Wednesday, September 30, 2009

USBCHA Finals- People

Here are some random shots of people from the Finals. Since I was blogging so much, I was unable to take a bunch of photos. In the next few days, I will post photos from Nursery (not much) and photos from Open (A whole lot more)




Riger Culbreath from Co.




Melanie Chang who tooks tons of great pictures!!




Roger and Melanie as they were visiting me. I am sure Roger is happy that he can pose with a cute gal!!.




Pearse Ward, also blogging




Derek Fisher, the Fashion Model, just before his run.


Joe Haynes.


Suzanne Anaya, one of the nicest people - EVER!


Tim Ballard, from Canada and a witty guy.


Several folks at the gate, awaiting their turns. Patrick and Lana.


Candy Kennedy and Geri Bryne. Much thanks to Geri for hosting the Finals.


Kristi and Melanie. Solo is with Melanie.

Shilah, aka Vanna.


Joe Hayne, proud to wear pink.


Joe and Rain waiting to go on the field. Heather, his new bride is at home so I made sure I got photos of Joe for her!!


Tricia and Alasdair. Aren't they the cutest couple.


This is a beautiful picture of them.




Bev Lambert and Bill Berhow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

USBCHA General Photos

Here are some general photos that I took.  Later, I will post photos, runs and people.


View of the Handler's tent. Can you name folks?



The Judge's Tent


View of the Handler's tent from the back.


The Panel folks. I can't remember who they were but the equipment was great and sturdy!!



The Open Field. To the left, see the words "sheep"...that is the setout area.


Entrance to the Open Field.



Canadian Row...can you name them? I know most of them.



More handlers....who can you name?


Under the Handler's Tent. Who do you know?


Amanda holding the Flag during the singing of the National Anthems.


The American Flag being carried by a mini mule.


The Hostess table. I am sitting down at the end and see this feast all day.


Another view. They were the BEST!! My friend, Roger is in the pix.


The View that I had.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Blogger and the Editor

We just got in and I don't have time to edit pixs and upload. I am wiped out and going to bed as have to get up at 6 to go to W-O-R-K!!

I'll start on photos for tomorrow's blog.

But for now, here are pixs of Tess and me. She qualified at 11 years old but I retired her so she came as my lapwarmer and editor.

At the laptop with Tess helping with some typing.



Now she is my lapwarmer and helping we watch the runs so I can write about them. Tess wants to thank all the handlers that fed her treats during this week. Tess is going to have to go on a D-I-E-T this week to shed the extra weight as well as me!!

(btw, I do not need to go on a diet....it was a joke!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

USBCHA Double Lift

Bloggers Ben & Diane. International-Style Double Lift Finals.

Ben is starting off blogging this morning. Diane will take over when Ben’s brain explodes!! Actually, we are taking turns until Ben has to leave at noon to make the long journey home back to Lopez Island. Ben has graciously stepped up to the plate to help me blog, otherwise, the blog would be a lot less content. It takes a lot of time and effort to write about each run and after a bit, I just get tired. Ben had no idea that I would rope him into this duty and I want to thank him for his tireless effort the last few days. In addition, Lise Andersen spent a bit of time blogging as well the LaPlatts stepped in to help. And occasionally we would bug handlers who stood next to us for details when we missed parts of it. It took a great team to make this happen and had they not helped me, the updates would be thinner. Having said that, we hope you enjoyed what we wrote. Oh yes, one last item, you will notice typos, grammar mistakes and whatnots, so calm down, we did the best we could and uploaded pretty much after it was over and didn’t have time to pretty it all up…so if you are having heartache with our sentence structure and format, have a cool beer and relax because we are not going to fix it.

This is going to be a long blog today- these are the top handlers, on a long course. The handlers today are all in their best dress as they walk to the post. Derek is the fashion model deluxe. We are blogging as well as we can but not getting a total step by step account and we are not judges, just bloggers. We are not getting every step of the runs but what we can see and type at the same time.

The first outrun is a come bye, and is tough because the dog has to run wide, up and over a hill to find the sheep. The outruns today are over 500 yards on the first set and 680 yards on the second set. The turn at the post is counter-clockwise, followed by a right-hand drive. 30 min time on course. 680 points total; 4 judges and we are really happy we are not on that judging spot!! The scores below are unofficial and for all official USBCHA information, please go to the usbcha.org website. Francis and her team is doing an excellent job of updating the website.

Once again, the hostess folks gave us power, a corner to put our gear, and food and drinks to bring you this blog. We want to point out that we ate very well and they took extra good care of us. They are the tireless workers who made the hander’s tent a wonderful place to pull up a chair, have hot drinks or cold drinks, fruit, pastries and tons of other assorted items to make it an enjoyable place. We thanks them for their hard work. In another blog, I will on about other parts of the trials.

Ben is writing this section as Diane drank her coffee and cleared her brain of cobwebs. Was quite full due to the Mike’s hard lemonade she drank the night before. I, as in Diane, will edit Ben’s section and add my comments but most of it is Ben’s fine typing until he left late morning.

First up on this chilly morning is Bill Berhow and Mike. Mike expertly lifted the first set of sheep and brought them right through the panels, then went back on the away side for the second set of sheep. The second set of sheep is close to the previous day’s set out, and that’s where they headed. Mike had to work to turn the sheep around, but he and Bill soon had them on line. The first packet of sheep took off back through the fetch panels to join the first set. No worries, as Mike brought all 20 sheep through the panels. They made a smooth turn and put the sheep right online to make the drive panels. They crossdrive was equally nice, and the sheep made the panels and turned for the shedding ring. The sheep are still cool and slow from the previous night, and Mike is polite to his stock. The sheep settled well in the shedding ring. A master shedder, Bill quickly sent a group of uncollared sheep out of the ring. Two more quick sheds left Bill and Mike with their five collared sheep. One ewe challenged Mike, but he stood his ground and the ewes were on their way to the pen. The discard group was very vocal, creating a strong draw for the collared ewes. The march to the pen was slow, but again Mike proved his mettle and stood down the ewes to bring them to the mouth of the pen. Bill’s patience with dog and sheep paid off as the ewes were penned with 2 minutes still on the clock. Score is 464.

Amanda Milliken and Ethel were up next. Ethel, with her years of experience, ran wide and lifted her first group of sheep. She seemed to think she should turn back right then for the second group, but Amanda gave her an “Ethel! Here!” and the sheep were on their way to the panels. Ethel brought the sheep through, and then left them for the away out run, while the sheep kept running for the exhaust (behind the post). Ethel again ran wide behind her second set and lifted the sheep straight. The sheep tried to double back, but they were soon back on line. Amanda and Ethel brought this group right through the panels and to the post to pick up the first group at the exhaust. All 20 sheep went through the panels, and Ethel made a beautiful turn to the crossdrive. A couple of ewes lagged on the crossdrive, but Ethel kept them moving. Two (?) ewes went low of the panels, but the rest made it through. Amanda split a large group of uncollared ewes off, but one collared ewe rejoined and they had to re-start the shed. They split off 8 ewes, and held the rest. The split group hung close to the shedding ring, making the tough shed even harder. A few more sheep gone, and they drifted to the exhaust. One collared ewe made a break for it, and the whole group was brought back together again. They timed out without getting the shed. Score is 432.

Alasdair MacRae and Nap started with their sheep bolting for the setout, but Nap was wide enough to turn them back. Nap brought the sheep low around the hill and online right through the panels. The first group positioned themselves nicely for the turn, while Nap took a beautiful look back to lift the second set. The sheep were headed to the right of the panels, but Alasdair and Nap pushed them back to make the panels. Meanwhile, the first group had drifted to the shedding ring, but some quick flanking brought them back to the post for the turn. The drive was straight through the panels, although the sheep wanted to string out on the crossdrive, Nap kept his sheep together to the panels, and brought them all through. In just over a minute in the shedding ring, Alasdair and Nap had 10 of the unmarked sheep out. A collared ewe tried to leave with another group, but Nap brought her back and sent two more ewes toward the exhaust. Again, Nap pushed one bolting collared ewe back to the shedding ring. After a bit of work, they had the last two ewes shed off. Nap quickly brought the sheep to the pen, and with a little hesitation, the ewes were in and the gate shut. Score is 594.

