Saturday, June 4, 2011

Key Pen Trial- Day Two of Open and PN- May 29

Sunday came too darn early so it seemed. It seems like I am always up early so never can sleep in but even if I was later, I still would get up early to watch and figure out my run. The sweet taste of coffee rolled around in my mouth while Tess nudged my hand for the leftovers of my muffin. The drive was the same bur reversed and instead of the pen, you had a Maltese cross. You had to put all of the sheep through the lanes before you could do the second part of the cross. The sheep tried every trick in the book to avoid the cross and it showed. You had to be patient and line them up just right. The square drive was tough with part of it being blind.

Nan ran out nice and deep and had a nice fetch, only losing four points on her outwork, then the drive was a struggle. We had the hair sheep and they bolted up the field and a pushy dog like Nan just makes them run faster. I pulled her way back but with these sheep it didn’t matter, they just run with a strong dog. So needless to say, we missed most of the panels and most of our drive points. She was game but was leaning on them too strong. I need to work her move on light sheep to be successful. Instead of a pen, we had to do the cross and did the first part fine then a bit of a mess but got the second part and only lost five points. The drive killed any hopes for any placement except for the middle of the pack.
Roo, the Bull was my next dog and he runs like a bull in a china shop. He went out nice then was flat at the top of the outrun and ignored my redirects. A hard flit then a bobble at the first part of the fetch then he settled down. Nice turn at the post and I really put on his brakes and he settled down and sheep, still nervous, decided not to bolt. He had a wonderful drive, only marred my missed the panels. He was in a hollow and couldn’t hear my commands so the sheep slipped by and on the last panel, he was slow to tuck them in and again just barely missed them. However, he was calm, handled the sheep well and had one of the best drives. He put the sheep through the Maltese Cross with ease and had a nice run. The flat outrun cost us dearly and he just placed out of the points. I was very happy with his work and when he is on, he is a joy to run. Roo was very happy after his run as he knew he ran quite well.

Brian Nelson had an impeccable run with Pleat and it was greeted with a round of applause. Monique and Lucy had a flawless run, aside from the bobbles on the drive. Lucy made the sheep feel at ease and made it look like a walk in the park. Sue MacDonald ran Jackie, a full sister to Roo (Different litter) and she ran quite well. She was on the muscle but listened well and I think this team will come together.

ProNovice was after Open and the blind drive was part of it as well as one land of the Maltese Cross. Sava was the second dog to run and I set her up to go away. She saw something that got her eye and crossed over to my dismay. She realized that there were no sheep and tried to come back so I made her look back and since we had lost all of our outrun points, made her finish the wrong way outrun and she finally got her sheep. She had a nice lift but was fast on her fetch. On her drive she refused to listened on the down, so I ran after her to make the point.

Taff was edgy having hearing all the dogs and whistles all day so I knew this was going to be exciting. He ran out fast and then was tight at the top, but had a nice lift and fetch. The drive he struggled with as he was pushy on the blind section and right on the sheep butts. I got him to stop on the last leg and he had a nice Maltese cross with the sheep. He actually placed 5th that day but it was a tough run. He needs to have a person be on top of him and might be suited for a guy handler. He can move anything and is a god dog but a very strong dog. Getty arrived in time to watch this run and pick me up.

It was a long day and I was wiped out running four dogs. I took a short nap before dinner. I convince Sue to have the handler’s dinner at the Roadhouse. About fifteen of us went there and the food was good, I got a flat iron steak and it was very tasty. I broke down and got some Crème Brûlée for dessert. It was a perfect way to end the night.

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