Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fire Ridge - Open runs - Day One

We pulled in late at night, got lost, then almost got stuck and then tried to turn the trailer upside down.  Some folks (set out crew) saw us driving around in circles in the open field and helped us. Lack of sign plus pitch darkness in huge hay field makes parking stressful. We had driven over 9 hours (hauling ass) following Bob Dias to get to Fire Ridge. As we were trying to get lost, I was emailing Melinda for specific directions and with the new directions, we arrived at the field and did the scenic cruise up and down the Open field.  Now to get to the parking was an adventure but after a half hour, we all sorted it out and found the parking lot. Thank goodness for the set out crew who took pity on us and guided us to the real parking lot than the top of the Open field that we thought was the parking!

We got all set up and crashed hard and got up early for the Open handlers meeting. As I strode to the handler meeting,  the huge open field greeted me. The set out was at the top of several deep rolling hills, either was to send would be tough as the dog would lose sight of the sheep. To the away side, they would come in short at the fetch panels and to the come bye, they would cast up bu the set out pen. Pick your poison!

I chose to go come bye with Nan and Roo. It proved to be a good choice.

Nan picking up her sheep. They were about 550 yards away.

She had a nice fetch and a good drive.  She lost zero off her outrun and lift and four on her fetch. On her drive, and ten on her drive.
Setting up for the shed. We had a missed attempt (my fault) and finally got it. Eight off her shed and ten on the pen.

Nan on her shed. The other ewe ran like a bat out of hell...well, so would I!  We timed out on the pen. She placed 16th, in spite of me botching the shed.  I didn't get any pixs of Roo on the first day. I had to redirect him on the outrun and he lifted well, losing only one point on his lift and eight off his fetch. His drive was a bit wobbly in parts but good otherwise for a 14 point loss and he shined on the shed. He came in quick and clean and marched them into the pen.  He  got 64 and Nan got 69.  Roo ran well for me, a far different dog than at the regionals. He was soft and pliable on the sheep. Working him between the trial on a ranch in central Oregon, really helped us bond as a team. The work was long and arduous but paid off.

Joe Haynes and Penny.

The Judging trailer. Hub was the Judge.

Bob Dias and Koko await their turn. She ran well and placed 6th. Bob ran Rock and it was an impressive run, placing 2nd. He tied for first with Lavon so they had to do a runoff. He is a dog that people then to overlook but he is a very nice dog. Too bad, he doesn't belong to me! He also ran Cloud. He was quite busy that weekend.

 Lavon and his dog Tess, (I love that name) won the trial after the runoff. She had one of the sweetest drive and is a joy to watch. There was numerous great runs that stood up the tough course.

The scene from the front of our trailer. It was a pleasure to wake up to see this beautiful sight.

I didn't make it to the PN field as I was running two dogs and taking pixs. The flock was very tough and part of the outrun was blind.  Laura Vishoot was the judge and did a fine job.

We were beat from the long drive from the night before and went to bed early. I normally read my new Kindle before I crash, but I only read about two pages before I passed out. Getty got me the Kindle for my birthday and it has been a wonderful, thoughtful gift.

I called home to see how everyone was doing. Good news was that no sheep escaped or were killed (a common occurrence it seems when I go to a trial) and Tess and Rainey were holding down my section of the bed. I asked Getty if Tess missed me, and I could tell he thought carefully when he answered, "Oh yes, she misses you"...but I know full well, that she was getting spoiled, watching football and eating snacks and probably didn't even notice that I was gone. But I pretended she missed me, well, maybe a little.

Oh, he managed to sell a locker lamb and work Rainey while I was gone. So, needless to say, Rainey probably didn't miss me either!

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