Patricia MacRae and Max started their run the moment the sheep were set. Max ran high and wide and lifted his sheep quickly. The sheep were quick to the panels and Patricia sent Max back the minute the sheep were through. From here, Max looks lovely at the top, running wide, and coming in well behind his sheep. The sheep again drifted to the right of the panels-toward the exhaust, and the first group- but Patricia and Max brought them back and through the panels. The turn and drive were smooth, and Max made a tight turn around the panels to set up for the crossdrive. The sheep split and half of them went low and the rest went through. Twice Patricia had most of the uncollared sheep split off when the ewes regrouped. She split off a group of ewes, but they timed out at the shed. Score is 425.

Haley Howard and Bodie started with a wide, wide outrun. Bodie cut in, and Haley sent him back out. He over ran a bit and the sheep lifted to the left. They brought the sheep back online and made the fetch panels dead on. Bodie got a bit confused on the turn back and started toward the first set out. Haley eventually sent Bodie back across the field, but when he crossed in front of the sheep, they bolted toward the set out. Bodie flanked fast around his sheep and brought them back down the field to make the panels. The drive was a bit off at the top, but they made the panels and turned for the crossdrive. The crossdrive was nice and straight and all the sheep made the panels. Haley and Bodie slowly split off the unmarked ewes- down to just one ewe without a collar in the ring. They couldn’t quite get that last ewe out, and timed out without getting the shed. Score is 332

Ben had to leave at this point to get packed so Diane is taking over. She just had an espresso so is wired to type. Ben will return to help with some more and then head home so at this point it is a tag team effort.

Dan Keaton and his York ran right after the National Anthem. He is a robust looking dog. He went out and needed a couple of redirect but got his sheep. The dust stirred up the field behind the sheep as they came through the panels. York spun for his turnback and crossed as the sheep were not set yet. He cast out and got them and fetched them neatly. The mob swirled about at the post and York came on to them and got the first panels, and held them on a nice clip for the second panels. They were tightly bunched and came in fast in the ring but ground to a halt in front of Dan. Contended ewes will graze and they soon began to eat the alfalfa, unaware that Dan and York were maneuvering them for the shed. Soon nine ewes were cut off and much to their surprise they were eased out of the ring. But, alas a red collar was among that group so they were put back together. The sheep walked out of the ring and York took a soak and soon everyone was back to the ring for another attempt. Again, a shed but a collared ewe and they were regrouped. Dan was calm in the shed and got a cut with 8 minutes remaining. I couldn’t hear Dan at all in the ring, as he was that quiet. Dan looked up and saw that a red collar ewe snuck off from the mob he was working and snuck into the discard group so he regathered them. He sent York to the tub to cool off. At 1:52, he made his first cut, but darn it, one collared one was in the group so a regroup. Another cut of four uncollared and it was going smoothly and time ran out. Bummers as it was a very quiet work in the shedding ring. Score is 316

Patrick Shannahan and Riggs walked on the course at 11:00 a.m. and it was sunny but still cool. With his black leather jacket and tall pose, he looked every bit a regal person that he is. When I first started, Patrick helped me quite a bit and was very kind. He is another person that I give credit to in getting me started. He never laughed at me as I would bumble about and always offered me words of encouragement. He still does encourage me and is still a class act. Riggs went our very wide and came back very deep and had to be whistled back to the sheep. He got behind the sheep and had a nice lift and took his flanks to start the dog leg fetch. They disappeared in the gully and came over the hill, right on line to the fetch panels and Riggs took an excellent turnback. His sheep that he had dropped ran down in front of the handler’s tent. Riggs had an excellent outrun and had a nice lift and they began to come down the course at a nice controlled pace. I can see why that Patrick is one of the top handlers on this run. They were tightly bunched and moving at a fast trot and Riggs had to flank hard but did a nice job to put them crisply through the fetch panels. The first set saw the second set and came galloping up to join them at the post. A flank by Riggs had them all tucked in and they were tightly bunched on the first leg and trotted smartly through the first panel. An extremely tight turn and still bunched together, they trotted like little soldiers across the cross drive. All made through the panels and another tight turn to the ring with 15:45 remaining. The gate opened and four ewes were cut out. They slipped back in so he opened the gate again and ten ewes were out. Patrick and Riggs began to do the dance in the ring, each leading on their side to hold the ewes and set up the next one to go through the gate. The last three ewes sprung the gate and it was slammed on the five red collared ewes. What a great shed to watch. The crowd roared with appreciation of job well done. He worked hard at trying to pen the ewes and they danced with protest and one bolted faster than Seabiscuit to join the uncollared ewes near the fetch panels at 6 minutes remaining. We all groaned!! Patrick quickly got the first cut, working well under pressure and (I am sure it was the Seabiscuit ewe) ran to join her uncollared buddies again. He quickly cut 11 ewes out at 2:55 remaining, then two more in the next 15 seconds, then one more and he had one uncollared ewe left. Seabiscuit made her run and beat Riggs back to the uncollared group. Patrick regathered the sheep, but timed out without getting the shed. Score is 465.

Ben returns and Diane leave to take pictures while Ben write the next run.

Tom Wilson and Sly had a fantastic outrun and lift to fetch the sheep straight to through the panels. After a bit of a look, Sly headed off wide around the second set of sheep for a nice lift and fetch. Her first set of sheep had drifted to the pen. Sly left her second set of sheep at the post, then Tom sent her out wide to bring the first set back. They had a beautiful drive with just one slight bobble, but Sly put all 20 sheep through the panels and made a tight, fast turn. The crossdrive was a bit low, and the sheep were heading below the panels, when Tom flanked Sly fast around to the heads and stopped the sheep before they’d all gone past the panels. The sheep turned back, Sly took another lightning fast flank, and every ewe went between the panels. In the penning ring, Tom and Sly were slowly working their uncollared sheep out, when several ewes bolted for the discard group. It looked like Sly was going to head off the one collared ewe, but the sheep made a mad dash, and the shed had to be restarted. They sorted off all but one of the unmarked ewes, then split off a pair. Tom and Sly managed to send the one unmarked ewe to the discards, and with 21 seconds left on the clock, the shed was called. They timed out before the pen. Score was 490.

Back from pictures, the next one is the tag team and then Ben had to leave. Thanks to Ben for his help. I love you!! Oh yes, Ben is a baker and brought his pastries to your trailer so we all adopted him!!

Allen Mills and Sis started with a very tight outrun, but Sis (who is just 3) kicked out at the end to come in well behind the sheep for a nice lift. Sis maintained a decent line to the panels, and just managed to send the sheep through to the post. She took her look back, but headed off in the come bye direction, then took her correct whistle and flew around behind her sheep, this time wide the whole way. Her second lift was also nice, although the sheep started off line to the right of the panels. Allen and Sis corrected, with Sis positively flying down the field, to put the sheep right through the middle of the panels. The sheep were heavy at the turn- going away from the exhaust- but this little dog is a powerhouse and sent the sheep on their way to the drive panels. The start of the drive was little slow- again, the draw to the exhaust behind-but the sheep were put back on line and all made it through the panels. Sis’s speed came in handy as she made a tight turn to the cross drive. They had a bit of a wobble on the cross drive- the sheep do want to string out there- but made the panels and had another tight turn to the shedding ring. Their first split in the ring left just six sheep, but Allen brought them all back. He could see, and we couldn’t, that one of the large group had a collar. It wasn’t long before they had a group of ewes shed off, leaving just 3 unmarked ewes in the ring. They split off a pair, held them close, then sent the last single to join them. Allen pushed the last few ewes out while Sis held the marked sheep, and the shed was complete. He had a nice, calm demeanor in the ring and Sis worked her heart out for him. With nearly 10 minutes to spare, they went to the pen. Sis only needed one attempt at the shed to be just the third dog today to finish the course. We’ll be seeing Sis on the course in the future- this is one heck of a nice dog! What a nice run from a Texan!! Sis is a daughter of Amelia Smith’s Price. In addition, Allen, keeps turning down my offer to trade Sis for the pink boa. It’s a fine pink boa and looked quite stunning on his cowboy hat but he decided to keep Sis. I think he would rather have a blue boa instead!! Score is 506.

Editors note: This is Allen’s first time to the Finals in the Open division. Last year, he was in the Nursery Finals with Sis!! What a way to go, not only the first time but leading at second at this point and a true gentlemen to boot. What a classy guy!!

