Today, I judged the "Couldn't Go Trial" hosted by Sue and George MacDonald. It was for us who decided to stay home and man the fort while other folks went to the Finals. I was the Judge and it was great watching some outstanding runs. The weather was rainy ands windy at times but for Open, it finally quit raining and was only chilly. Hot lunches were provided by Sue and George. The Sheep were a mix of Scotties and Coopsworth.
Novice had three sheep. Both runs tied for first place and they had a run off. Debbie won the run off. This was the best Novice class that I have ever judged. Debbie runs a blue merle Aussie and he rated the stock quite well. Susan ran a nice Border Collie that was clean flanks and good work ethics. Both runs were a joy to watch!
Ranch had a drive and then a small cross drive and to the pen. Cindy handled Kael for a stunning run. I think Sue was running Repete for the first time and he had outstanding outwork.
PN had a nice long drive then a L chute followed by the pen. The sheep had to be set just right to go through the chute. The drive was a real challenge and the sheep tested the dogs on the last leg. I think this was Jorgen's second trial with Bender and he did quite well, winning the class. Cindy and Finn laid down a smooth run to place second and the outwork was sweet. Fran decided to pick up third and fourth with nice controlled runs, with Cindy and Brill hot on their heels for fifth! Nora and Nick had a nice quiet run to fasten down the sixth place.
Open was a tough course. The fetch was off to the left and the dog had to push the sheep between a rock and tree (first set of panels) , then do a 30 degree turn to the right, then through a second set of panels and then down to the dogs. Some dogs did this quite well, Penny O from Canada laying down a two points loss on her superb fetch and other dogs didn't believe their handlers and did not do the dog leg fetch. It was tough to do. The first leg of the drive was long and one point the sheep and dog would be in a deep ravine, the sound echoed and the dogs would push the sheep to the right side of the panel and miss it. The last leg was a tight turn to the chute. The shed had to be competed before the chute and pen. At the chute, the handler could not cross over the tied gate to help push the sheep into the chute so the dog had to line them up just right and push them. Then as the sheep cane out, they had to wing quickly to pen the sheep. It was the same for the PN class but the PN handlers could move anywhere while hanging on the rope.
Linda and Pooka were the first one up and laid down a sweet run that held for most of the day until Donna and Kate wrestled first place away from her. Kate is the aunt of Pooka! Tess is the mom of Kate and both dogs handled the sheep very nicely. Bonnie got a good handle on Gull and keep him calm and got third place. Her hard work with Gull is paying off! she had one of the nicest chute and pens of the day.
Penny O from Canada had sweet run but timed out as her sheep were coming out of the chute on both of her runs. Her run with Quill was a joy to watch with very smooth lines and good workmanship. Jorgen and Jim Cooper had some nice runs with excellent chute and pen work.
It was a fine day for a sheepdog trial and thanks to everyone who can out to run. We all had a good time and Donna Donahue will be judging the Sunday run.