Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Bath for Taff

The other day, I sent Taff out for a grooming and a bath. He was very good for the groomer and left about about ten pounds of hair back at her shop. he looked very nice when I got him back but after I worked him, he jumped into the pond!

 The hairy dog is no more!

Giving me the hint at the gate. 

 He always has one ear cocked to me, waiting for a command.

Look, he can really lie down and stay!

He has been working well recently, pacing slow behind the sheep and not jumping up. He is still a powerful dog and a handful, but nothing fazes him. He is a goofy and loving dog off the stock.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rainey at PN at Ewefull Acres

Some photos of Rain during her ProNovice run.

Rain in reflection before her run.

The Fetch.

More on the fetch.

Turn around the post.

Last leg as she she tucked them neatly into the pen.

Note: I can't remember who took these for me, so let me know if it was you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Karen and Ajax

Karen Mahoney has a sweet dog named Ajax. I love this dog as he tries his heart out for me. Karen is alos one, if not, the nicest and kindest handler out there. She has welcomed me when I was recovering from my heart operation and made sure that I had a bed to sleep on at trials. Her kindness extends to everyone.

Karean ran Ajax this last weekend and then had to get back home for work.  Ajax is her top Open dog and really rates his stock well. They are a good team together.

 Walking up on the drive.

 The sheep are under his control.

I love the front feet off the ground.

 Steady as he goes.

 Focused!.

Perfect pen.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday Ewefull Acres Open - June 26

The MacDonald’s are not only know for the tricky trial but for the fabulous Seafood Potluck dinner on Saturday night. It was delivered as promised. Sue and George provide pork and beef roast, freah clam and oysters from the beach, drinks and a sweet raffle. Each hander brings a dish to the potluck. I have been brining my Asian Salad for a few years and this year it had sweet greens, almonds. Cherries and blueberries, baby corn, tons of feta cheese and other assorted goodies and Ginger Sesame dressing. Other side dishes were Ray Coapman’s famous Asian pasta salad, fruit salad, chili mango shrimp, shrimp coacktail, pasta salads, homemade dessert, blueberry cobbler and the list goes on. Of course, I had to taste quite of the offerings as well have my clams. I was so full that I waddled later when I took my dogs out for the nightly walk. Oh yea, did I fail to mention there was a huge sampling of wine as well.

Before dinner, I had my Mike’s hard lemonade on a empty stomach which made me quite happy, then wandered over to Dan and Noelle’s trailer to sample some tasty Cabernet wine. Jeff and dee were there and soon we were all bursting out with laughter. It was a great time and I had such a grand time, just enjoying their company and tasting good wine.

After dinner, Sue had the drawing for the raffle. I had put my name in for a Border Collie blanket and WON it. I was so stroked!! I also got the “Bucket of Wine” made by Fran. In addition, I got other goodies, a nice vest for Getty (with a Border Collie on it from the UK), a sheep toy and odds and ends. I hit the mother load. It probably helped that I put a bunch of money in. It all goes to a good cause.

I wandered back to take the dogs for a walk and was joined by Debbie Dunne. We would often walk our dogs during the trial. We would go down to the secluded area behind the house and it was peaceful.

The first class on Sunday was Nursery so I was able to see the young dogs run. They sure were keen and it made me relize how much I take my open dogs work for granted. The day decided to turn into sunshine and then the cloud retreated for a bit.

Open was right after Nursery and they set the course to be challenging. The outwork was standard but the first leg of the drive was back through the fetch panels, then a 90 degree turn then over a hill into a blind spot for the second drive panel. You could not see the sheep on the last 30 feet or so, therefore you hope you had them lines up right. You could not really see if you had them lined up right either. Then it was a long cross drive up a hill but the first half of the cross drive, the sheep and dog were out of sight. You had about ten feet at the second panel to line everyone up. Then the sheep would appear about halfway up the long drive, and then you have to put them over a bump through the third panel. This was especially tricky as the illusion it gave was that you had made the panels, when in fact, you were about five sheep short. Then, you had to swing wide around huge maple tree and then halfway down the lat leg, you had a y-chute. You could not leave the post so had to stop the sheep from running down the hill to make the chute. The angle was tough so you could not see if the sheep were lined up to go in. Moreover, the sheep were racing down the long hill to the exhaust. You had to put all three sheep through the chute and then do a single. All of this in eight minutes.

The morning runs were very challenging as the sheep were super light and ran. The dogs had a hard time getting close enough to control them so it really put the test to the team. Normally, the sheep can be a bit heavy to push and would challenge a soft dog but in this case, they ran. I am thinking they were part gazelle at this point.

Nan was my first dog up and she ran out wide and deep and had a nice lift. She was right on top on then so I had to reel her in and she settled down. We made the fetch panel and had a nice turn at the post. Nice line to the fetch panels, where I turned a couple of sheep too soon, but we at least had a crisp turn. The sheep bolted but I had them lined up and they went through the second panel and then Nan had to peel them off the fence. She walked slowly and methodical into them and we lined them up for the cross drive. It was fairly nice and the illusion of the third panel got me as I was off to the side but we swirled about and then got some and made the tree panel. The sheep tried to bolt down the filed so I hitched her up tight and they were close to the mouth of the y-chute. I thought I had lined them up but they skimmed past it so we tried it again and got it. They sheep were light and refused to settle in the shedding ring so we time out. I was happy with Nan’s efforts as she tried very hard but the bonus was she didn’t run through her stop the extra five feet. For most of the morning, she sat in third place but I knew it would not last.

In the afternoon, the sheep settled and were very workable. They didn’t bolt and if you handled then right, would be able to do the course quite well, as demonstrated by Lasoya and Beau who got a 95 for their efforts. There were a lot of top score in the afternoon and the sheep were sweet to work.
Roo has been running well for me, stopping and flanking well but we need to work, on some fine-tuning but I am very happy with him. We finally partnered up quite well and I have to be more aware of his power and were to place him. That means to me, not too close to the sheep and apply the brakes. He has wonderful square flanks to dream of!
I sent Roo on the away side and he cast out wide and came out deep behind his sheep. However on the backside of the filed, he was out of sight of the sheep and when he got to the sheep setout, they were not there. They had bolted, were near the third drive panel so I gave his fast wide flanks and he got them and put them back online, settled them and brought them kindly through the fetch panels to my feet. The Judge called me to do a rerun.

I really hate reruns so we did it after one run rest. Roo did the same type of outrun but came fast over the hill, only to see his sheep run off again, but he broke to cover and we got them at the top third of the fetch and back online. I had to work on slowing him down as he was amped, no doubt from having to run twice. Nice turn at the post, smart walk through the fetch panels, nice tidy turn and through the second panels and then the start of the blind cross drive. The sheep swung out wide then inside and we finally got it lined up and a sweep push through the third panel and nice swing around the tree. He slowed the sheep down and we lined them in the mouth of the y chute. The wanted to squirt out to the side but his square one step flanks held true and they went in and into the ring. He was amped in the ring and sheep felt it and he was coming through with a good single as time was called. Oh, to wish for one more second but not to be. I was very happy with his work, considering it was a rerun and he almost got the single. He listened well and gave me his all.

The dogs ran much better for me at this trial and our homework we did this week paid off. I hope we continue on this good trend.