Joe Haynes and Rain, one very nice young man went to the post. Rain went out tight and after a few redirects cast out smartly behind the first packet. We couldn’t tell if she crossed or not. The sheep came through the fetch panels and he turned her back. She flanked out but not wide enough and looked back to Joe for guidance. He gave a look back and she took it and crossed, still a bit confused, and then went back to the general area of where the first packet was set. Joe, being the true gentlemen, called her off and they walked off the course. We are proud of Joe and how far he had come!!

Scott Glen and Maid, a real crowd favorite, strode to the post, attired in a smart cap, crisp sports coat and with calmness, sent Maid. She needed a redirect and cast out wide, and came out neatly behind her sheep. She approached them quietly and they moved smoothly, maybe a bit offline. They dipped into the gully and we all waited for the packet to appear and they trotted out, with Maid flanking out wide, and they missed the fetch panels. They were offline to the drop off and went to the front of the handler’s tent, well past the drop off area and he had to work to get them back to the drop off. He brought the sheep back and she took the turnback. At the second packet, the outrun was nice, lift was fine, and part of the fetch was offline and the sheep entered the fetch panels at a nice trot. By this time, the first set was at the exhaust and Maid had to flank out wide to get them. He gathered both sets and they were in a nice bunch at the post for a nice turn. A bit offline but back online quickly and put through the first panels, quickly neatly and a nice tight turn. Maid looks to be a bit on the muscle but with Scott at the wheel, she relented. The sheep were lined out on the crossdrive and he had then put through the panels neatly again, and a tight turn to the ring. This time of the day, the sun is relentless and I am drinking my smoothies as fast as I can!! Maid and Scott in the ring will be a joy to watch. Scott strolled to the head of the ewes, stood there as if to give them a lecture, walked a step or two, and began his magic. The ewes, being apt students, did as he asked and the gate opened and eleven went through. The remaining students stood and moved as Scott asked and Maid held her side. Two more went through the gate and two uncollared were left and the Master spoke and the last two went via the gate. Scott drove off the uncollared ewes to the area of the crossdrive panel. Maid brought the five to the pen and they glanced at their buddies on the hill and one spilt to the back, then the others on the other side but Maid worked hard and got them back and then to the mouth of the gate again. With seven minutes remaining, the ewes stamped at Maid and turned and looked at Scott and heard the Master and went into the pen. All was quiet and the gate swung shut and the sky was filled with the noise of clapping. Note to me: do not clap while laptop is in your lap!! Score was 429.

Kathy Knox and Tweed went to the post at 1:10 p.m. Tweed burst out fast and was very tight and Kethy whistled hard and he crossed right in front of the first set, headed for the second packet (the area where they were all week). Tweed ran all the way up to the setout as they were taking out the second set and got behind them. Kathy retired when Tweed brought the second packet down. The judges called it a DQ.

Alasdair MacRae and Star,, another crowd favorite is number 13 in the run order. Star had a nice, thoughtful outrun, a nice lift and then they went offline. Alasdair stopped and flanked Star to get them back online to try to hit the fetch panels. With skillful whistling, the ewes poured through the panels, and the turnback was lightning quick. She flared out wide and then cut in and looked like she was going to cross but the redirects stopped her and she flared out deep. The lift was slow and controlled and they came straight to his feet. Star picked up the first packet that had wandered to the exhaust and he regrouped them tight for a sweet turn at the post. I could see 20 butts head down the hill to the first panel, a wisp of a Border Collie to the right and Alasdair standing tall at the post. There was a gentle trail of dust behind the sheep as they meandered through the panels and had a nice tight turn. The melody of the whistles lulled me but kept the sheep on the course and as they approached the second panel, the pace picked up but it was a nice drive and they made the panels. Star whipped to the side and brought them to the ring in a nice tight bunch and Alasdair calmly waited for the sheep. Alasdair is one of the Masters and his students listened well too. The first shed was a large group and he began to open the gate and then more went through. Oh no, as he was opening the gate for a few more, one red collar ewe made a fast jail break and joined several uncollared ewes. So, Alasdair had to regroup them at 12 minutes to spare. The master set up the gate, and began to school the students and the all marched out, leaving the last five. It was some brilliant execution on his part. At the pen, the sheep walked in, the quickest and crowd pleasing pen of the day. Perhaps a penning DVD would be in order? Score is 514.

I believe this just bumped Allen down to third.

Bud Boudreau and Sam arrived at the post at 1:50 p.m. Sam ran out wide and a whistle brought him back for a nice lift. The first part of the fetch was a bit offline and he got them back online before the fetch panels. A nice turn back and Sam began to bring the sheep at a fast pace, stirring up the mid day dust. He gathered the sheep and began to do the drive and was calm and quiet, made the first panels and had a sweet crossdrive, hit the second panels dean on and a nice turn to the ring. Bud nonchalantly walked about the ring, sorted a good bit, then strolled about, shed some more with Sam and then stopped a red collar from joining the uncollared. It seems like a casual walk in the park, quiet and unassuming but the job was getting done. The group that was being held tried to join the discards but they saw the gleam in Bud’s eye and stood still, as if made of granite. One large ewe, that seemed to be the size of a Shetland pony, wanted to joined the collar ewes and Bud and the ewe did a slow dance and since Bud was leading, he lead her back to the discards. Bud then did another waltz with a uncollared ewe that was with the collared ewes and he danced her to the discards. Bud looked at the ewes to do (hopefully) the final sort and San held his ground. Two more were sloughed off and three were left. Bud pushed the discards farther away while Sam dutifully held the ewes in the ring. Bud spilt one more ewe and she dashed to join her buddies over the hill, but Sam gathered her back no matter how hard Bud tried to call him back. Bud started to set up for another cut but time ran out. Score is 428.

Lavon Calzacorta and Tess, from Idaho came on at 2:22 p.m. Since Lavon has a dog named Tess, I am going to cheer for him. She started off wide then cut in and a good redirect got her to flare out and come out smartly behind her sheep. A bit offline then on and sheep came through the fetch panels and a few feet past the drop off point and stood still. Tess had a great turn back, and race to the top, nice and deep and I could see what the white on her front as she approached the second packet. A swirl of dust appeared behind the sheep and they came right on the fetch line to the panel. An excellent line to the second packet who hardly moved and they were cleverly pushed back online and to Lavon. Lavon is wearing a black vest and a bright blue shirt that made for a nice background as the sheep turned in front of him. A sweet turn at the post and they marched down the first leg of the drive. The crossdrive was nice and slow and sweet as sugar and they made the last panel and a nice turn and a bit offline before getting them back online. Lavon got the first cut rather quickly, then shed off a few more, and then the ewes tried to make a break for it but Tess stopped them. Tess is a tall, striking marked bitch that has tons of heart. The next few minutes were very tough as the discards wandered off and the remaining ewes had no draw, Lavon and Tess were very patient and took three more off who wanted to regroup and they stayed at the edge of the ring and stared at Lavon’s back. Tess gave them her eye and they wisely stood still and then poof, the last ewe was shed at 58 seconds. Lavon ran to the pen and opened the gate and the ewes were marching in but time ran out. A few more seconds and it looked like he could put them in. Lavon ran Tess up to the tub and we all gave a huge round of applause for this hard working duo!! Score is 494.

Haley Howards and Ross are second to last and she walked out in a stunning white cowboy hat and white shirt, Ross, the freckled face tri, stared up the field for the sheep. Ross maybe small but is big on sheep. He ran out fast, his feet kicking up small whirlpools of dust as he ran out wide and nice behind his sheep. He stopped at the top and had a soft lift and they disappeared in the gully as so many others had done all day. They came out online to fetch and held a nice pace to the gate and Ross dropped on command. The turnback was quick and he looked as if to cross and he dropped on her whistle as the crowd groaned. Ross kicked out wide and went back proper to the back of the second packet A bit offline and she flanked him and he got the sheep back online and they had a fast pace to the panels. The sheep went offline and Ross had to flank quickly to get them back online to make the panels. That Ross is a quick dog as they sheep were moving quickly. She combined the two packets and Ross stopped them from going to the exhaust when they were at the post. A nice line to the first panel and they made it through, a bit high but corrected quickly and a nice, controlled walk across the cross drive. A close save at the second panels as they were low but Ross turned them and a nice tight turn to the shed. The last leg was a bit off but Ross turned them to correct it. Haley walked quietly into the ring and Ross began to do his half of the work. She had 18 minutes going into the ring. The first cut had a handful and one red collared ewe who must have been related to Seabiscuit, the prior ewe kept trying to make a break. I will name her Ruffian as her wool was long. Ruffian tried again, her feet dancing in one spot, soon was stopped by the swift Ross. Again, Ruffian made her break and Haley tried to stop her but fell (unhurt) and Ross also tried but she won that race. Ross brought the ewes back into the ring while Haley patiently waited. Haley made a huge cut and then shed off another ewe. Ruffian tried again for the break but Haley was on to her antics and stopped her. Ten sheep left in the ring at 10 minutes and the crowd is quiet. Two more were shed but they wanted to join the collared ewes. More were shed and it was down to 2:30 with one unmarked and Ruffian joined the discards. Haley ran out of time and she got a great round of applause from the audience. Haley is a very polite handler who is very graceful and a nice person with a smile for all. I remember when she was 16 and she was very polite and she is still the same graceful person to this day. Score of 478.

