Ranch was the last class that I needed to run. Faye has run very well, aside from breaking her down at the chute so I would be ready for that. Faye walked to the post, her nose sticking out and her body posed for flight. I sent her and she cast out wide but slowed at the top. She had a nice lift, felt her sheep, and adjusted. They had switched from the hair sheep to the wool sheep so they were a lot heavier. There was a bit of a bobble on the fetch but she got the sheep back online and had a nice turn at the post.
She lined them up straight and held her line for a nice first leg of the drive. She had a nice turn at the first drive panel and then marched they down for the crossdrive. A nice turn at the second panel and we got ready for the chute. She settled the sheep at the mouth and they started to march in. She broke her down and I was ready for that and gave her a hard down. The sheep had backed out but we got them back into the mouth and put them through and she stayed behind them. It was a job well done and she won the class. She danced about like her mother and I was proud of her. Her points were 5- outrun, 1-lift, 4 - fetch, 4 - drive and 6 - chute.
It was a good day as her mother Nan won the Open class and her daughter won the Ranch class. Last time I had a family sweep like that was about 15 months ago with Tess and Lucy. Tess had won and Lucy (granddaughter) won the ProNovice class that weekend. It’s really nice to do well with your dog, let alone with a family.
Ruby in Ranch
In the other classes, Ron ran well with Tigr in Open. He was one of the few people to get the chute. Tigr has been running well for just moving up to Open. Janet ran Scott in ProNovice. He came in flat at the top and the rest of the run they were a bit off. He was listening but a second slow and they will have to fine tune his response time. Early that week at practice, he was spot on but today he was not. I know Janet will work on this for the next trial.
Ron ran Ruby and she has gotten better and better each time. She was bit on the muscle but finished in the Ranch class.
Kathleen ran Emma and she was on the muscle. She has tons of stock sense and in one nice dog. She ran out nice but fast and brought the sheep to Kathleen’s feet. Nice turn and on the drive she was on the muscle again. Parts of her drive were superb yet other parts were very pushy. She got the chute and placed 5th in the Ranch class.
Emma at the chute
The day was sunny and we sat in the sun, soaking in the winter rays and enjoying each other’s company. The trial hosts, George and Sue have helped many upcoming handlers over the years, me being on, and are some of the nicest people in the world. They offer the Winter Series as a way to sharpen your skills, polish your run and get together for some hot cocoa and a smile. Thank you George and Sue for all you have done over the years. I appreciate it greatly.
With the late afternoon sun casting the winter shadows on the field, Janet and I packed up and drove off. We went to the local seafood place for a quick meal and were joined by Monique, Bruce (her husband) and Ron. We laughed and told lies about our runs and soon we all went on our merry way. It was a nice way to end a day of trialing in the warm glow of the winter sun.