweater that had a sheep knitted on the back. Oh, she is my newest best buddy since she gave me her pink boa. I lOVE her. The pink boa was made to raise money for cancer fund raiser. She has been knitting since she was 7, that’s a long time. She has recently started doing her own designs, (Coppar Creek Designs) and am working her website which will be up and running in the coming months. Which will also have weaving and pottery products. She also has a small flock of reg. Tunis sheep, and uses the wool from for handknitting and spinning and welcomes knitting questions, and does custom work.

Jennifer Clark-Ewers Sweep had a nice outrun and a bit offline lift but she straighten it out for a fast but controlled pace on the fetch. Her whistles are very soft and you were hard pressed to hear them. Onto the shed….Jennifer in her quick hand signaling style drops her hand and Sweep slices inn with confidence. Her pen was nice and then once again during her single she just waved her hand and Sweep does a perfect shed. I sure wish I could wave my hand about and get the shed or singles as quickly as she did!! Score: 157

Thad Fleming and Bill had a nice outrun and lift and a fast controlled fetch and made the panels. He kept his dog off the sheep . One sheep jumped high at the turn and quickly decided she wanted to be and he got a good start on his drive. It was fast and he still kept his dog off the sheep and they moved nicely on the drive. He just scraped by the second panels and tight turn to the shed. In the shed, the sheep lined up and Thad walked quietly to the side and looking smart in his bright pink shirt, black hat with pink and a hot pink crook, called in Bill but at the last minute on collared ewe burst back into the group he had shed. So, he quickly regrouped them and got the shed at 4:25. Thad held the gate open and Bill lined them up straight to the mouth of the pen. One ewe kept trying to break away and Bill cleverly held her and got the pen. The two collared ewes stuck together like glue but with skillful maneuvering, he pried one apart for beautiful single. Score is 137

Dennis Gellings and Jan, again showed again, some wonderful handling. The outrun was impeccable, lift was nice and fetch was straight. The drive was straight on and tight turns and they strolled into the ring. Quick as a wink shed and a little fuss at the pen and the single was so quick, that I missed it. It was very quiet throughout the course and demonstrated that these sheep can be handled quite well. Score is 158.

Haley Howard and her adorable Ross, who had won the 2006 Nursery Finals, waited at the post. His outrun was fast and the lift was nice. There was a little bit of a fuss at the top and the sheep were fast and a little offline but she got it under control and all was settled down. They made the panel and a slow turn at the post and forward to the first drive. Ross was pacing nicely behind the sheep and they was calm and everyone looked happy. A nice turn at the first panel and lined them up nicely for the crossdrive. A hair low and they made the second panel. Haley and Ross looked quite the pair in the ring and the sheep lined up nicely. The crowd was silent as she worked the sheep back and forth and Ross came in and held it, floating on air or so it seemed. Ross calmly walked the sheep to the pen and they walked in quick as a wink. Not a break in a stride!! With 2:15 left, they were in the ring and they walked about for a bit then one sheep calmly looked at Ross and one red collar ewe gave herself up for the single with Ross hard at her shoulder with 15 seconds. Score is 183

Terry Pelky and Dash, who was dressed in a sharp sport jacket went to the post. Dash went out and kicked out wide and the lift was sporty. A bit fast and offline and she missed the fetch panel but quickly got back online. They turned the post and there was a standoff and the ewes decided to get with the program. Nice going through the panel and tight turn and on the first part of the drive, the ewes turned again but Dash got them going again. Her drive was very quiet and slow but online. Nice turn after the panels, and to the ring for the first shed. The sheds have been tough this morning, and this was no exception. Finally got a very smooth shed, but the sheep proved heavy and the walk to the pen was slow. Terry and Dash timed out at the pen. Dash, at just3, is the youngest dog in the open division.

Alasdair MacRae, in a pink ball cap, and Star (national champion in both 2006 & 2007) started with a wide outrun away. Star came in nicely behind the sheep and had a smooth lift. Star worked WELL back of the sheep, but the ewes came right down the fetch line and hit the panels dead on. Good turn, with just a slight stop at the top, right into a beautiful drive (this team had the best drive in the semis yesterday). The ewes went perfectly through the panels, and Star made a nice turn to the crossdrive. Straight across the field to the panels, into the turn without missing a beat. One of the quickest sheds of the day and again an Alasdair trademark. . A slight bobble at the pen didn’t slow Star down, and the sheep were in the pen in no time. The team headed back to the shedding ring with nearly 6 minutes to spare. Shedding the single proved more difficult than the pair, but they were up the challenge and Alasdair called Star through for a smooth shed. A gorgeous run, finishing with a 183. The crowd was excited at such a beautiful run.