Derek Fisher and Jen are the last competitor of the day. I am looking at Derek and he looks like he just stepped out of the GQ magazine. A sharp tie, black pants, a stylish vest, fancy shirt and a tweed cap gets the style points for the day. A nice wide outrun and the lift was off to one side and she took the sheep straight than the dog legs fetch at the top part of the fetch. Derek stopped Jen to try to get her to hold the flank but she was determined to bring them straight still. Finally, Jen began to bring the sheep properly and Derek worked hard to get the dog leg. Jen took the flanks and the fetch was nice to the panels. He had a bit of difficulty on the turnback and wanted to get the sheep in front of her. She did get the turnback and curled back. Derek stopped her and kept working it and she finally cast out for the second group of sheep, after numerous redirects. The lift was on and Derek worked on getting the sheep back online. The sheep went offline and Jen was wide and they missed the panels. Jen gathered the sheep and they worked hard to get them back online and to the post. Online to the first panel and Jen was pushing hard. The crossdrive was pretty nice with a few bobbles, hit the panels and smart turn to the shed with 13:18 to go. Derek stripped off his vest and I was awed by his bright yellow tie. Jen got a quick dip into the tub. Derek got the first cut and it looked like a pair of bookends, with both sets of sheep facing each other and Derek and Jen in the middle. They worked hard to shed off a few more and time ran out. Score was 308.

Congrats to Alasdair on First and Second place. Congrats to Allen on his third place.

No one had an aircard so this will be posted when we get to Dexter, which is 3 hours away. I had fun at the Finals and we, the blogging team, sure hope you enjoyed reading the blog.

Hopefully next year, I will be going to VA with Nan, Lucy or Roo and if so, I will be the blogging fiend!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The last of the Semis

I uploaded the first half and we took a quick lunch break as we didn’t get any breakfast and were starving. Ben and I are your bloggers. Much thanks to Jeanne Boudrieau for the aircard usage. She is a live saver.

We missed Ron Enzeroth and Dusty’s run-were uploading the first 20 runs. They did time out at the pen, and scored 76.

Carol Nelson and Jess have had a very fast run. The missed the fetch panels, had a wide turn at the post, and made the drive panels. The sheep went high on the cross drive panels. Carol had one ewe separate herself off from the group, and Carol attempted to split off one more ewe & call Jess through, but the sheep were too fast and regrouped. After another attempt with the self-sorted ewe, Carol sorted off the other two uncollared ewes and got her shed with just 1 minutes remaining on the clock. They timed out at the pen after a tough time in the penning ring. Score 68.

Pat Shannahan was up again, this time with Riggs. Riggs put down a wide, fast outrun to come in behind the sheep for a nice fetch line. Riggs reads his sheep well, and they set off at a nice pace. The sheep wanted to run across the field, but Riggs brought them back online to easily make the fetch panels. The pace picked up to the post, but not unreasonably, and the turn was tight and smooth. The drive was straight to the panels, with a tight turn and well-paced crossdrive. They hit the panels dead-on, and made it to the shedding ring with 8 minutes on the clock. Pat set up his usual quiet shed, and Riggs came through and held the pair off easily. The sheep hesitated at the pen, and after Riggs stopped several escape attempts, the sheep broke and he had to bring them back. This time, Riggs was taking nothing from the sheep, and they marched on into the pen. They got their final shed in less than a minute, ending a nice run. Score 174.

Tom Wilson and Sly are up. Sly is Diane’s Nan’s littermate. Sly took a nice fast outrun with no hesitation at the lift. The fetch was reasonably straight, the only wobbles at the top, and they hit the fetch panels. The sheep looked to the exhaust at the post, but Sly brought them around to set up for the drive. The sheep challenged Sly, and she showed her teeth to one of them before they gave in and headed on the drive. The sheep ran right between the drive panels, and made a tight turn for the crossdrive. Sly took the sheep straight across the field to the panels. The sheep nearly set themselves up in the ring, and Tom called Sly through for the shed. The sheep again challenged Sly on the way to the pen, but they must have remembered her teeth, because they backed down and marched right into the pen. Sly effortlessly shed off a single collared ewe and sent her to the other side of the shedding ring. It was an awesome run and some fine handling from the gentleman, Tommy. Score is 171

George Stambulic and Kate are back up again for the second time. She was nice on the outrun and bit fast on the fetch. The dust rolled up in swirls in the mid day sun. Now, the sun is beating upon us and I am glad that I under the handler’s tent. A nice driveway and picture perfect drive through, a bit wobbly on the drive and a quick save for the second panel. The sheep are wide on the turn but he did a quick recovery to line them up to march them into the ring. They broke out of the ring to dash to the exhaust and George skillfully worked Kate to bring them back. All is quiet now as we wait. The shed happened but it was out of the ring and he had to regroup and he set it up again with 6:15 remaining. They broke out of the ring again in the other direction and he regrouped them again. He lined them up and one ornery ewe broke back to the exhaust and the other four ran in the other direction. George, showing his class, walked off to tend to his lovely Kate and called his run. Score is RT.

Jennifer Glen and her stunning Lad sauntered to the post. Jenn had one of the brightest pink shirts!! Her sheep tried to break back to the setout several times and they finally got them settled. Lad ran out quickly on the away side and covered ground quickly, then came in like he was going to cross but she stopped him and reflanked him and he went out wide and deep behind the sheep. He came in slow to the sheep and Jenn showed her good handling skill. The ran a little offline not due to the dog and the sheep came back with Lad behind them. The started fast on the fetch but she slowed them down and hit the panels dead on and they came up quick to the post. The settled at the post and he moved up solid on the sheep. Her line was nice to the first leg and a stunning turn at the first leg. She set them up square on the crossdrive and they lined up nice and mosey through the second panels and again, a lovely turn to the ring. The sheep she needed to shed were in the middle and she had to finagle them to shed the uncollared two and she did it with style and calm control. The pen was a walk in and was over in less that 10 seconds!! To the shed for the singl,and at 3:15, and it seemed like without any effort, Lad came in for a wonderful shed. Score is 141.

[Editor’s note: Hello to Bob Salmon in Missouri from Larry Burch. He wants to know if you are really reading this or bluffing. If you are bluffing, you owe him a beer]

Bud Boudreau and Sam had a nice outrun and lift. I could hardly hear his whistles and the sheep looked smooth as they came down the top. It was a very calm and steady fetch and a quiet turn at the post. Sam was well off the sheep and they appreciate it but walking steady towards the first panel and a nice turn. They stopped for a brief snack and with Sam at the helm they started to do a nice steady crossdrive. It’s quiet, slow but he still has plenty of time. He hit the second panels and had w bit of a wide turn but he got back online quickly. With his flashy, large pink bandana, and gentleman walk, the shed was done within a minute of entering the ring. This team walked the sheep into the pen in 10 seonds, much faster than I could type this!! One missed attempt and with 58 seconds to spare, he got the single. We were all at the edge of our seats on this run. Bud has always been nice to me at the Finals that I have attended and I rooted for him on this run!! Score is 162.
[Ben again atht the helm. Diane and Ben are taking turns. Diane is getting wore out blogging. She can be revived with chocolate, in case you want to know…or Mike’s Hard Lemonade]
Larry Adams and Raid had a nice, wide outrun up the outside of the field for a nice lift. The fetch was fast and started straight until the sheep veered well off path to miss the fetch panels. The sheep stopped at the post and then headed for the exhaust at the turn. They didn’t get very far, though, and Raid brought them back online for the drive panels. The sheep went low of the drive panels. The sheep settled a bit for the drive, but were headed high on the crossdrive panels. Larry flanked Raid around and quickly corrected to make the panels. Larry had a fast and clean first shed, and headed for the pen. The sheep hesitated at the gate, but were calmly marched into the pen. They had several minutes left going into the final shed, but the collared ewes were wily about cutting back to the group, and they timed out before getting the shed. Score
Ellen Skillings and Emer started off with the second super-wide outrun of the day, running off the mowed field into the tall grass on the border. Emer came in well behind her sheep for a lift and nice fetch. The sheep got a little off line headed to the post, but Ellen & Emer made a nice turn. The sheep and dog doubled back on the drive (did the dog take the wrong flank?), but they fixed things and finished off a nice drive through the panels. They’re turn was so tight they nearly sent the sheep back through the panels, but instead headed into a crossdrive that sent half the sheep high, but Emer brought them back to make the panels. They had nice, easy shed, then regrouped for the pen. One ewe tried to evade the pen twice, but it didn’t take long to get the pen. The final shed took some time and work, but in the end, Ellen & Emer made the shed with time on the clock. Score is 156.