I was very happy on how Rainey ran for me. I see a little eyeing up at the top of the outrun, lack on confidence at the setout crew and more push need on the drive but she did everything I asked of her and at one point it was way over her head but the game little dog did as I asked of her. She will need miles but in the last few months has grown up quite a bit. She is super biddable, will stop on a dime and wants to please me. I see a lot of Lucy in her, meaning about three years or so ago, when I ran Lucy, it was the same style. Lucy got the miles on her and now is a great trial dog so I hope that Rainey will follow her example.

I was happy with my dogs this weekend and hope we continue to do well. The next trial is at the end of July in Canada, then two in August. I have a couple of new field and fresh sheep to work so we will be fine-tuning our work in the next few weeks.

I want to thank the folks who helped me at the trial setting up and breaking down my trailer. Since I am partial disabled from the heart surgery and car accident, some setting up and breaking down are very hard for me. Bob Hickman is my awning master and Ruedi stepped in to help. The awning refused to go up and Ruedi fixed it the old-fashioned way by giving it a solid hit. Bonnie and Steve also helped and I hope I got everyone. By helping me, it takes the stress off me! Thanks to people who took pictures of my runs!

I hit serious traffic on the way home and was glad when I pulled into my driveway. The dogs were happy to be home and jumped into the pond for a good soaking. It sure was nice to sleep in my bad and the last thing I remember I heard before I fell asleep was Tess’s snores near my head. She had a hard day at the trial working the crowd for treats and sleeping in the sun.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Follow up story to Maggie, the Border Collie

This is a follow-up to a prior BLOG about Maggie, the Border Collie who was run over while on a cattle drive.

A Camptonville man was arrested in connection with a cattle drive hit-and-run, the Sierra County Sheriff's Department said Saturday. Justin Phillip Lombardobarton, 19, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and animal cruelty for allegedly striking five cows, running over a cattle dog named Maggie and threatening to hit several horseback riders last Sunday.

The horseback riders were participating in the annual Reader Ranch Cattle Drive near Henness Pass in Pike City, a town in southwestern Sierra County where Sierra, Nevada and Yuba counties meet near the Middle Fork of the Yuba River. Participants in the cattle drive and ranch owner John Reader described the attack to The Union newspaper in Grass Valley.

A man in a white Jeep Cherokee drove past the cattle, stopped in the middle of the herd and then whipped his steering wheel to the right and gunned it, Reader told The Union. When riders tried to cut the driver off, he aimed toward them and then twice drove over Maggie, the ranch owner's best cattle dog who was trotting behind the cows.

Maggie sustained a severed leg and internal injuries, with vet bills totaling $9,000. Reader was unsure about injuries to the cattle, which dispersed in the high country, but told The Union they may have internal injuries.

The incident was investigated by the California Highway Patrol out of Grass Valley. When investigators determined the attack was deliberate, the Sierra County Sheriff's Department took over and used interviews with people in Alleghany, Pike City, Camptonville, North San Juan and Nevada City before arresting Lombardobarton at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Highway 49 at the Oregon Creek Bridge in Yuba County.

 
He was booked into Sierra County Jail in Downieville. Bail was set at $100,000. The white Jeep Cherokee was located, photographed and towed. Additional charges against Lombardobarton may follow.

LINK

Saturday, June 25, 2011

First day of Open at Eweful Acres

 I got up at the too darn early hour of 6 to let the dog out and get ready. Thanks goodness, I had LASIK eye surgery as if I had to out in contacts lens at that ungodly hour, they would have ended up on my forehead or left ear. They were a lot of handling milling about, taking care of their dogs and getting their first jolt of caffeine.

Handler's meeting was at 7 and the cross was a tricky one. A standard outrun, lift and fetch and then a turn around the Maltese Cross, then drive through three drive panels. Then put the three sheep trough one side of a Maltese Cross and then loop about and get the other side All to be done in 7.5 minutes.

Roo was my first dog up  and he ran out wide and deep on the away side. Part way up the course, she slowed down as if to cross but then cast out deeper. I held my breathe. He came nice at the top and I gave him a down. No such luck and then a little wobble so another down and he took it. The sheep veered off and I flanked him to get them back online and we brought them nice down the lane. A nice turn and they burst at the first leg. I flanked him quickly to stop them from running to the exhaust and he put them smartly through the first panel, smartly marching them to the second and finally through the last panel to the moth of the cross. We slowed way down and the sheep sauntered in and out correctly. I swung him wide and deep to cover for the tough right hand turn for the second part of the cross and he had a bit of the slice which kicked them out. We messed around for a bit but the sheep were spooked by his prior slice so we timed out. He got a score of 76 for his effort, with a six point loss on his drive that made me happy. He lost 2 for the outrun, 2 for the lift and four for his fetch. The first cross was perfect and lost ten for the second cross. I was very happy with the way he work and how he paced. He had good control of the flighty hair sheep and listened quite well.

Nan had her run after lunch and was wired, She could hear my run with Roo and was ready to go. I got her to settle down and she ran out smoothly, wide and deep and stopped at the top,  She came forward hard on the lift but managed it well and had a nice steady, controlled fetch. They sheep swung on the inside of the first drive leg but Nan squared that away. Her first turn was tight and her second leg was right on, tight turn  and marched through the third panel to the final leg.

Nana had a sweet Maltese Cross on the first part and we had a bit of a fuss at the second and got part of the sheep through. She ran very well, a bit on the muscle but held a nice steady. I was super happy on how well she ran and I felt like we clicked well. I did the happy dance when I saw her score of 79. She lost one for her outrun, three for her lift, two for the fetch, eight for the drive and none on the first Maltese and seven on the second part. She placed FIFTH out of 57 dogs and I am over the moon. Roo placed 12th, only a three point spread between them.

Off to bed and will write later on the outstanding handler dinner and other events!



Friday, June 24, 2011

Quick recap of Friday's Run at Eweful Acres

We had the PN, Ranch and Novice runs today. It was wet, drizzley, cold then sunny. Hope gave me a blanket to keep my lap warm as I got cold. The PN handler meeting was at 7 and it was a regular course and run on hair sheep. I entered Rainey and we were number 52 so I cheered my friends on all day. Hope ran Tigr and laid down a nice run to get 4th, (I think).

Finally our turn came. I sent Rainey to the away side and she went deep, then her eyes locked in. I gave her a couple of redirects and she got going. She was a little worried at the top but I got her going and we got the wayward sheep back online. We got the gate and the last half of her fetch was nice. Nice turn and superb first leg, tucked through the panel and nice first half of the crossdrive. Then we got a little high and she was having a hard time taking the flank, so I laid her down and shouted her out for the flank. She took it, missed the panel but got then back online for the third leg and tucked them neatly in the pen.  Two of her outrun, three of the lift, nine for the fetch and drivne and none off the pen for a score of 69. This was the first time we went to the post and in a higher class. She placed 11th out of 52 or so dogs. We do need a little work but I do like how she tried for me. She was super biddable for me and I need to work on her confidence but she has come a long way.

I missed most of the Ranch runs as I had to take care of all the dogs back at the trailer but watched the Novice runs. Deb and her Aussie, Spyder laid down a sweet run (little offline on fetch) but nailed the pen and placed third. Deb handled the sheep and her dog quite well and was quiet and it was great cheering for her. We expect to see them more.

