Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friday and Saturday at LaCamas

I decided to roll Friday and Saturday into one blog. Then you will get the photo blogs that should span several days and the Double Lift photos. I guess I better get hopping on editing the photos from the trial. Believe me, there were a lot of them plus the lighting was quite bright so I will pick the best, do the massive edits and then post them.

Nan was the only dog of mine to run on Friday. Ron ran Tigr and Chavo in Nursery. Bob and Rochelle ran Cloud and Ben. The day started cool but soon the sun burst in and the temperature rose to the 80s. There was a slight breeze then patches of stifling hot dead air. I decided to sleep in until 7 and that felt good. A couple of cups of coffee and I was ready to wander down and see the Open runs. By mid morning, Ron had done his Nursery run. placed second with Kiki and retired with Chavo. He was quite happy with Kiki’s performance. Kiki is a great grand daughter of Tess. There was three generations of Tess’s pup at this trial. Tess was my lap warmer and the few times the sheep raced by her near the fence, she leaned into her leash and perhaps relived the times that she ran on this course.

Nan ran in late midday and cast our wide. She slowed down at the top bit so I flanked her out and she lifted the sheep and began the fetch. She did not grip on the fetch so I was happy there. I did notice when the sheep were set that one lamb kept trying to break away. True to his intentions, the lamb tried to gallop off on the fetch but Nan tucked him back in. Just before the post, the lamb tried for another runaway and Nan cast out wide and put him back in. She was well off the lambs as I put the breaks on her so that was not the cause as in her previous run. At the turn, the lamb bolted to the fence and Nan swung out wide again and marched him back. The other four lambs were very manageable and waited.

I got them lined up straight on the drive and the lamb bolted again and Nan put him back for the fourth time. I know Nan has a bit of a temper however, she was being very patient at this point. I slowed her down and kept a large bubble. We hit dead center of the first drive panel and Nan did a brilliant flank that had a super tight turn. She set herself up for the cross drive when the lamb did a 180 and ran of. She had had enough of this lamb and flew up in the air, did a quite face grip, turned the lambs and tucked him back into the group. The lamb decided discretion was the better part of valor and decided to behave himself but we walked off with a DQ. Even though we got a DQ, I was happy at her performance, a bit fast in some places but she tried hard. So at this point, I was 0 for 3 on points for my Open dogs.

Suzanne Anaya ran her Yoko in the PN field and did quite well. She placed in the top ten. Yoko handled the lambs quite well and they are a good team. I remember seeing Yoko a couple of years ago and it was nice to see her progression as a trial dog. Suzanne comes up from southern California once a year for trials and she is a real joy. Suzanne had Jett, who is retired but is a fun dog. He knows about a million tricks (well, it seems like that many) and has a wise face. He took Tess’s leash and took her to a walk under the big tent.

Later that night, Suzanne and I had steak and shrimp on the grill. We had some drinks and just hung out. The dogs got chew on some treats and soon we all fell asleep with the dreams of doing better on Saturday. I know we couldn’t do any worse!

Bright and early on Saturday, we went to the PN field to run Rainey and Yoko. This was the third day they had run PN and the course was the same as the first day. They had three PN classes but you were in only two of them we got the Thursday and Friday draw.

I sent Rainey to go on the away side but she started to cross but I got her in time and gave her a quick correction, followed by the flanks I wanted her to go. She spun on a dime and went out very nice. She was slow at the top since there was a setout person but not as slow as before. She very carefully walked on to her sheep nice and quietly. She had a nice fetch and took the flanks as needed to stay on line. She lost two on her outrun, one on the lift and four on the fetch. We had a fast turn at the post but I was pleased with it. She lined out the sheep and got the first panel, nice cross drive then made the second panel. The sheep broke hard to the exhaust and she had to swing high on the come-bye to cover them, Almost 270 degrees but got them turned. They were offline so I had her march them back online and that was very hard for her but she did it. We had them in the mouth of the pen and were easing them in nicely when one busted out and around the pen. She timed out putting them back together again. She lost five for her drive and all of her pen points. Interestingly enough, she got the same score on her last run and very close to the same points in the other areas. At least, she was consistent. Rainey got 10th out of 47 dogs.

Suzanne was up next with Yoko. That dog can move like a racehorse and she had one of the nicest outruns. She had a nice lift and then brought them down smartly on the fetch line and had a bit of a bobble at the post turn. Her drive lined out nice with a sprint at the cross drive but then got them to the pen, only to time out. She is looking quite nice now and really can red her sheep. They had very nice teamwork and placed 8th out of 47 dogs.

Gloria Atwater ran her Nick. Nick ran like a professional, had nice lines and had the lambs just go ever so sweet. She got the pen and the crowd cheered at such a beautiful run. I was able to met Gloria for the first time at this trial and we had been in contact via Facebook for a while but never met.

Roo was the last dog of mine to run.  I gave him the "evil eye of death", otherwise known as "you better down" look as we went to the post. He cast out wide on the away side, then he began to cut in. I stopped him and looked to see what caught his eye and it was a water truck with a big white water tub on top. I told him to look so he looked HARDER at the truck. Sigh. I waited until he decided it was a truck after all and not a giant sheep. He did look up towards the sheep so I flanked him and he went out like a champion. He decided to bust in at the lift and three lambs swr\irled to one side and we got them back online. He was pushing quite hard and I got a hold of him. The rest of the fetch was decent and we had a ok turn at the post. He was pushing hard on the drive and caused extra work for himself but he did stay back. His first leg was quite nice and as we did the nice first turn, the lambs went high but he got them back online. Due to my poor eyesight, I though I had the sheep dead on for the second panel but was low! I can't fault Roo at all for my mistake as he did as I told him. He got them in the ring was was gassing out. As a result, he would get closer and scattered the sheep. I created an opening as he was slow to come in so they regrouped. They ran about for a bit while Roo took a couple of water breaks and I knew we were out of shed points by them but wanted to get them back in the ring as time was running out. He got them back in the ring and time was called. I was much happier with him, aside from the bust in at the lift. He got a small token score in the 40's for his efforts.

All in all, it was a learning experience for me. This time Roo at least found the sheep and completed the course. Nan was free with her teeth. I know what my homework is now. Rainey did better than I thought she would and it was on all heart. If she didn't believe me, there would have been no way she could have moved the sheep. There were a few times she looked at me for help, and I encouraged her and she put down her head and did it for me.

Once again, it was a real pleasure to hang out with Bob and Rochelle. They are a five star people in my book. I can't enough good things about them. for those of you that think Bob maybe gruff, he really isn't. He cuddles his dogs and loves them dearly. He has a heart of gold. Rochelle is not only a beautiful woman but she has a heart to match that. She loves her Koko and took that little red dog and made her into a diamond.

I enjoyed hanging out with Suzanne. She showed me how to calm Nan's fears on gunshots and thunder a couple of years ago. She loves her dogs and believes in them. She is down to earth and none of the petty BS type of person. Plus she has a great sense of humor. Her ribs were cracked and she was in major pain but was a real trooper all weekend. I hope they heal quickly!

This trial is the "Bluegrass of the West". I really love this trial, the people who host it and can't say enough on how great it is. The sheep are tough and you have to work for every point. The hospitality is out of the world!

Photos and more trial stuff in the next few days.

1 comment:

gvmama said...

You are way too kind. That little bobble at the post was me taking the lambs around the WRONG way at the post and then having to undo the mess. LOL I bought the 4 inch memory foam from overstock.com on the way home. THANKS! Oh, and thank-you for the fabulous dinner. Next time, our treat!