Dennis Gellings making his second run of the day, this time with Jake, started off with a come bye outrun. They started with a straight fetch, but an over-flank cost them the fetch panels. The sheep were on the move to the post, and then challenged the dog halfway through the turn. They finished the turn and put the sheep on line for the drive. The drive was a bit wobbly, but they made the panels on the low side. The crossdrive was tough and they missed the panels. It didn’t take long for them to get the first shed. The sheep headed past the pen at first, but Jake brought them bake for a fast, easy pen. Dennis and Jake walked into the shedding ring and immediately cut off the single to finish the course with 3 minutes left on the clock. Score is 104.

Bill Berhow, also in his second run of the day, this time with Pete, was up next. Pete started tight, then kicked out well before he reached his sheep. Pete lifted his sheep without hesitation. The sheep ran off-line rapidly, but Pete hauled ass to put them back online to make the panels. The sheep made a wide turn at the post, and then Pete put them on line to march them right to and through the second panels. After the panels, the sheep ran wide and high of the cross-drive line- one of them took a tumble, even. Bill and Pete had the sheep moving right to the panels, and at the last moment, the ewes dove high of the panels. They had a quick first shed that led into a calm, smooth pen. They went back to the shedding ring with 5 min 30 sec to go. Bill and Pete got their final shed in less than a minute. Score is 137.

Danial Keeton and York headed to the post clad in pink like so many other handlers today. York ran a tight outrun and the sheep lifted early. They brought the sheep back online to make the fetch panels. The turn at the post was fast, as was the drive. The sheep made the panels, and then York turned them tight for the crossdrive. They made the panels and headed right for the shedding ring. They got their first shed quickly and had a very smooth pen. Daniel and York had a nice final shed, with 5:14 left on the clock- one of the fastest runs of the day. Score is
Alasdair McRae was back, this time with Nap. Nap ran out a bit tight, and came in right behind his sheep. The sheep did lift early, however, and they had a fairly straight fetch, right through the panels. The drive was nice, with a tight turn to the crossdrive. A straight crossdrive took the sheep directly between the panels. Alasdair and Nap had a quick, smooth shed. The ewes hesitated for some time at the pen, but Nap wasn’t letting them go anywhere but in the pen. Their final shed was quick- this team makes everything look easy. Score is 178.

Amanda Milikin running the 2009 Meeker champion Ethel (who at 10, is the oldest dog on the field), was up next in a resplendent large pink hat (she’d taken off the red dress she had on earlier). Ethel had nice outrun, although her fetch was a bit wobbly. The sheep looked like they were going to miss the panels, but Ethel corrected them and through they went. After their turn at the post, they had one heck of a drive line, and a turn so tight, they nearly took off the side of a panel. They were wee bit off at the start of the cross drive, but that didn’t last long and the sheep were through the panel. Amanda and Ethel were in the shedding ring with 9 minutes still on the clock. These sheep were not inclined to split, but Amanda seized an opportunity and called Ethel through for the shed. At the pen, it looked like Ethel flanked too far around, but no, the sheep walked right in. Again, the two collared sheep didn’t want to leave each other, but Ethel came between them and they got the final shed. Score is
Tess-the-armchair-open-dog is sporting a pink boa in the spectator’s tent. It was on Diane but somehow ended up wrapped around Tess’s neck.
[Diane is now blogging]

Lavon Calzacorta and Tess had a wonderful outrun, nice lift and then a little bobble. They got clean the rest of the fetch and his handling was superb. It was one of the better outwork. Nice, quiet turn at post and an easy start to the first leg. He held the line to the first panel, an excellent turn and lined them for a nice crossdrive. At the entrance of the second panel, they did a short bobble but a good recovery to make the panel, a bit of a wide turn and straight to the ring. Lavon walked nice and calmly into the ring. The ewes really didn’t want to cooperate in the ring and it took a bit to set it up. He called Tess in and she got a very nice shed with authority and have over 5 minutes left. Tess slowly walked the ewes up to the mouth of the pen and deftly worked the ewes inside. A missed attempt at the single and they set it up again. The two marked ewes decided they were best friends forever and refused to be shed and there was another missed attempt and the crowd groaned. The ewes squirted out of the ring and they regathered the ewes for another single but the clock was cruel and their time was over. Lavon is a very nice person from Idaho that encourages the upcoming handlers at the trials. He is a class act! Score is 160.

Allen Mills, whom we have blogged about before, and his Sis are one of the last ones to run. He is a very nice gentlemen who greeted everyone with a huge smile and made you feel welcome. His Sis ran out wide and deep and stopped at the top when Allen downed her. She is a powerhouse and had good control of the sheep on the fetch. She was off the sheep and not running up their behinds and I could see her snout, pointed down and meaning business, Her white flashy legs would strike up the dust and it was like mini dust devils behind her. Allen, in his quiet unassuming way, cleverly worked the sheep around the post and got the first leg going nice and crisp. A sweet turn at the panel and lined then up for the crossdrive. This 3 year old dog sure is going to be one nice dog, no wait, is one nice dog and I think Allen needs to send her home with me. I’ll even trade a pink boa for her! A proper turn at the second panel and Sis still had the sheep’s number and they walked calmly into the ring. Allen, in one of the brightest pinks shirts, and being a guy form Texas, shows he is not afraid to wear pink, with his cowboy hat, had the first shed but alas it was out of the ring and they had to regroup. Got the shed and had a nice pen and for the single, it was walk them into the ring, then poof, the single. Sis had to hold them for a brief second for the call but she did. The crowd gave him a huge round of applause. Score is 167.

Haley Howard and Bodie, a crowd favorite is third from the last. Outrun and lift was nice and the sheep veered offline at the top. The sheep stopped and Bodie got behind them and they veered offline and then back online. Bodie was behind the sheep but all you could see in some of the fetch was balls of dust. Hit the panels dead on and the action slowed down and a very nice pace to the post. They mde the panel and Bodie had a wide flank and for a second it looked like it was going to be a pull through but the skillful handling by Haley, made it a the tightest turn and a line to and through the second panel. Yet, another tight turn and to the ring. Haley calmly walked to the ring and in her hot pink shirt, she set up the sheep. Four broke around her and she set them up again. It was a textbook shed and very quiet and Bodie held them like a pro. With 5 minutes to go, they went to the pen as it they had been doing that all their life. To the ring again, where Haley set up the sheep for the single and got it near the edge of the ring. You couldn’t hear anything from Haley as it was so quiet.
(Ben again for the last two runs)

Kathy Knox and Sal are the second run from the end. Sal had a really nice outrun and a nice soft lift. A bit of a wobble at the top on the fetch, but it got straightened out as the sheep took off down the field. The sheep were barreling down the field, and missed the fetch panels. The sheep took a break at the post, and made the turn calmly. The drive was fast, but on line and the sheep made the panels. Kathy had to flank Sal around fast to prevent the sheep from heading for the hills, and they made the turn and ran for the cross drive. The crossdrive was fast, but the sheep slowed and walked through the panels. The sheep finally slowed down to the shedding ring. Three ewes tried to stick together, but Kathy and Sal split one off, Sal took control and the shed was called. The pen was smooth, with the last ewe deciding it was easier to join her flock in the pen than bolt. Kathy called Sal through in front of a single, and Sal pushed the ewe out of the ring to finish the run.