Deb and I have been grilling dinners and hanging out. She is a vey sweet and nice person and I am glad I got to met her. She is also a photographer and I can't wait to see her work.

The dinner crew (me, Deb, Ruedi, Fran, Anna) 

We had a potluck dinner at Bonnie's trailer tonight. Tess was my sidekick and also ate well. We had steak, shrimp, girilled peppers, mushrooms and all sorts of other goodies. There was some alcohol involved and a good time was had by all.

I will get a copy of the scores and post them tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maggie the Border Collie needs help

This is a horrific thing that happened to Maggie. I hope they caught the person who did this. If you want to doante, the info is at the bottom of the article.

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A terrific cattle dog is recovering from injuries she suffered when an impatient driver ran her over during a livestock drive.

Maggie, an 8-year-old border collie, is recovering from a broken leg and severe internal injuries after the incident in Sierra County that shocked her owner, cattleman John Reader. A fund has been set up to help pay for her injuries.

"She's no spring chicken but still really is in her prime for my cattle operation," said Reader. "She's been my best dog."

It's been a decades-long tradition that the Readers move cattle from Pike, about 8 miles northeast of North San Juan, to the high country where they graze for the summer. Part of the drive is three or four miles along the Alleghany-Ridge Road before dropping off onto a dirt road.

Local residents and others typically set up folding chairs roadside and snap pictures of the drive, waving as the herd goes by each year. The Old West lives as the cattle move toward summer pastures.

Pilot cars in front and back were leading about 300 cows along the road on Sunday. In addition, riders on horseback were at the front and rear of the herd.

As the cattle moved along, a couple of cars stopped to let the herd pass. However, another vehicle, a white Jeep Cherokee, pushed through instead of waiting. The car was near dregs of the herd when, Reader said, the driver made a sudden turn.
"I watched him deliberately take the steering wheel and whip it hard to the right," said Reader. "He gunned the car and ran into a calf and a couple of cows. I thought 'What kind of a crazy guy is this?' "
The riders tried to stop the car, Reader hollering for the driver to stop. But the driver picked up speed, narrowly missing Reader's mount.

"My dog was on the shoulder of the road, not even on the pavement," said Reader. "He then turned his attention to her, turned the car that way and ran right over her with both front and back tires."

The male driver and his male passenger then sped on off. Reader said law enforcement is working to locate the driver.

Maggie, who is said to do the job of five riders, was taken to the Loomis Basin Veterinary Emergency Hospital where surgery was performed. The dog suffered a broken back leg, and her spleen, liver and stomach were pushed into her chest cavity.

The femur had to be fixed and her internal organs re-aligned.

"She's not out of the woods," said Reader. "It is amazing she's alive, really."

So far, the veterinary bills total $7,000. To help with costs, people can call the veterinary hospital at (916) 652-5816.

Already, $2,000 has been donated.

Relaxing for the trial

Tomorrow is the first day of a three day trial hosted by Sue and George MacDonald. It has been a tradition for years and I have been attending for twelve of those. Twelve years ago, I ran Tess in Novice and this weekend I will run her son, Roo in Open and her daughter, Rainey in ProNovice.I am also running Nan in Open.

It's bittersweet as Tess is with me on this trip. She retired two year ago, winning High Combined over six trials to go out in a blaze of glory with her handmade Open Quilt for highest ranked dog. Now she is my travel buddy and pillow thief as well as a lap warmer.

Tonight I saw the tentacles of age creep in at her fore quarter. She struggled to get up on the dinette couch with me. She no longer that that spring in her jump on the bed and her eyes are clouded with time. It seems like in the last week or so, it has made a difference in her.

I still let her do the chores as home, because mainly that she shoves the other dogs away at the gate and gives me her pitiful eyes. She will bring the lambs to be put away and I often think of some other chore for her to do. After the chores when we walk to the house, she has the happy smile on her face and she wags her tail with the job well done. She saunters in front of me as if the hands of the clock was turned back many years. We have the knowing walk together, no words needed, but a kinship of work done and we did it well.

Tess is asleep now with her head on my pillow and when I go to bed, I will use the spare pillow so not to disturb her. She is happy and just learned a new trick. I had sugar wafers and she wanted some, so I broke some into small pieces and taught her to kiss on on command. She got the trick quickly and once finished with the treats, then went to sleep. I hear her heavy old dog snores fill the trailer and wonder how much longer she will be with me. I sure hope for many more years.

Roo, Nan and Rainey have trained well this week and I hope it shows on the field. Roo and Nan have been on the muscle more this year so it has been a struggle for me but we are getting there. This will be my first trial with Rainey  and I hope we succeed. She wants to try hard but sometimes has a hard time on the drive. We have worked hard on driving at home and I hope it pays off.

I also have Kathy's dogs, Jill and Tayla with me, She is still in the hospital and will be back at my place maybe on Sunday. So needless to say I have a full crew of dogs. I left around noon and got a sweet spot to park. I got all set up and had a nice dinner with a new friend, Debbie who is from Oregon. She is running a blue Merle Aussie, named Spyder in Novice. We will be cheering for her on the sidelines!

The weather has been great today, a little windy and sun. The heat feels good and I hope we have sun for the weekend. It would be nice to be warm at a trial for once. I got an second battery for the trailer so at least now, I can have heat during the night. when I had only had  one battery, it would die during the night and I would wake up cold and no heat!

It's good to be here and just relax. I have work to do and will be working late to get caught up. I did a fair share earlier but need to finish two projects. In the trailer, it is peaceful and quiet and I can get lots done. I really enjoy having this downtime.

Will write tomorrow on how the PN,  Ranch and Novice classes went....it will be fun. I remember when I first stepped to the post so many years ago......it changed my life for the better. I have meet some great people, made best friends, learning how to work with dogs, made a lifestyle change and realized what is important in life.

The World's Worst Sheepdog

Ci the Border Collie has developed a fear of sheep making it impossible for him to perform his day job.




Despite his pedigree, Ci proves instinct alone is not enough to overcome a bad case of ovinophobia. The four-year-old developed his fear of sheep when owner Jane Lippington placed him in their field as a puppy. Now instead of rounding up his flock, Ci is more likely to be seen being chased by it.

Mrs Lippington, 54, said Ci instinctively wants to work the sheep, but is too scared.

"If they run away from him, he will go after them and act like a proper sheepdog, but the moment they turn and face him he runs away."

"Sheep can be quite aggressive if they think they have the upper hand – they stamp their feet and gang up in numbers and act like an army.
"The only way to make it work is for me to get behind them first and shoo them so they run away and then Ci joins in. It just means a lot more work for us to do," she added.

Despite managing a flock of about 100 sheep on their 200 acre farm in Somerset, Mrs Lippington and her husband Donald, 62, cannot imagine life without their helpless hound.

"He might be the worst sheepdog in Britain but there's no way we would be without Ci, he's part of the family," Mrs Lippington said.

She added: "I took some footage of it simply because I thought it was funny.

"I don't think he would get very far on One Man and His Dog, he's more suited to You've Been Framed."

