Sunday was the second day of the Rocky Ewe Trial. The third day was the Ranch and Novice. I was over the moon with Nan and Rainey runs on Saturday. I know the dogs can make you humble quickly so I went to the post today with the attitude of doing what we can do and be happy. They moved PN to first then a lunch break then Open.
Rainey was down towards the bottom in the run order for PN. It was a lot hotter than on Saturday and the sheep had been through the course a few times and were wise to the draws. They are light Katahdins and if the dog was heavy handed with them, they would run. If the dog was weak, they went where they pleased. You had to back your dog off and handle them with kid gloves. Sheds were very tough and the sheep would not move off the people. I like this challenge as it opens up a new venue for my dogs and handling skills.
The course was not that big but it was tricky with narrow draws that sucked the dogs in, and a straight shot to the exhaust if your dogs did not cover and dips and vales to swallow up your commands. The galloping Arabians next door added to the adventure on Saturday as they would suck the dogs over to them (namely Roo on his run on Saturday)
The drive was switched to a left hand drive and the cross drive panel was in a gully that was very hard to see if you were lined up or not. If you were off the sheep swirled around the tree and into a gully. The last leg was partially blind and then the sheep would come up into the face of the pen. If the sheep went to the far side of the pen, they would try to break to the exhaust. It was a great tough and tricky course.
Rainey wanted to go on the come bye side again and if she would was short, flat or slow, the sheep would break back to the exhaust on the away side. Most of the people had sent on the away side but Rainey really wanted to go on the come bye side. I trusted her and sent her. She cast out very deep and came in proper to do a nice lift. A really nice outrun that did not upset the sheep and I blessed Scott Glen for putting such a sweet outrun on her. As she was going out behind the sheep, the set out let the sheep go before she could get there and they bolted to the come bye side. I gave her a hard stop, followed quickly but a fast away flank. She didn't see the sheep break off but did as I asked and then got a hold of them quickly. It was only a few steps but she got them back online quickly for a one point loss and put them through the fetch panels and got the sheep all settled down. She had a nice turn at the post, then a bit of a wobble at the first leg of the drive, then straighten that out to have a clean first leg and sharp turn, then a nice pace over the cross drive, then put them through the panel, another sharp turn, and straight to the pen. She had to hold the side that they wanted to bolt and we worked as a team to pen them. She only lost two points for the bobble on the first leg of the drive and got 87 out of 90 points. I think I almost fainted but luckily I was in a chair! She was very biddable and had lots of try for me and the flanks were what you dream off! Thanks to Scott for putting such beautiful flanks on her. Rainey was quite pleased with herself on her run and she just gave me her all. I couldn't ask for any more.
She did end up winning the class and ended up winning High Combined Overall PN for the weekend. Not bad for her third time to a PN trial!
We had a lunch break so I went and played with the dogs and relaxed. Open was to start at 11:30 and Nan was second up. Monique and Lucy were first. Lucy ran out nice and handled the sheep with kid gloves. They had an awesome run and it was quiet. Nice work but they timed out at the shed. It was the high standard to be set and a great run!
Nan was a lot hotter today and twice as much on the muscle. I sent her out on the come bye side and she came in nice but I hit her with a hard down as she spooked the sheep with her push. I got the sheep to settle down and we had a nice fetch and she lost two for her lift and one for her fetch. I got a hold of her and the sheep paced nicely on the drive. We had a few tiny bobbles and lost seven on the drive and she marched them into the pen. The sheep clung to me on the shed and it took a bit of finagling but we got the shed for a four point lost. Our score was 86 and it was the same score that we had the day before. I was happy with Nan, even though she went out hot and on the muscle, she did settle down and worked nice. I really soften up on my whistles and changed my correction style and it paid off.
Roo ran out nice on the come bye side and I hit him with a whistle to keep him deep. He was hard on the lift but downed as I told him but had a sweet fetch. He lost seven for his outwork but was soft and was listened very well. He had a tight turn at the post and his first leg was dead on withe a very tight turn but them he decided to head the sheep and pull them through for no reason. I laid into him and let him think about that, then he had a sweet cross drive and a very tight lovely turn and then he did it again. I laid into him again and he had a nice third leg. I have no idea why he did that but I could see he was tense just before he did it. His drive was just dreamy aside form those pull through!! It was dead on and quiet! EEE GADS!!
So at the pen,I had them lined up to go in and just needed him to stay but he snuck up and they popped up so we had to so it again, But his sneaking up had upset the sheep and we timed out. So needless to say, we did not get the pen or shed. Aside from the pull through and non-down, he worked quite well and had a wonderful pace and feel for the sheep. He lost most of his drive points so combined with the non pen and non shed, he landed in the middle of the pack.
At the end of the day, Rainey got to run in the Open Non compete. I decided to send her on the away side. The narrow draw sucked her in on the outrun and she lost five for that but had a brilliant lift and fetch, one points loss for each and had a nice turn. The first leg was dead on and about 15 or so feet in front of the drive panels, she couldn't hear me or thought she heard a big come by flank and she did that and flipped the sheep back. I scolded her and she looked at me in complete amazement so I knew she was not misbehaving so I let it go and started on the cross drive as I didn't want to deflate her. She had a sweet cross drive, tight turn around the panels and nice last leg. She tucked the sheep into the pen like a pro and took them out to get ready for the shed. I lined the sheep up and had a tiny hole and called her in, the hole opened up wider and she flew into the gap and held the ewes. I watched her as she stood her ground and the ewes wanted to dart around her but she was firm. It was a superb shed and she was not going to let the sheep back. She lost zero for her pen and shed. She lost twenty points for her drive and even though it was a hard well deserved hit, her score was 73. I did notice she was gassing out on the first leg of the drive and it probably was that she ran her PN run and then set sheep and moved the flock. Plus this was her fourth run in two days. Her weak area is the drive and that is holding her back from going to Open. Once she gets solid on her drive, I will bump her up. Her style is far different than Nan or Roo. She reminds me of Lucy at that age when I ran her in PN and it was like running Lucy all over again.
At the end of the day, Nan won Open and Rainey won PN. Nan won High Combined Open and Rainey won High Combined PN. It was a double bonus to win both days of Open and PN with almost the same scores on both days!! I really had a blast this weekend and I need the boost after my not so good Open runs at LaCamas. Bonnie and I went out for sushi and it was a great way to end the weekend! Thanks to Joe Haynes for judging and Judy and crew for hosting the trial. It was a real pleasure! Nan got close to seven points towards the Finals for next year.
Rainey got the highest score all weekend. I am so proud of her.
Oops, so I cut off the score but I will repost them later and fix this.
High Combined Open.
High Combined PN.