Brian Nelson and Pleat are the last run of the day. A good outrun lead to a nice lift, but the fetch was fast and wobbly. The sheep headed down the field too fast to turn and they went right around the panels. The sheep know where the exhaust is, and that’s where they headed. Pleat flanked around and brought the sheep around the post to the drive. The drive was fast and not so smooth, but the sheep made it through the panels. The crossdrive was pretty nice and they made the panels. They had a wide turn after the panels. Brian and Pleat made a valiant first attempt at a shed, but missed when one ewe rejoined the group. They finally got their shed, with just over 3 minutes on the clock. At the pen, Pleat headed for the water and had to be called back. Pleat had no trouble penning the sheep, though. With less than a minute on the clock, they headed back to the ring for the single. Brian and Pleat got the single with 12 seconds to spare. Score is 129

Un-Official List for the Double Lift Finals (in order of Semi run, not score)
Kathy Know & Tweed
Bill Berhow & Mike
Haley Howard & Ross
Alasdair MacRae & Star
Scott Glen & Maid
Derek Fisher & Jen
Joe Haynes & Rain
Patricia MacRae & Max
Pat Shannahan & Riggs
Tom Wilson & Sly
Bud Boudreau & Sam
Daniel Keeton & York
Alasdair McRae & Nap
Amanda Milikin & Ethel
Lavon Calzacorta & Tess
Allen Mills & Sis
Haley Howard & Bodie

All the folks with aircards are leaving so I might not be able to blog tomorrows runs until I get back. If you know of someone who can help me, have them contact me.

Saturday Semis- First half

Thanks to Allen McPherson of Total Computer Solutions, Inc., http://www.tcsnapa.com/, 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. http://www.notjustewe.com/. 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. copparcreek@bellsout.net.

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.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Open last runs

Our guest blogger is Lise Andersen as I am busy this morning, getting ready for my run. I will blog after my run and add comments to the comments that Lise wrote. Melanie Chang is the editor to find my numerous mistakes.

Good Morning everybody….and what a wonderful cool almost mosquito free start to this last day of the preliminaries here in Klamath. Well, not quite true as they were eating me (Diane) up and not Lise. Terry Folsom is running her older dog Cassie. She sent her dog to the right and half way out she began to cross….Terry saved the crossover with a down and redirect. The run went smoothly from there until the shed (which has been the most challenging portion of the trial) proved to be quite difficult. Score 118.

Boone is running with the quiet gentleman Bill Orr. A wide outrun and for some reason at the top he created a 3-1 split with one staying at the setout cone. Boone put them back together but the single continued through the run to give him trouble…leading the three through the fetch panel by 25 feet. His drive started well until the sheep ran to the right of the first drive panel making Boone kick out and run wider to catch them after missing the panel. He placed them back on line and made the second panel. His shed was quiet and unfortunately, at the pen the sheep scooted under the rope. A reattempt at the pen had one sheep go under the rope, then he penned. Score 139

Mike Meredith and Gwyn a typical nice outrun and lift but the fetch has gone awry to the right in a very fast manner. Gwyn worked very hard to try to settle the sheep out and finally after about 5 minutes into her run she made the fetch panel. The sheep are now nicely broke and trotting with Gwyn 30-40 yards off. A tight turn around the post with an S shape drive to the first drive away panel the crossdrive is lovely with Gwyn 50 yards off her sheep and straight thru the panel. A very wide turn with Mike overshooting a bit to put them back on line. There are three minutes left to shed…Mike is hovering his crook over the backs of the ewes, his knees inches from their fat bellies. The shift a bit but are relentless in making an opening for Gwyn. Time. Score 102?

Wendy Schmaltz and Fly had a nice outrun and quiet lift but the sheep are giving Fly grief at the top…staring at her for a minute…until they turn and lope on line down the fetch with a bit of an oscillating pattern thru the panel. A tight turn with an unfortunate miss high of the first drive away a nice cross hitting the panel but unluckily pulling them back thru the panel. A lovely line to the ring (the first nice line this morning from the driveway to the ring). 4:45 left to shed and pen. The sheep have left the ring after being settled. She brings them quietly back and the opening occurs but her dog runs through and does not hold the shed. The judges are expecting the dog to hold the sheep for a bit of time. 2 minutes left. The opening was made for the third time and the shed is complete. 50 seconds to pen and ….and, she pens in 25 seconds….score – 119

Geri Byrne and Jim have been sent again from the right and a nice lift but the sheep quickly go to the right (is there a pattern starting now of drive off line to the right?) -- She misses the panel to the right but now her fetch is nicely lined out. A beautiful turn at the post with the sheep nicely thru the drive away panel, a bit wide turn followed by a drive that is weaving a bit until she lines out to the cross drive panel. Everything was looking great until a bump on the left sent the sheep running by the opening of the panels and scurrying up the hill. Jim quickly caught the sheep that were definitely on a mission to leave. Well done. 6:30 left in the shed ring. The shed ring is quiet with great control and patience. (This has been a very beautiful trial with magnificent weather. The breakfast and lunch “buffet” has been a highlight with a tireless staff providing pastries, farm fresh boiled eggs, delicious endless coffee and hot water, oatmeal, just a bevy of food and no doubt weight gain for most of those who have indulged.) Ah the shed has been completed with only one missed attempted. To the pen with 1:15 left. Geri is displaying the patience needed for this trial. Unfortunately, she timed out at the pen. Score-105.

Dally with Vergil Holland at the post. His sheep are being eased to the setout cone by one person and dog, their heads are down and grazing, occasionally looking around. His dog is sent and casting wide and lovely at the top until slowing to a trot then a walk at 2 o’clock. They lift quietly on line. The sheep go off line to the left, then to the right before settling on line and thru the panels at a trot-lope pace. Dally is 40 yards off of the sheep. A wide turn with the sheep 20 feet from the judge’s stand. Back on line for the drive with a close; miss to the outside and a wide turn after the panel. Back on line and walking with Dally keeping a variety of distances off the sheep from five to 20 yards. Unfortunately, the sheep missed low but are back on line to the ring. 7:15 left in the ring. The sheep are challenging Dally and have left the ring, back into the ring but then the sheep have once again left the ring. 4:30 left to shed. A lovely shed accomplished. 4 minutes to pen. They have gone past the mouth of the pen and they are being a bit difficult. Dally is standing confident and brave as the difficult ewe drops her head for a second contemplating charging Dally, but Dally deftly snaps the air in front of the ewes nose and the sheep jump. Time Score-108.

Wendy Schmaltz will shave her head for Breast Cancer fundraiser…the bidding starts at $1000. She is a generous and brave person. We hope to see her bald soon!

Thad Fleming and Bill at the post (he is already wearing a lovely pink button down long sleeve shirt and supporting breast cancer). A nice outrun with a bit tight at the top. Lovely line with quiet sheep. A little wonky to the first drive away with slicing drive thru. The sheep are walking to the second panel in a very ladylike fashion….oh they like this dog. The nicest drive thru the 2nd panel all day…hopefully the shed and pen will go smashingly. His packet of sheep are 2 Lincoln looking types and 2 Cheviots. The sheep leave the ring. Will the 2 Lincoln shed together? The Lincolns stay together; Bill comes in but no call. A re-shed is accomplished (the split is 1 of each type of sheep) and 3 minutes to pen. The sheep have gone around the back of the pen; the sheep are repositioned in the mouth of the pen and patiently placed in the pen. Score-149

Dave Murray and Kate have started. Her approach is quiet, and from 2 o’clock. On line bit then the sheep are loping in a zigzagging fashion to the fetch panel where they politely go thru. A bit wide of turn and onto the drive at a nice trot. The first panel is deftly made but…low on the second panel. A lovely line to the ring but then a sheep went down, Kate is staring at the down sheep who is in lying and shows no motion of moving. Now Kate is lying down nose to nose with the sheep …the crowd loves it… a great photo opt. The three sheep are moving around the down ewe but it appears she is not showing any interest in playing the game. Kate is moving the three ewes but no luck. 5 minutes remaining. Dave is contemplating talking off and there he goes. The exhaust crew is running out to help encourage the sheep to stand up… and up she pops... and looking quite fit and satisfied with herself. Tough luck. Score RT.

Next up is Sandi Andersen and Best. Had to step away …but she made all her panels and now 4:30 left to shed and pen. A nice opening but the sheep have circled around the handler and rejoined, then out of the ring they ran back into the ring. A nice split at 50 seconds…to the pen and unfortunately the sheep ran by the pen…..Time. Score-80.