 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ewefull Acres Sheepdog Run Order (June 24-26)

Friday -Pro Novice

1. Noelle Willaims Fly
2. Nora Linbo Nick
3. Dan Williams Gael
4. Pam Boring Sophie
5. Fran Macpherson OK Jud
6. Vicki Romero Blitz
7. Sue Foster Ben
8. Martha McHardy MarCar Ken
9. Lora Withnell Bella
10. Karen Mohney Maverick
11. Brian Nelson Beau
12. Shawn Elmore Fidget
13. Diane Pagel Taff
14. Ruedi B Nel
15. Tim Ballard Nell
16. Jeanne Boudrieau Moses
17. Percy Cowan Ceildh
18. Ron Fischer Steve
19. Shilah Olson Tess
20. Sandy Johnson Nell
21. Frank Maugher Angel
22. Margaret Masi Kane
23. Vicki Romero Skye
24. Sue Wessels Kate
25. Pam Boring Ben
26. Fran Macpherson Mirk
27. Brian Epp Sassy
28. Steve McLean Tess
29. Martha McHardy MarCar Rick
30. Josie Cowan Tib
31. Sue Foster Taff
32. scratch
33. Bob Hickman CBK Ryder
34. Anna Guthrie Bess
35. Nora Linbo Joe
36. Judy Norris Kasey
37. Celeste Lacroix Chase
38. Dee Marroni Q
39. Hope Harris Jill
40. Norm Rivers Scotia
41. JB Brick Dodge
42. Erin O'Brien Cam
43. Christie True Shep
44. Diane Pagel Sava
45. Susan Crocker Rani
46.. Karen Mahoney Grit n/c
47. Noelle Williams Copper
48. Jim Kling Rodeo
49. Pamela Harding Caymus
50. Alison Dielke Zen
51. Carolynn Harwell Brynn
52. Hope Harris Tigr
53. Jo Roach Steam
54. Dawn Pucci Bran
55. Karen Mohney Ajax n/c
56. Diane Pagel Rainy
57. Karen Combs Buddy

Ranch
1. Judy Norris Britt
2. Cindy Baker Kael
3. Jane Hickman Rachel
4. Alison Dielke Socket
5. Dave Larson Raven
6. Carolynn Harwell Beth
7. Vicki Romero Jess
8. Karen Combs Fleet
9. Ernesta Ballard Floss
10. Bryan White Reo
11. Norm Wycoff Caleigh
12. Celeste Lacriox Zack
13. Margaret Masi Paige
14. Shawn Elmore Kirk
15. kathy Rivers Lucy
16. scratch
17. Jennifer Kriegel Zanie
.18. Cindy Baker Brill
19. Dave Larson Denali
20. Norm Rivers Lana
21. Sally Davis Tyke
22. Sue MacDonald Repete

Novice
1. Kylo Murray -Gann Mike
2. Kathy Rivers Nova
3. Ingrid Langsetmo Ozzie
4. Susan Risner Nevi
5. Valerie Bernard Fionn
6. Lorrie Crumpler Kimber
7. Debbie Dunne Spyder
Open Saturday
1. Jorgen Persson Merckx
2. Lorri Schubert Quill
3. Pam Boring Jake
4. Sandy Johnson Drift
5. Patricia Pedersen Jenny
6. Brian Nelson Pleat
7. Ian Caldicott Bear
8. Bryan White Scoop
9. Heidi Hanson Pete
10. Rudi Birenhiede Scot
11. Noelle Williams Nap
12. Bonnie Block Gull
13. Bob Hickman CBK Mojo
14. Ray Coapman Jill
15. George MacDonald Nap
16. Scratch
17. T Yamamoto Sweep the broom
18. Diane Pagel Roo
19. Martha McHardy MarCar Ceri
20. Sue MacDonald Jackie
21. Linda DeJong Pooka
22. Monique F Lucy
23. Jo Roach Slider
24. Sue Wessels Lexy
25.. Ian Caldicott Kate
26. Lasoya Lerma Blazin' Beau
27. Jeff Marroni Carmen
28. scratch
29. Celeste Lacroix Maggie
30. Ron Green Ruby
31. Wendy LeGare Towie
32. Sandy Johnson Joe
33. Pam Boring Mirk
34. Dee Marroni Cap
35. Erin O'Brien Z
36. Diane Pagel Nan
37. Lorri Schubert Pete
38. Ruedi B Teak
39. Sue MacDonald jan
40. Patricia Pedersen Tessa
41. George MacDonald Huck
42. Ian Caldicott Joe Kid
43. Noelle Williams Lad
44. Lynne Green Kurt
45. Judy Norris Glee
46.Brian Nelson Sweep
47. Gael Gann Chili
48. Tierney Graham Blazin' Brisco
49. Dick Wilson Raygan
50. Jeff Marroni Dharma
51. Bob Hickman Trooper
52. Donna Donahue Kate
53. Patricia Pedersen Patch
54. Brian Ricards Doc
55. Wendy LeGare Dee
56. Chris Soderstrom Tarn
57. Jeanne B Rocky
Nursery
1. Cindy Baker Brill
2. Noelle Williams Copper
3. Brian Ricards Belle
4. Carolynn Harwell Brynn
5. Martha McHardy MarCar Sylvie
6. Chris Soderstrom Rankin

Nursery Sunday
1. Martha McHardy MarCar Sylvie
2. Carolynn Harwell Brynn
3. Brian Ricards Belle
4. Cindy Baker Brill
5. Chris Soderstrom Rankin
Open Sunday
1. Donna Donahue Kate
2. Ruedi B Teak
3. Ian Caldicott Joe Kid
4. Ray Coapman Jill
5. Brian Nelson Sweep
6. Wendy LeGare Dee
7. Monique F Lucy
8. Patricia P Patch
9. Chris Soderstrom Tarn
10. Lora Withnell Sally
11.. Sandy Johnson Joe
12. Heidi Hanson Pete
13. Bob Hickman Trooper
14. Sue Mac Jan
15. Linda DeJong Pooka
16. Lorri Schubert Pete
17. Diane Pagel Nan
18. T Yamamoto Sweep the Broom
19. Judy Norris Glee
20. Martha McHardy MarCar Ceri
21. George Mac Huck
22. Bonnie Block Gull
23. Noelle Williams Lad
24. Brian Ricards Doc
25. Brian Nelson Pleat
26. Celeste Lacroix Maggie
27. Ian Caldicott Bear
28. Brian White Scoop
29. J.B. Brick Scamp
30. Dick Wilson Raygan
31. Jeff Marroni Dharma
32. Sue Wessels Lexy
33. Lynne Green Kurt
34. Jo Roach Slider
35. George Mac Nap
36. Ruedi B Scot
37. Jorgen Persson Merckx
38. Patricia P Tessa
39. Scratch
40. Lasoya Blazin' Beau
41. Ian Caldicott Kate
42. Jeanne B Rocky
43. Tierney Graham Blazin' Brisco
44. Lora Withnell Nell
45. Sue Mac Jackie
46. Noelle Williams Nap
47. Wendy LeGare Towie
48. Diane Pagel Roo
49. Ron Green Ruby
50. Bob Hickman CBK Mojo
51. Pam Boring Mirk
52. Patricia P Jenny
53. Erin O'Brien Z
54. Gael Gann Chili
55. Sandy Johnson Drift
56. Jeff Marroni Carmen
57. Lorri Schubert Quill
58. Pam Boring Jake

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sheep in Flight (The Barn Comic)

I love this comic series, 'The Barn".....very cute and a daily read. Since I work for the FAA, it is only fitting that these get posted.





