Friday, July 23, 2010

Highland Games - Day One

Well first things first, I whipped out my camera and then realized that I had left the battery at home, I had taken it out to charge it but forgot it.  Janet solved that problem by calling Jerill and he stopped by on Sat evening so we could take pixs on Sunday. As it was, he took all the pixs on Sunday while we ran dogs. Janet married well as he is a good guy plus loves the dogs!!

So no pixs for the Saturday update but lots on Sunday. I know, I was lame.

The trial started at 1:00 but we got there at 10 to secure a good spot. Janet got a prime spot and we got set up and relaxed until our runs. Roo was the first dog up so that was not a bonus. I took him down to the river and tossed the stick into the water to take some of the edge off him and cool him down. His coat is very thick and he was hot.

The sheep were hair trigger light Katahdins and bolted if your dog so much as looked sideways at them. Since Roo is such a strong, go forward type of dog, I had to keep him well off the stock. The course was a drive away, around a post then down through a set of panel, around the post, back through the fetch panel, a tight right tun through a second set of panels then to the pen. You could leave any time the dog broke the first obstacle which was a turn at the top of the field.

The sheep cane out light and they stalled at the exhaust and faced Roo. Bad idea as Roo is NOT afraid of sheep and walks into them with confidence and soon they realized this and went past the post, to the panel, around the post and we (meaning sheep and I) walked through he drive away panels and the right turn panels and he tucked them into the pen. He got full points and made the time limit. I was very proud of him as he listened quite well, square flanks and was smooth. He is working well for me
Nan was second and she was strong. She is the jealous type and since I ran Roo first, she made me pay the price. Her two speeds were fast and stop. Not walk up, No steady, NADA.  She lifted the sheep nicely and marched them through the course. We did the same strategy as I did with Roo and it paid off. I had to keep a wider bubble on her as she was really on the muscle.  I was sweating during her run as she was on the muscle and any movement from her, made the sheep react quickly.

One thing about Nan is that she lives to please me and she was spot on with her commands. Thanks Goodness or I would have been a hurting girl!! She also got all of her points and under the time limit. Sine this was a time and point trial , the top ten from the two runs would advance to the Final on Sunday so you had to score high on both days. Having secured two perfect runs set us up good for Sunday. Of course, we had to do well on Sunday, but a single point could make or break your run for the Final.

Tess, my steady dog, was the last of my dogs to run. She slowly got up from her nap, took a stretch and then ambled out to the field. She has been going to this trial.for most of her career so was a old pro. She even yawned a few times then gave herself a good scratch for good measure.

She handled the sheep quite nicely and it was like a walk  in the park. Smooth and efficient and around the course with no hitches. We did the same as I did with the other dogs and the sheep really liked Tess. She has a smoking run that awed the crowd and when the gate was shut, everyone cheered for her. At the pen, I opened the gate and she cast out, turned her head in as needed, cast out again, moved a step here and there, all with no commands form me. My role was to shut the gate while she did the work. Dawn talked during this section and explained how she took the pressure off the sheep by turning her head and kicking out. Tess is a pro at penning and I wisely kept my mouth sheep as she did her magic. I shut the gate per her request and she knew she did well.

Having a dog like Tess is a blessing as she knows how to handle the sheep and adjusts a needed. I have to handle Roo and Nan a lot more as they don't have it quite yet. With Tess, she settles the sheep and they amble through the course and it looks boring. But I tell you, she gets the job done and done right and you place. She got all of her points and the quickest time of my dogs. 24 points were possible.

Janet ran Scott and watched my runs and she smoked. She got through the course with all of her points and the fastest time. She will have to post on her blog about this, but I was very proud of her. Scott and Janet just clicked at the trial and now they are a force to be reckon with.

Kathleen and Emma ran for the first time at this trial. She handled her quite well and didn't get her pen but her work was outstanding. Emma has no issues on handling the sheep and Kathleen is putting her dog in the right paces with the right timing.  She kept her on her feet which helped and Emma's flanks were square which was a dream to watch.  They are one hot team. She got 19 points.

Pam ran Colin and that kelpie was on fire.He was pushy and had lots of go forward. He listened well and his flanks wer square at the right time and they ran out of time at the pen. Pam handled the sheep great and the results speak for themselves. They got 20 points and a job well done.

So at the end of the day, it was a  four way tie for first place. Janet and Scott. Me with Roo, Nan and Tess. It was broken on time so it was Janet with Scott, Me and Tess, me and Nan and then me and Roo. Not bad for a Saturday run. Kathleen was also in the running too. I was very happy to see that my students can beat me...it makes me very proud!!

After it was over I followed Kathleen. I was staying at her house so I didn't have to drive all the way home. We went to eat at a local Thai restaurant and we were stuffed afterwards. She just got a new place and it is wonderful The backyard is huge and the dogs had fun chasing the ball. She got a huge flat screen TV and I am so in love with it. I normally don't watch TV but I certainly watched TV that night. She served me ice cream and scored about 50 extra bonus points. Kathleen is a generous and kind person. I am so glad she is my friend and you can't ask for any better of a person. She loves and dotes on her dogs.

The guest room had a library and since I love to read, I read a book that night, staying up until twoish. People wer setting off firework and Nan was spooked so I cuddled her and she calmed down. I used that as an excuse to read the book!! It was a great way to end a perfect, fun filled day with good run, good dogs and good friends. Life is going well for me and I have some great friends in the herding venue and that make it enjoyable.