I judged the Saturday PN, Nursery and Novice runs. We started early and finished late afternoon. the Sheep were the farm flock and were well fed Katahdin and Katahdin crosses. If you worked them well, you could get around the course but if you were too pushy or slow, they had the dog's number. The outrun was a bit blind but most dogs made it. The drive was good but at the last leg, if your dog was in the wrong spot, the sheep would break to the exhaust. The pen was tough if you put too much pressure on the sheep and often, they would circle the pen and then go in.
It was cold and windy at times. Melinda supplied me a generous thermos of coffee so I stayed warm. Judy was my scribe for most of the day and she is an excellent scribe. The set out crew was great and the sheep were set nicely and were held well. They ran four sheep per packet.
Nursery ran first and there were some very nice runs. Karen Child ran Harp and that dog had some of the squarest flanks that I have seen. Harp is a tremendous dog and it was a super run! She placed first and was followed closely behind with Dianne Deal and Petal.
PN was the second class to run and it was full class of 30 dogs. The top ten dogs were basically all separated by a point by each run. Dianne and Petal laud down a screamer of a run, losing only seven points for a score of 83. Hot on her heels was Don Helsley with Ash with 82. Dianne and Mae were third with Mae (and that dog needs to go home with me)...she is pushy and a talented dog and a score of 81 I really liked her. Elizabeth and Soot were fourth with a 79 and had the best fetch of all the runs. That Soot is an incredible dog. Vicki had a stunning run with Jess but her pull through cost her dearly. I am sure Jesse will forgive her.
A cute red Merle named Mo, run by Jaenne, had a super nice drive and they just get better and better. I enjoy watching them run. Brian and Scoop started off with outstanding outwork but then struggled on the drive. They just get better and better.
The sheep were getting tough as the day went on and the last leg of the drive was the bane of many folks. Some struggled at the pen too. The sheep would run to the exhaust and they got a chance to pull them off; some did and some did not. I saw some handler stop their dogs when they needed to flank the dogs or didnt' help their dogs when they needed. However, there were some great handling by some folks too. I guess this is why they call it ProNovice.
Novice was the last class to run and Mary Ann had two awesome runs with Hemp to win High Combined Novice. The Novice class had issues on the fetch ad quite a few lost their sheep to the exhaust. It was tough for them. Erica Gordon ran her dog well and she is going to be on tough person as she moves up in the classes. I really enjoyed watching her runs. I enjoyed judging and saw some fine handling and several young upcoming good handlers!
The day ended and we all raced back to the Open field. They were done well ahead of us and after we all got all cleaned up we went out for the tasty Handler's Dinner at Tate’s Umapine Mercantile in Umapine. I can't believe it but they had the best Creme Brulee. I inhaled mine and it ended the day on a glorious note.