Monday, June 20, 2011

Meg (Kinloch dog)

I got a video of Meg, the mother of my Kinloch Wynn and Kinloch Kiwi. I love this dog. Thanks to Angie Driscoll for the video.




Meg is owned and run by Angie Driscoll of Kinloch Sheepdogs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whidbey Sunday Open runs

I pulled in at 10ish at home and unloaded, then off to bed. Here are the scores and will write more later this week. I am beat!



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Whidbey Island Open Trial Scores

I am too tired to write about the trial but took a picture of the scores. Nan was on the muscle and did a few extra legs in her drive. She got the shed and almost had the pen but popped the sheep out. Roo had issues on the fetch but a a nice drive. tomorrow I will write more.




Friday, June 17, 2011

Arrived at Whidbey Island

Quick recap......I am at Whidbey and have spotty Internet connection. The field is freshly mowed and has rolling terrain. The outwork is standard but the drive is around the post, back through the f etch panels, through one drive panel then pull through the cross drive panel, then last leg is through the fetch panel, then shed and pen. Got that? I sure as don't.

Roo and Nan have been spot on during practice so I hope it carries through for the runs. The weather is supposed to rain and be cold. Today, ti warm and luxurious and I sat in a field and relished in it's delight.

Bob Dias came up from Ramona, CA to run Cloud, Rock and DeltaBluez Koko in Open and DeltaBluez  Kira in Nursery. They all looked good in practice this morning.  We worked Nayab's sheep in his new field and it  was great. Fresh lambs and wily ewes made it fun!

Rainey went with me on this trip. I am getting her to used to being on the road with me as next weekend we will be running her in PN. She is enjoying herself and sleeping on the bed with Nan. Tess stayed home with Getty to keep him company.

We took the ferry over to the Island and it was glorious to have the bright sun on our faces while the choppy waves lapped at the bow of the ferry. The sky was crystal blue with high scatter white clouds that looked like faint white pain being diluted in a vat of blue. Seagulls hung over our heads, cawing and holding steady as if they were our guides.

We got the the trial field and got set up. Bob backed up my trailer since I suck at that and helped me set up. it helped me tons and I really appreciate it. I have a nice view of the drive section of the course so I can have coffee in my warm and dry trailer when I am not running.

Handler's meeting is at 7 so I will be going to bed soon so I can get up at 6 to take care of the dogs and have coffee. I have my Kindle to I can read for a bit. I got that as my birthday present a year ago and I love it.

well, off to bed wiht the dogs and thinking of running aa perfect course tomorrow!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Whidbey Island Run Order

Bet you will never guess where I will be at this weekend.....ha ha, at a sheepdpog trial. I am only running Roo and Nan in Open since I do not have any more vacation. I am leaving tomorrow and will get back late Sunday. Wish us luck as these sheep are hair trigger light and  my dogs are usually on the muscle on them.

I am bringing my laptop but do not know if I will get cell phone connection. If I do, I will blog. If not, then I get the weekend off.



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sheepdog Finals Blog Write-up

I was honored to be asked to write on how I prepare for the USBCHA 2011 Sheepdog Finals. The folks in CO are putting on a bangup job of a superb Finals. Visit their website and sponsor a handler and dog team.

Hope to see ya'll there.

SHEEPDOG FINALS BLOG

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pet Sheep detects cancer for owner

An archaeologist told today how her life was saved by a sheep - which spotted her breast cancer. Emma Turner, 41, had no idea she was suffering from a tumor when her pet sheep, Alfie, suddenly began butting her in the chest. It was completely out of character for the normally placid sheep, who has never head butted anyone since.

A deep bruise developed on Emma's chest over the next few days and she then discovered a lump in the middle of it. Emma, from Wroughton, Wiltshire, went to hospital to have the lump checked out and a biopsy revealed the early stages of breast cancer. She has now undergone chemotherapy to treat the tumor, which doctors believe could have gone un-noticed for years if Alfie hadn't butted her.



Emma said “Alfie is normally really well behaved but that particular day he went nuts and it took three of us to hold him down. He head-butted me repeatedly across the chest and I thought there must be something wrong with him. A few days later a terrific bruise came up on my chest and I noticed in the middle of the bruise there was a lump. The doctors and nurses said that if Alfie hadn't done what he did, when he did it, I wouldn't have found the lump for a few years, by which time it would have spread. Everyone at the hospital is convinced that Alfie saved my life.”

Emma rescued five-year-old Alfie when his mother died during childbirth and nursed him through a number of illnesses during the first 18 months of his life. She devoted months of love and attention to him and he became a firm favourite with visitors to Vowley Farm, in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, where she keeps him.

The archaeologist was giving some of her sheep medication at the farm last October when Alfie suddenly turned on her and began head-butting her repeatedly. His actions left a bruise on her chest and she visited the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, after noticing a lump in the centre of it. A biopsy revealed the devastating news that she was suffering the early stages of breast cancer.

Following her diagnosis, Emma endured six cycles of chemotherapy over four months, which she finished in April. She said, “Chemo was pretty horrible but it is all doable. It is tiring but you have to stay positive. It's very hard to describe what it's like having cancer to somebody who has never had it - some people say it is like a battle, but it's certainly something that means you need to keep your head down and be positive. I am feeling positive and the breast cancer nurses at the hospital don't give you false hope but they talk very positively about the prognosis and when you start asking around, you are amazed at how many people have been affected, or know someone that has been affected by breast cancer.”

Emma is set to undergo a mastectomy on Friday, which she asked her consultant to delay so she could be with Alfie at an opening day at his farm. She said, “Alfie is such a character and the open day is his favorite day of the year. I didn't want to miss it so I have delayed my mastectomy. I'm not feeling too great about it, but the thing with a mastectomy is you don't know how you are going to feel until you wake up and my consultant has said it will give me a chance of living another 40 years.”

Emma firmly believes Alfie deliberately head-butted her chest to alert her to the cancer - as he has never done it since the incident last October. She said, “Those who say sheep are stupid usually don't know anything about sheep. Alfie is clever - he saved my life.”

LINK
 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pond Washing of Sheep


Taken from America's Sheep Trails by Edward Norris Wentworth 06/23/2004

For more than two centuries the eastern section of the country washed sheep before shearing. The custom was based on the need for clean wool in the home woolen industries. The fiber could not be combed and spun neatly if too much grease remained. Chemicals were unavailable, and the caustics made from wood ashes, for example did not dissolve the grease except at temperatures that injured the texture of the wool fiber.

Both brook and pond washing were practiced. The water in the ponds warmed about two weeks earlier in the spring than brook water. In Tennessee pond washing began in early April, and in Kentucky and Virginia, in mid-April. In Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana, southern Ohio and West Virginia it began the first of May, and in Pennsylvania, New York, middle and northern Ohio, southern Michigan and Wisconsin and northern Illinois, in mid-May. Brook washing was one or two weeks late, according to the season.