Lee Lumb and Chica started with a nice outrun and lift, but the sheep tore down the field at warp speed to miss the fetch panels. Unlike the last few groups, these ewes are quite light. They headed for the exhaust at the turn at the post. The first turn was the wrong direction, but Lisa and Chica corrected it and had a nice turn. The drive was fast but nice, with the ewes coming through the panels dead on. The crossdrive was the fastest thus far- these sheep like to run! They went high on the panels, but had a nice, tight turn to the shedding ring. They worked very hard for their shed, and finally got it. The sheep were nearly in the pen when two ewes squeezed BETWEEN Lee & the gate. They got the pen just as the clock timed out. The sheep she had were one of the lightest sets all week.

Pat Shannahan and Bett went to the post in their best pink attire voted on by your blog staff. Bett ran to the top and stopped short and the sheep were offline but got them back online quickly. She made the panels and had a nice turn at the post. The first leg was fast but online and hot, they hit the first panels right on and a well executed turn. A bit high and then online and well controlled. These ewes are fleet of foot but with skillful handling they hit the center of the second panels and a wonderful turn at the panel. A quick and easy first shed, led right to a smooth pen. The second shed took some work, but they had plenty of time, and got a fast, dramatic shed with Bett hot on the collared ewe’s flank. Score 144.

George Stambulic and Kate had a nice outrun, but lifted the sheep a little early. They quickly got the sheep back online and had a fast fetch right through the fetch panels. If George keeps up this pace, he’ll have plenty of time in the shedding ring! They slowed the ewes at the post and had a beautiful, smooth turn to the drive. The ewes were headed high on the drive panels, but Kate came around and sent them right through. The sheep nearly took off back up the field, but once again, George and Kate brought them back online and they headed straight across the field and through the cross-drive panels. They hit the shedding ring with ten minutes on the clock. They had a smooth, quick first shed. The sheep were right at the gate of the pen when they bolted past George. These are crafty sheep, and are taking no guff from handler or dog. One ornery ewe bolted when the four other sheep were in the pen, and then all five bolted out. Finally all the sheep were in. The fast pace of this run was surely a benefit, as George and Kate headed back the shedding ring with five minutes still to go. After a short set-up, George called Kate through for the final shed. We all were rooting for George as he is a very nice person and a good representation of the sport. Score 141.

Candy Kennedy and Moss started with an amazingly wide outrun, but then Moss cut the top corner off to get to the sheep. The diagonal approach proved to work, and the lift was smooth into the fetch. The ewes wobbled on the fetch, and looked like they were going to miss the panels, but Moss corrected, and the sheep made it through. The sheep were looking to the exhaust, but the turn was nice. Their drive was wobbly; the ewes nearly went low, Moss corrected, and four went through, but one ewe went high. The crossdrive was fast, again, and the ewes dove high of the panels. The shed took some work to set up, but they got it. Moss flanked hard and fast to keep one ewe from bolting, and they got the pen. The final shed was quick and easy to finish the course. Moss is one scopey and strong dog.Score 127.

Scott Glen and Maid were up next. Scott was the Nursery Champion with Don yesterday. I ma rooting for Scott as he helped me get into the sport many years ago. As a result, I ran in the Finals and I thanks him for his guidance over the years. I learned from the best. Maid flew up the field in her outrun for the fetch. The sheep once again came flying up the field for a somewhat wobbly fetch, but Scott and Maid put the ewes back online to make the panels. They slowed for a nice turn at the post, and headed out for a smooth drive right through the panels. A tight turn led to a straight crossdrive right through the panels. Scott set up a perfect shed, and Maid made it look effortless to separate the unmarked ewes. Maid marched the ewes right into the pen with nary a pause. The collared ewes were not happy to split from the group. One ewe did split off, and Scott tried for the shed, and the ewe went up and over Maid to rejoin the flock, the many “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. After a little more work, they got the single and the shed was called with just 36 seconds to spare. It was a brilliant single and Miad looked like a top caliber cutting horse holding the ewe. Score 162.

