Friday, June 3, 2011

Key Pen Trial- Day One of Open- May 28

I had entered Roo, Nan, Sava and Taff in the Key Pen Acres trial which was held over Memorial day.  It was spread over the  three days of the Memorial Day weekend. I took Friday off as vacation and Getty and I loaded up the trailer and away we went. Getty was going along since I was not feeling too well to be hauling by myself and as part of the deal, he was not required to attend the trial Instead he made plan to go play some Frisbee Disc Golf since he had some major tournaments coming up.

The campground was about 1/3 mile away and on dry flat grass which was easy to set up. Over the course of the weekend, there was four rigs in a huge field so it was nice to have the quietness and extra space. We were able to play with the dogs and relax and be off the grid. We did have Internet access but really didn’t go online very long. It was just nice to sit outside, enjoy the nice weather, toss a ball for the dogs and have a nice dinner wiht Bonnie at a Mexican restaruant. Bonnie a a good friend, plus a great photographer. She is also one of the nicest people that I have ever met.

Sue and George have a nice trial on a small field but they make the course very tricky. Add the dips and valley and dead zones and you have one heck of a tough trial and this year was no exception.

For the Open you have a three panel drive which was a box drive and it had a blind drive as well as a few dead zones. The dead zones proved to be the undoing of many dogs as they tried to fetch the sheep back. The Judge was Norm Close and the time was 8 minutes which was doable. On the first day of the trial, I entered Roo and Nan in Open.

Roo ran wide and deep and was tough on the sheep on the first part of the fetch before he settled down. He had a nice turn at the post and did the tough drive quite well and we did miss two panels by a hair. He hesitated in the dead zone which also cost us but in all, his drive was quite nice. He had a clean pen and we dallied a bit for the shed but got it. The two missed panels kept us out of the placing and I need to work on that: meaning my handling. Getty showed up to watch Roo run before he took off with the truck.  Last time he watched at this trial, Tess ran for the last time. It was bittersweet for him.  Tess did come along on the trip and once she realized she was not allowed on the field, she settled down at my chair to nap and occasionally get up and work the crowd for food.
Nan had her usual deep and wide outrun and tidy lift and a tiny bobble on the fetch but only lost three point for her outwork. Her drive was quite nice, missed a panel and was high and got hit hard for that. We timed out at the pen as we had a ram that had never been run and wanted to break away. In fact, the entire run, Nan had to tuck him in as he would try to dart off and then she had to swing back to scoop up the other three sheep. So she worked extra hard and the ram really tested her mettle. As I was shutting the pen gate we timed out so we lost the pen and shed points. For my homework for her, I need to work on her flanks to be crisper and a quicker stop. She tends to be flashy in her movement which unsettles the sheep so I need to be aware of that. Roo is more methodical in his movements and doesn’t scare the sheep by his movement but scares them by his power. He is after all, a red Pleat. Both Open dogs, although not in the placing tried hard for me.

I really enjoyed hanging out with Monique and varouse other folks at the trial. Hot lunch was made by Sue and her volunteers. She hired a set out crew that had sheep on the field as you got to the post. It was a flawless and fun trial. I had such a good time and needed it!

Monique had a sweet run with Lucy and it was good to see that they finally connected as a team. It was a tough decision to sell Lucy to her but it was the right one. When she does well with Lucy, I know they are meant to be a team. Everyone should have a Tess or Lucy as their first dog. Since I didn't get in the top 20%, Monique held up the DeltaBluez honor by doing just that.  Lucy handled the sheep quite well and it was a quiet run and enjoyable to watch. They are a force to be reckoned with!

Later that night, we had a salmon dinner. We played ball with the dogs and just relaxed. It felt good just to sit and not do anything. I broke down and had a Mike's hard lemonade and soon my pillow called me. I made sure that Tess was hogging Getty's side of the bed and his pillow. Last thing, I remember seeing was Tess hogging half of Getty's side of the bed.

Tomorrow: Sunday runs

1 comment:

Monique said...

Thanks for the jump-start!