Flock owners would watch the barometer for rising clearing weather and would put the sheep into the water at the beginning of the period, so as to have steady sunshine while the sheep would dry. River washing was more convenient as it bore away the dirt and grease. An especially satisfactory arrangement was made along a clean gravely beach with a slight slope on which the sheep could be landed. At such a point three sides of a pen were built fronting openly on the water and then a duplicate was built adjoining. The flock would be driven into one, the sheep drawn into the water to be dipped so as to soak up the fleece, and then passed into the second pen where the men would proceed at once with the washing. Sometimes a second flock was driven outside of the remaining pen, dipped, and then placed in the pen so that it could soak longer before the washing commenced.

The washing process itself consisted of swinging the sheep to and fro through the water, after going out just deep enough to float the sheep. When finished they were carried near the shore to expose all the fleece. The men would squeeze out the water between their forearms, drawing the fleeces back lengthwise along the body. A stony beach was preferable to keep away from dust, after which the washed animals were placed on a clean sod pasture to dry. When well organized the average rate of washing permitted four men, with one or two boys to drive the sheep, to wash about 750 sheep a day, take up the fence and return to headquarters.

Following washing it was important to protect the sheep against cold rains. In good weather washing resulted in a slight loss of flesh but rarely produced fatalities. Sometime there were deaths if the weather turned too hot, but they were rare. Occasionally digestive difficulties developed. The sheep would come back hungry from the washing, and often would gorge on some green feed that caused bloating. Rarely heavy milking ewes would develop inflammation of the udder if too long separated from their lambs. The shock of washing nearly always checked the ewe’s milk flow for a time and sometimes stunted the lambs.

Several other penalties were paid for washing. If sheep could be shorn before turning on spring pasture, the stimulus of the new grass gave them an excellent start on next year’s fleece. This advantage could not be obtained when they were washed as the fresh grass appeared before the weather was warm enough to dry the fleece. The sheep were not the only sufferers. The sheep washers would catch cold and it was remarked the whether taken before or after washing “whiskey did not help much”.

Offsetting these disadvantages were three advantages. The washing directly benefited the fleece, the fleece was easier to shear and tie, and the “rule of thumb” favoring washed fleeces in price was distinctly profitable. An ethical question was involved in the time allowed to elapse between washing and shearing. When the washing was done thoroughly, less yore remained in the fleece then was needed to give it elasticity, luster, and good style. If the period was too short the farmer suffered and if the period was too long the buyer had to penalize the seller for too much shrink. The ideal was to leave the sheep in the sunshine until sufficient yolk had been produced to provide the degree of luster and softness found in a normal head of hair. When the sun was hot, ten days were sufficient but when the weather was cool and cloudy, two weeks often proved necessary.

As settlers poured into the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, the sheep farmers took with them the custom of washing before shearing. New Englanders and New Yorkers carried it as far as Illinois and Wisconsin, and found it practices in Missouri by families that had come across Kentucky from Virginia. When the various eastern “colonies” migrated to Kansas and Colorado throughout the late fifties and sixties, the washing customs were carried to those territories. Typical operators from all these states transferred the procedure to Oregon and California where it was used quite regularly before the Civil War. As the flocks changed from a farm to a range basis, washing was gradually abandoned.

The practice of washing sheep prior to shearing was continued long after it was necessary, because wool buyers would deduct one-third of the price per pound of washed fleeces when washing unwashed fleeces. Shipmen long complained of the unfairness of the practice, for the deduction seemed too great proportionately, even after the merinos with their heavy yolk came to dominate the wool market.

The Spanish sheep husbandry of the Southwest never included washing before shearing, due to absence of facilities. Water was too scarce and far between, and the numbers of sheep were too great in relation to the number of men employed. Extremes of temperature between day and night were also too great when the night winds could strike the wet sheep on upland bed-grounds. Probably the last washing in the range states occurred in the late seventies, when it was stilled practiced in isolated spots in Colorado and Wyoming. Washing was an essential phase of sheep operations only as long as the spinning and weaving were home industries. When they became commercial, or when local scouring mills were established, the need for washing ceased.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

A old Photo from the 2001 USBCHA Finals

I was cleaning (deleting) a bunch of photos on my laptop the other day and came across this one. It is from the 2001 USBCHA National Finals. Tess ran there in Nursery and got 6th overall. It is the trial where most of the USBCHA Director saw her run so she could get her papers on ROM. She was the third dog to ever get her papers on ROM. Getty and I went down to cheer her on while Scott Glen ran her. I think Geri took this of us at the Finals under the Handler's tent.

I love this photo....Martha, me and Sue MacDonald.

Old memories and a time in my life when I took  a new path with a little black and while pup....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just Jesse, the JRT

This dog is awesome! Jesse is a Jack Russel Terrier. Someone spent many hours training this dog.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bobby Dalziel's Joe- second one

Here is another video of Joe. I like his method of work. Honest, fearless and lots of go forward.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kinloch Wynn and Kinloch Kiwi's dam, Meg

Sometimes you come across a great bitch and go "Ah, I love this dog"...I did so when I visited Angie and Kelvin a few years ago. She worked Meg and I was impressed by the "fire in her belly"....and it has been a true fire, I might add.

Meg is a Welsh Team Member, 2011 World Trial  as well having won numerous Open trials and placing in the top 6 in 36 other trials. She is a solid, keen minded bitch with gumption. She will walk straight into a stroppy ewe and not give ground.   She has a trial record that is outstanding and she will continue to be unstoppable.

Photos: Angie Driscoll




This photo is like Kiwi handles her stock! This is Meg back in wales.

So when I had a chance to buy two pups  from her "Joe" litter, I quickly snagged them up. Wynn is a keen tri male and Kiwi is my heart and soul, keen as heck future trial dog. Both are outstanding dogs with tremendous work ethics from Meg and Joe.

Meg is a top outstanding bitch that is not only a top Open dog but her pups have proven themselves in Nursery and Open. You want a bitch that can throw that work ethic and prove it. Meg has done it time and time again.

I really want to thank Angie for sending me Wynn and Kiwi. They are part of  the cornerstone of my foundation as well as my future trial dogs.

For more info on Meg's winnings go to Trial Results.

For info on Meg go to Meg

And if you need to get a outstanding dog or pup from the UK, go to Kinloch Sheepdogs

And Angie has two books available: BOOKS

And if you fancy a place to stay, they offer  Accommodations.

Angie and Kelvin are the nicest people and I love them dearly. I think I need to go to the UK to see them again!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Photography available

People have approached me for my photos that I have taken. Up to a certain point, I have been giving select photos to people for their website (examples such  Sue Wessel, Janet Thorpe or Monique Feyrecilde) who asked and got permission and put acknowledgement on their site but now if you want any photos, I will be charging for my service as it takes time to take the photos, do the editing which can take up to 15 minutes per photos and so forth. Some runs I have taken over a hundred shots.

I can shoot a CD of your dog's run at a trial, stock work or even posed photos. You get to review the jpegs and if you like them, then purchase a CD or even singles. You can use the purchased copyrighted photos on your website. You cannot lift from my blog or anywhere else, beg, borrow or steal any photos that I have taken as they belong to me.

This policy is effective immediately for all photos, regardless of any agreements, implied or otherwise, or if you think you want free photos just because you are special.

I have found that one of my photos was used without my permission for a greeting card. Some have been used on websites without my permission. I work hard to purchase my camera equipment and it takes time to process the photos so this does not mean you get free photos. I won't be charging an arm or leg but enough for my time.