Derek Fisher went to the post with Jen. If they gave points for handler dress style points, Derek would surely win with his impeccable style. I (as in Diane) tried to get Derek to wear my pink boa but he turned me down and I was crushed!! ) Jen came in a bit tight, but had a decent lift. These sheep seem heavier than the previous groups, but Jen marched them down the field. Derek had to holler at Jen a few times, but the sheep came through the fetch panels to the post on a straight line. Jen marched the sheep right around the post at a nice, steady pace, then pushed them on line to the drive panels. The sheep had a short run, but this group is just as happy to stop and graze as to take off running. Derek and Jen had a fantastically tight turn after the drive panels. Jen is having to work to keep these heavy ewes moving! The sheep dove high around the crossdrive panels, but didn’t get too far before Jen put them back online to the shedding ring. Derek has had one of the calmest runs thus far- the sheep have marched along at a workmanlike trot through most of the course. Derek seemed to stroll casually around the sheep, when Jen flew through for the shed. Jen had the ewes in the pen with no trouble at all; almost 4 minutes for the single shed. Derek so calmly works his sheep into position, looking like a fashion model more than a stockman, and Jen comes through to split off the single collared ewe. Score 180.(Derek, don’t hate me [Ben wrote this] for this write-up. By the way, Nan was curled up in MY dog’s box last night. So there.) (Diane’s note- Derek and Ben are going to wrestle for my Nan!! Tickets will be on sale shortly!)

Corey Perry sent Jill on a come-by outrun- the first of the day. It’s the tougher side terrain-wise, but if the dog can get up past the hill, it sets them up to come in nicely behind the sheep. Jill lifted her sheep a little offline, and even after getting them back, the sheep came tearing down the field (more light sheep!) and missed the fetch panels. They sheep kept running, and were stopped just past the post for a nice turn. The sheep settled nicely for the drive away, but dove high of the panels at the last minute. The sheep tried to go low of the crossdrive panels, but Jill put them back up to make it. The ewes must have worn themselves out as they marched very nicely to the shedding ring. Corey had a fast first shed, and the sheep were sent to the pen like they should be. The second shed was not easy, and the clock timed out before Corey and Jill could split off one collared ewe. Score

Joe Haynes and Rain had a tight outrun, but a nice lift, and fetch. The turn at the post was smooth and steady, when the sheep bolted for the drive. The drive was back-and-forth, but Rain sent the sheep through the panels for a seriously tight turn. The crossdrive was fast and looked high, but the sheep were dead-on through the panels. Joe set up a lovely shed and Rain came cleanly through for the call. They had a very nice, very calm pen. After one missed attempt at the single, Joe had another lovely shed, ending a pretty nice run. This was a clam and very thoughtful run and a real crowd pleaser. Joe is from Washington State and recently was married to lovely Heather. We are rooting for this newly wed!! Score 173.

Jim Swift and Zac laid down a nice outrun, kicking out at the top to come in well behind the sheep. The lift was nice, but the fetch got offline and the sheep missed the panels. Zac runs very wide behind his sheep, but he came in for a decent turn at the post. The drive was very speedy, with the sheep tearing through the panels. Zac ran wide around the sheep, but got the turn and headed into the cross drive at warp speed. The sheep hit the panels dead on, but were so far ahead of Zac that he had to flan kwide and fast. By the time he reached the sheep, they were well down the field toward the exhaust. Zac brought the sheep to the shedding ring, but holding them there was tough. Jim retired in the shedding ring.

Patricia MacRae and Max were up next. Max ran nice and wide for a smooth lift. The fetch was fairly straight and right through the panels to the post. The turn was smooth, and the sheep started online for the drive. They had a slight bobble, but Max corrected to send the sheep through the panels into a lovely turn for the crossdrive. The crossdrive was straight across the field smack-dab in the center of the panels. Patricia had a nice, smooth shed, then she lined the ewes up for the pen. She was smart and shook the rope at the sheep- they’ve shown a tendency to dodge between the rope and the gate. Four ewes went in, and with a wee bit of push, the fifth was in for the pen. With less than a minute Patricia called Max in for the final shed. Score 185.
Judy Loflin and Lass overran a little at the top and corrected into a fast fetch. The turn at the post was smooth into a drive that wobbled a bit. The sheep made it through the panels and Lass flew around for a fantastically tight turn to the crossdrive. They made the crossdrive panels and had another tight turn to the shedding ring. Judy had some work to line up the shed, and it took a good bit of time, but when she got it, it was nice and smooth. She timed out at the pen and almost had it when the buzzer went off.
This is the halftime report and we will do the last report this late afternoon.

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