Some people are meant to be morning people and others are meant to sleep in. I am of the sleeping in group so getting up at 5 on a weekend is like having a wisdom tooth removed. Slow and painful. I had enter Maid and Nan in Open and Sava and Rainey in PN. Maid was fifth dog up. The course was the same as the last time and you had one Scottie ewe and two Scottie lambs. The left hand turn was down a hill that you could not see, over a ditch and then over a slight hump and the sheep would appear. By this time, you hoped your were on line as you didn’t have much time to line up correctly. A snug turn then the long cross drive to a the solo panel and tree and then to the ring for a single and lastly, the pen. The draw was heavy at the first turn and back and forth on the cross drive.
Maid went out swiftly to the away side and flared out crispy when she saw the sheep. The setout person dog then chased the sheep about 2/3 of the way back to the setout and Maid had to cast out wide and come between the sheep and the setout pen. The line was off as they kept wanting to bolt back but we got them settled after we missed the panel. It was tough as the sheep were rattle from the setout dog and it amped everyone up. We got the first leg quite nicely but as soon as the sheep went through the panel, they made a break for the setout. Maid did not heed my comebye flank but swung on an away to cover them. She got them turned and they started the drive. She had to lean heavy on the setout side to prevent them from bursting back. Then halfway across the drive, they made a break for the exhaust. We did a few wide drives and then got them headed to the second panel where they made yet another break. She broke on the away side when I asked her for a comebye and finally the mess was settled in the ring. We had difficulties on the drive so we will be working on that. The sheep stuck to my legs and I really never had a chance for a shed. There were a couple of times for a risky shed but with Maid on the muscle and the sheep riled up, it would be a grievous error on my part to call her in as it would be a rodeo. So we lost most of the drive points and timed out on the single and obviously no pen. She listened quite well on the outwork but we are not connected yet on the drive. On the shed, she was very amiable. I am happy with her and it will take time but she is very willing and quite bonded to me.
Nan was towards the end and she cast out nice. She had a nice outrun, lift and feisty fetch, meaning on the muscle. The first leg was wobbly and she had a nice tight turn. About halfway on the drive she began to lean hard on the sheep and they veered back and forth. The last part of the drive was not clean and the sheep felt rushed as she was in their bubble. I called her in once for the single and it failed and after that the sheep stuck to me and we time out. The issue began on the last part of the crossdrive and I will be working on that so we all come into the ring, settled and not rushed.
Save was the first of my PN dogs to run and she cast out nice an wide. Her lift was honest and we were slightly offline and she didn’t want to lean on them to put them on line. They stood at her at the turn and she lher ground. We had issues on keeping the first leg straight but managed to work it out, then a bobble on the last part of the crossdrive when the sheep broke down. She got them back but missed the second panel and was a little off on her last leg. The sheep tried to skirt around the pen but she stopped them and tucked them in. The drive was the Open drive and it was very tough for the PN dogs. I really had to work it with Sava as it was a struggle for her. Out of the 14 dogs that ran in PN, only three got a score. Sava placed second in this class. I had to pull Rainey as she was lame so she got the day off.
The ranch class had a short drive then pen and the sheep were tough to push through the panel. But the handlers did well and handled the runaways with grace. The Novice class was tough as the sheep wanted to break down to the exhaust but the handlers worked on their handling and won their battles for that day.
The trial was tough but fun and a real challenge. The sheep were wily and not easy to handle if you got into their bubble. I need to widened my dogs on the bubble. They are used to heavy sheep and need to learn to rate lighter sheep better than they did at the trial.
I will post pixs later this week.