Roo tending the sheep on my front lawn.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

True Love...A Swallow's Tale

WHEN A SWALLOW FALLS.....


Here a female mate is injured and the condition is soon fatal. She was hit by a car as she swooped low across the road.
Here he brought her food  and attended to her  with love and  compassion.

 He brought her  food again,   but was shocked to find her  dead.

He tried to move  her ... a rarely-seen effort for  swallows!

Aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again, He cries with adoring love.


He stood beside her, saddened of her death. Finally aware she would never return to him, he stayed beside her body chirping out his sadness and sorrow.


Millions of people cried after seeing these photos in America , Europe, Australia , and even India.  The photographer sold these pictures for a nominal fee to the most famous newspaper in France.  All copies of that edition were sold out on the day these pictures were published.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ewefull Acres Trial- Day Three of PN - May 30

The last day of the trial was the ProNovice, Ranch and Nursery. Sava and Taff were the only dogs that I was running. Sava was first up and the course had a blind drive again. I set her up to go wide but she flipped and ran up the middle and flared out at the last minute. Nice lift then an very offline fetch and even thought I tried to flank her, she was on the muscle. Out drive was not pretty but at least this time, she was listening, abet a bit slow and we timed out at the pen. She was on the muscle and slow to stop so that will be my homework. We almost had the pen and as the sheep were entering the last foot, the timer went off. She did have nice wide flanks but ran through her downs.

Taff, sigh……he had a nice outrun, lift and hard lift but didn’t loose that many point. However on the drive she blew through my down and was very slicey so I ran up the field at him and that was a retire.

So then I watched the rest of the PN runs. Janet ran Roo and had a rerun since the sheep bolted before he got to the top. She took the rerun right away and he had a nice outrun. She managed to give him an away and come bye whistled all at once and got to choose the flank he wanted. It was the wrong choice and he drove the sheep up the field. She pulled it together for a tidy pen and placed around 12 or 14th out of about 40 dogs. I bet Roo was so happy when she blew the two flanks whistles in one command and he got to chose. Janet handled him with finesse at the pen to recoup from the drive.

Scott was slow to cover and it didn’t help his sheep bolted down the field. The drive was a bit off and he sliced at the pen. For some reason, probably old age, Scott felt like he had to cut corners to cover the sheep. But he handled the sheep quite well and still has a lot of power for a dog that is almost 12.

Janet also took Rainey to run in PN. For some reason, Rainey was spooky and she refused to go very far up the field. She finally did cast out wide on her outrun and lifted the sheep, stopped to say hello to the setout crew and then had a nice fetch. Her first line was dead on and the she got upset. We couldn’t figure out why but Janet retired. Rainey is very biddable but very sensitive and something that day spooked her so running was not in the cards for her. (Janet has been working with her since then and it looks like it is fixed now)

Getty showed up so we grabbed the dogs and went back to the trailer. We quickly broke down camp and headed out so we could miss the holiday traffic. We did manage to hit a wee bit of traffic on I-5 but most of the drive was easy. We got home n plenty of time for Getty to unpack the trailer and then I let the dogs who did go as well as the ones who did go, for a extended playtime in the pond pasture. I did take Rainey out to see about her spookiness but she was quite good at home. Go figure.

It was a nice weekend being off the grid for a while and just hanging out with Getty and the dogs. Getty got lots of Disc Golf playing time in so he was happy. I managed to see what holes that I have in my dogs as well as what areas they shone in at the trial. I will be doing some serious homework before the next trial.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wool Grading


Have you ever been to the County Fair or State Fair and visited the Wool Show? Did it look just too confusing to figure out? Have you ever listened to the Wool Judge "giving reasons"? Did you know the judge had to?


What follows is Wool Judging for the beginner. An explanation of what the Judge is looking for, and a glossary of words likely to be used, as verbable reasons are given for the placing of the classses. When you attend a wool judging you are allowed to ask questions: about wool terms, fleece character, the judge's preferrences, etc.

WOOL JUDGING For BEGINNERS

Knowledge of wool and wool production is vitally important to producers. People who constantly increase their knowledge of wool usually encounter fewer problems in marketing their product. They are better qualified to execute breeding and management programs through which they can improve both quality and production and, thereby, raise their net income. Livestock judging students with knowledge of wool and wool judging are usually more capable sheep judges. 

WOOL GRADES 
There are six Blood Grades of wool. Each grade is determined by the diameter of the fiber. 
Another system, called the Spinning Count, is used to identify fiber fineness. This system is more exact, as each term refers to a narrow range of fineness. Grades are extremely important to the wool industry. Each type of wool fabric requires a different grade or blend of grades. Therefore, each grade has a different price value. 

Each breed of sheep normally produces specific grades of wool. The wool grades are considered to be a "breed characteristic" of that particular breed. For example, the Rambouillet breed should have a spinning count grade of 64's to the finer 80's. (see "Blood Count" link for chart) 

When you judge sheep or a fleece, look for uniformity of fiber diameter. Upon close inspection, you will find that the fineness of the wool fibers from the shoulder is different than that from the back. Wool from the breech (hind leg) is usually the coarsest. Degree of variation is the important factor. A wide variety of grades in the fleece results in lower quality yarn, and lower price paid for pound of raw wool. 

It is difficult to give a general rule to follow in determining if a fleece is of average, good, or poor uniformity. In judging an animal, the wool should not drop more than one blood grade from the shoulder to the hind leg. (you should always check the wool on the shoulder, the side, and the hind leg) In judging a fleece, you would want to check as many as five different locks from different locations on the fleece. 

LENGTH OF STAPLE 
Length of wool is extremely important to both the manufacturer and the producer. Various lengths are used to make different types of fabrics or products. This often requires different types of machinery. Longer length increases pounds of wool for the producer. However, exceptionally long, staple length within grade can cause waste when commercially processing wool. 
Staple length is the easiest factor to resolve in wool judging. The recommended practice is to determine the length of a finger and then use it to estimate the length of a wool lock. NEVER STRETCH THE WOOL WHEN MEASURING. Uniformity of length is just as important as uniformity of grade. Therefore, you will want to examine the staple for length when you are looking for uniformity of grade from the different locks or staples which you have pulled from the fleece. 

WASTE 
Two types of defects are primary causes of waste: tenderness and breaks. TENDERNESS refers to wool fibers that are weak throughout the lock. Wool fibers which are all weak in one specific region of a lock are referred to as a BREAK. Breaks result from stress such as sickness, lambing difficulties, or severe storms. 

A sound fleece is free of breaks or tender wool. You test for these conditions by pulling the lock from each end. (If you pull hard enough, you can break any sound fleece) If the wool fibers separate easily, leaving ragged ends, they are most likely tender. If a distinct separation occurs, the fleece has a break. THE LENGTH OF A FLEECE WITH A BREAK IS DETERMINED BY ESTIMATING THE LENGTH OF THE LONGEST PORTION LEFT. 

Environmental conditions can cause waste. The most common is weathered tips. Check the tips to see if they are tender. Another factor causing waste is second cuts. This is usually not very important in wool judging, but is a serious problem to producers. It is caused by a shearer cutting the wool fibers two or more times. These bits of wool, second cuts, or noils must be carded out or they make slubs in the finished yarn. 