Scott Glen and Drift are up. Nice no nonsense outrun with a hard lift, which frazzled the sheep. Scott then settled everything down for a lovely fetch and now we are at the post with happy sheep and relaxed dog. His whistles are quiet and calm. The best drive away so far today but alas a bit wide of a turn. Still the sheep are just walking along like nice little girls. Thru the 2, drive panel but a bit of a funky flank from Drift and a quick recovery….so a bit of a wide uphill turn. Spot on for the drive to the ring…well done. 5 minute to shed and pen. The sheep have not really moved 20 feet from where Scott decided to start his shed. Finally after two ½ minutes he sheds. Now to the pen. At the mouth with 2 minutes. The sheep are looking at the mouth…now at the dog…ugh…..less than a minute and they break away from the mouth but nicely covered and the sheep walk in with 25 seconds left…The crowd roars. Score…140

Allen Mills and the pride of Texas….Sis who is also Allen’s nursery dog who will run in the finals of the nursery and her preliminary run in open today…good thing she is young and running in the cool of the morning. Nothing much to right a beautiful walk trot run with maybe a bit low on the cross drive in the mid section but stunning run so far..The sheep love this dog. Allen is quietly and unassumingly walks to the ring with the sheep still on line. When a run is going well there is not much to say…Uh oh…we do not know if the judge called the shed. Allen is hard of hearing…we hope the judge called the shed for it was lovely but close to the edge. And what a terrific pen…..the crowd is silent with anticipation. It was a real crowd pleaser. Score-166

Ron Enzeroth and Dusty is up. The sheep are being consistently quietly set at the top. All right, the men from Texas are showing the crowd how to run this course. Thanks goodness, as I am a Texan by birthright (Diane). The first glitch is around the post a bit of a face off. Finally after many power plays by the sheep they have turned the post but …still not convinced to go down the hill from the post…now the sheep are back in the game...thru the first drive panel and loping across the cross drive….his time is 5:30 left and he is approaching the 2nd drive panel a bit low but he saves it with a bit of a wide turn and now on line again. These Texans take the last part of the drive seriously and are on line to the middle of the ring. 4:15 to shed and pen. Nicely done on the shed keeping his head and quietly separating the sheep. 2:50 left to pen….the sheep have gone by the pen and now after being brought to the opening of the pen are just walking in….the crowd claps and score of 171

Don Helsley and his 10 yr old dog Cap is to the post. It appears now is a wonderful time to run Cap has done a great job until a bit wide as he approached the post. The wideness has continued and missed the first drive away high, stayed high until missing the 2nd drive panel low. To the ring with 8:15 left ( one person in the crowd said humorously “speed kills”) All is quiet in the ring…the sheep leave the ring and with 5:30 left and an older dog Don being the man who loves and respects the years he has had with this dog retires and leaves the ring. Cap certainly didn’t run like a 10 year old but with no chance of making it thru to the semi’s Don did the kind move. Score Rt

Diane Pagel and her “beautiful” oh..Excuse me Nana is to the post and obviously not typing. A lovely outrun with a bit tight approach…..and well I will let Diane blog on since she retired after flanking multiple times across the fetch line until the sheep decided to head back to the setout pen. However, Nana looked beautiful and was listening brilliantly. Score DQ. (Diane’s note: The sheep were very hard to set as they kept breaking away from the setout person and they had all intentions to go back. Nan tried her best but they would split into two packets to get around her. She did bring them down the field but we were done by then. In spite of the fact we didn’t complete the course, I was happy how hard she tried to work the runaways. She gave me all of her efforts and I can’t ask for more than that)

Bud Boudreau and Sam ran after me so I didn’t see much of his run but he handled the sheep with authority and efficiency. I saw that his drive was immaculate and he got a score of 165 and one of the best run. The crowd gave this fine run a huge round of applause.

Lorri Schubert and Mot walked out and stood proud. Mot went to the left and went over the hill, to the yellow field, and very deep. It was to the farthest end of the green field and by far the wide and deepest of the outrun. The sheep can down nice to the post and a nice turn. Mot was a bit wide and at the first leg, the sheep broke up the field. Mot went on the away side and was too wide and the sheep broke up to the setout and Lorri retired.

Lavon Calzacorta and Gus. Gus came in short at the lift but made it down for a nice drive. In the ring, Gus shed the front two and then a ewe came from and butted Gus. They had to regroup and re-shed but ran out of time.

Lori Perry and Darque ran and I missed most of it. She got around the course and got the pan as I was walking up from cooling down Nan.

Nancy Stephens and Jenn had a good run but she retired in the shedding ring. It is blazing hot and my laptop is running out of juice as we lost power.

Ray Coapman and Jill had a nice run and again, I missed the run.

George Stambulic and Gyp are looking quite nice. A controlled fetch, in fact one of the best so far, and nice turn. His first leg was beautiful but at the last moment, he missed the panel. Cross drive was nice, missed one on second panel and nice turn to the shed. George has been a very nice person to talk to at this trial and I am rooting for him. He had a nice walk into the shedding ring and a missed attempt. He regrouped and got the shed. With 3:40 to spare, he walked the ewes to the mouth of the pen. The ewes kept standing up to Gyp but she showed her power and held true, She refused to budge when three of ewes stared at her. With a bit of finesse, they got the pen at 2:13 and everyone gave him a huge round of applause. Score of 149.

Brian Nelson and Pleat, a Canadian strode to the post Brian has been one of the nicest folks out there and has always offered encourage for the new handlers. The outrun was a wee bit tight at the top end and after a bit, and the rest of the fetch was nice. The first leg of the drive was slow, but he hit the panels and a nice, square turn. And, one of the best drive so far, and got the second drive and easy into the shed. A flawless shed and regrouped them and a fast approach to the pen. The sheep burst away towards the judge’s area and to my left I have Derek and Milton Scott with their version of this run, which is barely, R rated. He got them into the pen and one burst out like a firecracker on the 4th of July. They worked her and got the pen and the crowd screamed with delight at the pen. Score was 148.

Lana Rowley and Kell had a nice outrun and lift. He had good control on the fetch and had a bit of a bobble but got them online rather quickly. The last part of the fetch was nice and it is a pleasure to see Lana’s quiet handling. A few zigs and zags but overall nice and the first leg was a little off as Kell applied some power on the sheep. The cross drive was a little off and they got the second panel. Kell is really on the muscle and in addition to working on sheep, he also works on cattle. Kell is a great all around dog and tons of power. In the ring, Kell walked up firm on the sheep and they offered no fight. They managed to step out of the ring once but they came back in quietly. Lana, in her crisp blue western shirt and hat, looked like a model for the Wild West and is one of my favorite handlers in the world. A missed attempt and time was running out. A second missed attempt at 8 seconds and time was called.

I went out for lunch and missed tom Spencer’s run with Floss.

Jennifer Clarks-Ewers and Sweep was a real joy to watch. Flawless throughout. The outrun was nice and wide and the lift was dead on. Nice steady, calm fetch and a nice turn at the post and a drive to die for. Pretty much a perfect drive. She was very calm and collected and her whistles were very soft. A missed attempt at the shed and the second one was snug and she got the pen. The crowd really gave her a huge round of applause for her run, as it was certainly one of the quietest and calmest run of the Finals. Score was 175.

Ian Zoerb and Peg (the Champion from last year) went up to the post and the mid afternoon sun were melting the grass, the rocks, people; anything is sight, so it seemed. The outrun was fine, had to pop a ewe that tried to run over her and after a bit, she got them down the course. The sheep were fighting and hard to move and they got the first panel and missed the second panel, low and a nice turn to the shed. One fast shed that was not called and she didn’t have total control and they regroup quickly for the shed. With 2:22 to go, they walked up to the pen, and Peg held her head low and they walked in to a huge round of applause from the crowd. Score is 130.

Alasdair MacRae and Star had to wait until they moved sheep. Star ran wide then came in fast and she took the down and had a nice lift. The fetch got offline prior to the fetch panels, hit the fetch panels and were a lot slower on the last half of the fetch. A very nice turn and a control slow first leg of the drive, got the panels and a very tight turn, quickly lined them up, hit the second panel. A tight turn to the shed and entered the shed at 4:33. The ewes stood in the ring, glancing about as if to say “What are we doing here?” and the place went silent. Alasdair calmly walked to the sheep and set up the shed and at the last second, one ewe broke to join the first two, He quickly lined them up again, and everyone stopped talking again. The shed was good and one ewe tried to run over Star and Star held the ground then the ewe’s nose was inches away from Star’s face but she held strong and the shed was called. At 1:51, they marched to the pen and got the pen. The crowd gave a huge round of applause for this skillful run! Score is 167.
Larry Adams and Mirk had a grip at the top (?) and was DQ.

