Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rocky Ewe Trial - Saturday runs

I can’t believe how quickly this weekend went by. It seems like a few hours ago when  I pulled out on Friday to go to the trial.. When I drive for more than two hours, my sternum really hurt and that is due to the fact that the Doctor put is back together not aligned. So it grates and hurts when I put any pressure on it.

I entered Roo and Nan in Open and Faye in PN. Tess went along as Pillow-hog and potluck beggar. Both roles she did quite well this weekend. At the potluck she saw an easy mark (Susan Crocker) and did her tricks and pitiful eyes and got snacks from her. I don’t mind as she has earned her berth and she loves to socialize with folks. After she got her treats, she works the crowds for pets and praise. Not many people can turn her down for a pet; after all how hard is it to resist a grizzled aged face with deep, soulful eyes and a slow wag of her tail. Plus a tiny curl of a smile?
I  pulled in late evening and not many people were there yet so I parked in the same location that I had in prior years. Normally I park under the tree but this years the ant hills had taken that section over so we moved further down and had more privacy.

I set up the trailer and visited folks and just hung out. Dinner was by Coleman Lantern light, nothing fancy, Hamburger Helper and drinks. I was too tired to make anything fancy and wanted something easy to make. The ground beef was from my steer and it tastes much better than store bought beef. Mike’s Hard Lemonade and wine were my drinks of choice for the weekend. I managed to put a huge dent in a 24 bottle case of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Jennifer Coleman and Bonnie Block also had their Mike’s Hard Lemonade and it was nice to see that I had converted them to Lemonade Club.

The sheep

First class to run on Saturday was Open. A standard course in a smallish but tricky field with heavy draws and blind spots. The sheep were light Katahdins that needed to be handled with care and a pushy dog would have to be way off to get them under control. Since Roo and Nan and as well as Faye, are pushy dogs, I knew that my hands would be full. I wasn’t wrong.

View from the set out.

Set out

Susan Crocker and her kelpie at set out.

Sue MacDonald at set out.

Nan was one of the earlier dogs to run and she went out with gusto. I ratcheted her back but to no avail. I had her down at the fetch gates and the sheep tried to blow past me at the post. We made the turn but she had to be way, way off. Any closer and they would bolt. She wouldn’t release the pressure enough for the drive so it was all I could do to keep her back. We got the pen and in the shedding ring, she was way out of the ring and had a huge effect. Needless to say, no shed. She placed in about the upper third or so. Super light sheep are not her forte as she is very reactive and zippy and they like a calm and serene dog. I remember from the trials past when Tess won Open and Lucy won PN in the same weekend. They settled the sheep down and it was a nice easy walk around the course, unless my run with Nan.

Roo was amped (imagine that) but had his listening ears on. I stopped him at the top and he had a nice lift and quiet and controlled fetch. I about fell off my handlers step. Nice turn around the post and (I believe) he had the best Open drive of the day. He was reining in his power but the sheep knew he was there and held their heads up and eyes wide. The shedding was close to impossible and e ran out of time. He got 81 for his efforts and I was very happy with that, considering how disappointed I was in his run at LaCamas. I wish he had listened this well at LaCamas but he didn’t. He came off the field with his tail held high and quite pleased with himself and I told him that he was a good dog. His flanks were simply wonderful and he was soft to handle. He was one run out of the points for his efforts.

The day had finally warmed up and we took a lunch break. In the morning the weather was cold and the wind whipped about us, chilling us to the bone. I had gotten chilled from the morning breeze and finally warmed up in the heated trailer.

Faye was a brat in PN as she was tight and didn’t take my flank whistles. She lifted well but was offline and refused to bend. The first leg of the cross drive was superb until I asked her for a come bye flank at the panel and she refused. The sheep broke and I flanked her come bye and she followed them and flanked away and crossed the course. I tried to flank her on the come bye and she refused so I left the post to end the run and hope that the next run would be better. I didn’t give her the sheep even though she wanted to stop them from going to the exhaust. She has to learn to release the pressure when I ask even though in her mind, she feels this is wrong.

Janet sent Scott on the come bye side and the sheep broke, as the draw was to the away side. The old dog gallantly caught up with the sheep and turned them and brought them down the field to her feet. He has an amazing feel for sheep and reads them well. He calmed the wayward ewes and they did their drive. They popped them into the pen and had a nice run. They have come together well as a team and he trusts her now. Being seasoned, Scott knows where to place himself even if Janet is slow on her commands. He knows how far and how much pressure to apply to the sheep and has an uncanny way of making the run look easy. Scott has always being a crowd pleaser and he did well that day.

The sheep stopping by the potluck trailer, perhaps for a fast food order?

We had a handler dinner. Bonnie supplied the chicken and ribs and Norm cooked a tasty BBQ of them. We brought Apple pie (we didn’t make it since we didn’t have time) and there was tons of other great side dishes. Jeanne B made a wonderful spinach salad, Jo Ferguson made her signature blueberry dessert, pasta dishes and more goodies. As tradition, Tess was there and ate my leftover then found Susan Crocker. She showed her *BANG, YOUR’RE DEAD” trick and got a few treats then did the sad eyes routine. Se was rewarded and I let her eat as much as she wants at the potluck as one day, she won’t be around and I will regret it if I deny her joy of begging. Beside, she has earned it and loves to be a social butterfly. After dinner, she found a few more victims to pet her and she was happy.

Pam Colin's Kelpie,  Luke (?)

Darkness fell quickly at eight and we went back to the trailer. The dogs got to play and then we headed in for the night. A few Mike’s Lemonade later and then it was bedtime. Tess put her gray muzzle on her Border Collie Pillow and began to snore. Nan’s legs began to twitch and she panted in her dreams. I read a story on my new Kindle that Getty had gotten me for my birthday and soon I was asleep, perhaps dreaming that Nan would slow down on her run tomorrow. We soon were soothed to sleep by the distant cries of the coyotes and the soft snoring of Tess.
Tomorrow: Sunday and Monday runs and more photos!


Windswept Farm said...

Sometimes typos are funny -- "Any closer and they would blot."

gvmama said...

hahaha Suzanne knew about the dark horse! :0) I'm so glad she is going to the Nationals. Go Tierney and Brisco.

Pat Grannan said...

Good to hear you are taking care of our young emigrant from California (Tierney). Good job to all.