Gayle Cochlan and Cap, a Canadian ran in the heat of the day. Cap ran out hard and had fat lift and hard on the fetch, zig zagging all over the fetch line. They missed the fetch panels and the pace was still fast. The first leg was rough and they were wide at the first panel, missed the first panel and lo on the cross drive. They straighten up, got the second panel, and were a bit wide going into the ring. She got the shed and retired her at the pen due to the heat.

Kathy Knox and Sal had a nice outrun, lift and the fetch looked good at the top. A little wobbly prior to the fetch panel and they got the panel and the last half of the fetch was nice. Offline on the first leg of the drive and the sheep were fast. They made the first panel and had a nice line, hot the second panel and a very nice turn to the shed. She was calm in the ring and a textbook shed and she slowly walked to the pen. With 3:15 at the pen, they worked hard. The sheep tried to break behind Kathy but they quickly got them and lined them up and Sal stood and held her ground. One ewe tried to break to the side but Sal got her and tucked her back in and Kathy got the pen with 1:46 left on the clock.

Ray Crabtree just announced that Scott Glen and Don are the USBCHA Nursery National Champions. Way to go Scott and it went to a classy person as well a top handler that earned not only the win but also the respect of everyone with his flawless handling of Don. I missed his runs since I was blogging but people reported to me that his runs were picture perfect and textbook and a dream to watch.

Ron Burkey with Tot, another Texas team, is running with their fetch just a bit off line at the top. Tot is staying nicely off her sheep and they are enjoying their freedom and just tootling along the course. A nice turn with a momentary face off and once again they are marching around the course nicely on line towards the first drive panel, they are thru with a bit of momentum so a slight wide turn, but Tot has them back on line nicely and walking along the cross drive. The sheep have broke into a lope and stopped suddenly at the ditch. A moment hesitation and they are moving again. He is /was on line but went a smidge high and Tot appears to not be listening and now driving the sheep up the hill. She appeared confused on her flank. They have 4:30 left to bring them 100 yards past the drive panel. They have entered the ring with 3:20 left. Most of the handlers have figured out they need to just let the sheep stand for a bit before shedding, and Ron is being patient. 2:00 minutes remaining, he needs his pen and shed to move on. Now a score of about 150 would keep him in, but on the bubble. 1 min remaining, the sheep just are not splitting. He tried to force a split and the sheep gave him the 1-3 split. 30 seconds left…. he got his split….but the time is his enemy….running to the pen opening the gate, sheep trotting up the hill to the pen and TIME!!! Bummer. Score: 109

Dennis Gellings and Jan from Canada are up. They were reserve champions at Meeker in 2008. Jan is doing well for an 8-9 year old girl. Nice fetch with Dennis having her well in hand. The sheep are just relaxing around the course, almost thanking Jan for the nice way she is escorting them. An ever so slight wide turn, but lovely after making the third panel. For as controlled and even paced, this run has been the sheep have arrived with 6 minutes remaining. Now the shed, which has remained the most challenging part of the course. A textbook split with 4:30 left, a re-gather in the ring and Jan knows her job. As Dennis turned his back, she quietly flanked herself to start the sheep to the pen. What a nice team to watch. And with 3:30 remaining, the sheep just walked on in. The current Canadian open champion has demonstrated why they hold the title. Score: 179.5 the new leader of the preliminaries!

Peg Anderson and Silk (Who is a full sister to my Nan and Tommy Wilson’s Sly) ran out wide and then came in a bit tight but settled down. A bit of a fuss and the sheep stood up to, she and she finally got them going. Nice drive and good control and they are quite the nice team. They were calm in the ring and Silk had her ears upright and looked happy. Peg was very patient, the sheep were facing Silk, and it was calm. I could the same moves that my Nan has in the ring and it was nice to see the hard work that Silk was giving Peg in the ring. She has no fear as she would walk up to the ewe’s nose and she meant business. The ewes stuck together like glue as they could sense her presence. There was the tiniest of gaps, like a sliver of light peeking through a crack in an old log house and Silk came through. She opened the gap, held and then gripped a quick grip that it was and was called off for it but it was a wonderful run, nevertheless.

The Canadians are lining up in droves this afternoon and Bob Stephens and Pat walked to the post. Bob has strong dogs that mean business and it take a good handler like him to run them. His old Turk, was one, if not, the top cattle dog in Canada and an excellent sheepdog and the dogs he runs are descended from Turk. Turk, sadly died last year but left a huge legacy in his pups and grandpups. The first time I saw, Turk, I was awed but him. Pat went out wide and he had a slot lift, then the fetch was fast. Pat is a no nonsense type of dog and the sheep knew it. The sheep came straight to Bob’s feet and had one of the tightest turns. They had a slow start of the drive and the ewes turned on Pat then there was a grip and he was called off.

Bev Lambert and Mirk was the third from the end and I am getting tired of blogging. I moved to a softer seat and am sitting next to Rose Anderson and her lovely merle, Shen who got her ROM. She is one of the few merles that is running successfully in Open. Shen has run twice at two Nationals! Rose is helping with the blog now. The outrun is beautiful, lift was calm, the fetch is fast and a tad bit offline. She got quickly back online and they had a bit of a stall at the fetch panels but they got them through. The line is very nice and one of the best so far. Not too wide at the post, a little offline on the first leg and they got the first panel and they broke away, trying to go back to the setout. Mirk went wide, trying to cover, and got the sheep back but by this time, they were above the fetch panels and it took a bit of work to get them back. She got them back and lined up on the proper side of the fetch panels and they fought Mirk the entire time. The sheep were pushing hard and they bolted through panels, a wide turn (expert handling to read this situation) and into the ring at 2:45. One ewe decided she didn’t want to play the game and bolted but Bev put her back together. The sheep bolted out of the ring and the time was getting close. That darn ewe un-joined herself so Bev got her to join her buddies again and the sheep bolted and ran near the second panels. Mirk ran out of steam, the sheep got off course, and time ran out.

Maggi McClure and Lil, from Washington are at the post. Lil had a nice outrun but a wee bit tight at the top, Lift was nice and a little offline and the fetch is offline to the side of the field. She turned them to get them back online and the ewes are flighty, bolted the other direction, and are wide. She missed the fetch panels and the sheep came down hard. The first leg was fast, they ran through the panel, and the turn is wide. She got them online and things settled down. A bit high and then she corrected and hit the panel and wide to the shedding ring. Things calmed down in the shedding ring Missed attempt and then a nice shed and 4:51 left. The sheep was pen and it was pure class. Score was 126.

Bob Dias and McCloud from California was the last team to run for the day. I’ve know Bob and Rochelle for many years and they are the nicest couple. They love their dogs and provide the best homes for them. Rochelle has a daughter of Tess, named Koko who is a great open dog. Cloud went out steady and approached the sheep cautiously and they lifted offline. They disappeared into the swale but came out fast and offline. Bob skillfully handled Cloud to get them back online just past the fetch panels and things began to settle. Nice turn and Cloud marched up to the ewes for the first leg of the dive and they got offline. They got online and missed the panel on the inside, turn was wide, and he got them back online. Cloud was giving nice flanks and they moved smartly on the crossdrive. They got a bit high then corrected and got low and missed the panel and turned to the shedding ring at 6:45. Bob, in his red shirt and sharp red hat, carefully set the ewes for a shed. The ewes would turn to face Cloud, who should power and held his side. He is a lovely tri with a good method of work and a willing partner and their teamwork was evident. The ewes tried to break out of the ring but were turned back by this wily dog. An expert shed that was smooth as silk left the audience quiet. One of the ewes turned to face Cloud and he held his ground and she quickly decided the best place was with her companions. Bob lined then up at the mouth of the pen and one broke away but Cloud turned it. The crowd was a t the edge of their chairs and they worked the ewes to the mouth of the pen again and had a smooth pen. It was greeted with a large round of applause from the crowd and it was a good day to end with a successful run.

The semi will start tomorrow at 7:00 and I will try to blog then.