YIELD AND SHRINKAGE 
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN JUDGING WOOL IS ESTIMATING POUNDS OF CLEAN WOOL. Think of this in two ways: grease weight or clean weight. Of the two, clean weight is the most important. All wool is sold on a clean basis whether by grease weight price or clean weight price. 

Yield or shrinkage is used to determine what the grease price will be. If wool decreases from 10 pounds to 5 pounds when washed or cleaned, both yield and shrinkage are 50%. One half was wool (YIELD) while the other one-half was non-wool (SHRINKAGE). 

Two ways to actually determine yield and shrinkage are by coring or scouring (washing). Both methods cost money and require time. Therefore, learning to estimate yield is very important in wool judging. How else can you determine which fleece has the most pounds of clean wool? A wool buyer has to estimate yield to calculate the grease price of a wool clip. 

Shrinkage (non-wool) is caused by lanolin (grease) dirt, sand, water, and vegetable matter such as hay, straw, and burrs. Depending on these factors shrinkage of wool varies greatly. Fortunately, each grade has a range in which it will usually yield. Yield figures for each grade are easy to remember, but do not be surprised if you find fleeces which will exceed the range listed for each grade. 

THE BEST METHOD OF ESTIMATING YIELD IS BY LIFTING THE FLEECE. If the fleece is extremely heavy for its size, it will have a low yield. If the fleece is extremely light for its size, it will have a high yield. You should look for helpful clues such as excessive grease content, depth of dirt penetration, type of dirt, and staple length. Soils are heavy and cause the fleece to shrink- more than corral dust which is mostly vegetable matter. Learning to estimate yield will take much practice, so do not give up if you are having trouble. 

CHARACTER 
Character refers to the general appearance of a fleece. This includes crimp, handle, and color. Crimp is the natural waviness of the fibers. It is one of the first qualities usually seen by the eye, and thus gives "eye appeal". Crimp Is important for breed character and is indicative of wool grade. Fine wool has the most crimp per inch while common and braid have the least. Many people associate crimp with grade but it is only an indication of grade. 

Handle refers to the feel of the wool. Does it feel soft or does it feel harsh and "wiry"? Rule of thumb is that a soft fleece makes a soft fabric and is worth more. 

Color is very important, primarily for accurate dyeing of wool. The most desirable wool to dye is white. This permits wool to be made into light colored fabrics. Fleece with stained wool must be discounted. You should separate (skirt) tags and belly wools at shearing and sack separately. 

PURITY 
Purity is freedom from colored fibers, kemp, and hair-like fibers. Black and brown fibers are easily identified by their color. Kemp is usually short, coarse fibers pointed at both ends. Their color is chalk-white. Black fibers are normal in black-faced or black-faced crossbred sheep. All of these fibers reduce the fleece value because they interfere with dyeing. (Leg and face hair should always be discarded) 

JUDGING CONTESTS: TYPES OF WOOL CLASSES 
Three types of wool classes are judged: commercial, breed and hand spinning. 

COMMERCIAL classes consists of judging fleeces of the same grade. When you look at a commercial class, you should place the fleece that is worth the most money because of QUALITY and QUANTITY at the top. A fleece of improper grade is rejected and placed last. Watch for a break in the fleece as it may change the staple length classification. 

BREED classes are judged with genetic qualities in mind. QUANTITY is still first in importance but a little more emphasis is directed toward QUALITY. If a break is found in a breed class, it is ignored because it is not a genetic factor. The grade has to be acceptable for the breed. 

HAND SPINNING classes are judged more on handle and character. The fleece with the most pounds of very clean wool will certainly appeal to a judge, but character and handle may decide the class. All grades of wool are considered to be of equal value (unlike Commercial classes, where the judge may feel that only the finer grades are of any Commercial real value). All colored wool classes are considered to be hand spinning classes. 

HELPFUL HINTS: 
1. The first thing a good wool judge does is look at the class from a distance. Many times you can pick out such things as top, middle, or bottom pairs. This often saves time and confusion. You can sometimes spot from a distance the largest fleece bundle and the cleanest appearing fleece of the class. 
2. When handling the fleeces, the first thing to evaluate is which fleece has the cleanest wool, second cleanest, etc. 
3. You are now ready to inspect the wool more closely. A lock of wool the size of your finger is sufficient. Always draw locks from no less than three different areas on the fleece. When you remove these locks be careful not to tear up the fleece. A fleece that has been badly torn looks frowzy (fuzzy) . 
4. After you have removed the wool locks, the first thing to inspect is the length. Second, check the grade by spreading the fibers apart so that you can see many individual fibers. Third, check for breaks and tenderness. 
5. Watch for impurities, waste, and character when you inspect a fleece for weight, grade, length, and strength. 

WOOL TERMS 

Apparel Wool - Wool suitable for manufacture into apparel fabrics. 
Bellies - Short and often times defective wool from belly of sheep. 
Black Wool - Fleeces from sheep containing grey, brown or black wool. 
Blood - Denotes fineness: "more blood" means finer wool. 
Braid - Long, coarse, lustrous wool. 
Break -The fibers are weak at a certain point, but strong above and below the weak spot; opposed to " tender" , which signifies a general I y weak fiber. 
Breech (or Britch) Wool - Coarse hair fibers on lower hind legs; generally the lowest quality wool of the entire fleece. 
Bright - Light colored wool relatively free of dirt and sand. 
Brittle - Harsh, dry, "wire - like". 
Buck Wool - Wool shorn from rams or wethers. 
Bulk Grade - The largest percentage of grade in a lot of original - bagged wool . 
Burry Wool - Wools heavy in burrs which require special and expensive processing in their removal. 
Canary Stained Wool - A yellowish coloration which cannot be removed by ordinary scouring methods. Certain types of bacteria] growth are believed to be a contributing factor. 
Carbonizing - Removal of burrs from wool by immersion in sulfuric acid. 
Carpet - Wools too heavy and coarse to be made into apparel; suitable for carpets and rugs. 
Character - A general term describing the total of all characteristics that make wool attractive to the eye such as color, crimp, brightness, and sound tip. 
Clothing - The shorter length wools within a grade; used chiefly in the manufacture of woolens and felts. 
Color - The actual color of the wool; a bright white to cream is most desirable; canary stains, brown or black stains are undesirable. 
Combing - Manufacturing process in which the short fibers (noils) are separated from the longer fibers which are combed into a continuous strand of parallel fibers called top. 
Combing Wool - wool that is strong and long enough to be combed. 
Condition - Refers to the amount of grease and dirt in a fleece 'heavy condition" means heavy shrinkage. 
Core-testing - The coring of bales or bags of wool to determine the clean content and yield. 
Cotted - Fibers that are matted together. 
Crimp - The natural waviness in fibers: distinct crimp - crimps are sharp and clear - fine wools have more crimps per inch; bold crimp - larger crimp spaces widely apart - coarser wools have fewer crimps per inch. 
Crossbred Wool - Wool from sheep produced by crossing Merino with English long wool breeds: Columbia, Corriedales, etc. with wool grades from 1/2 to 1 /4 blood fineness; usuaIIy has plenty of length , luster and softness. 
Dingy - wool that is dark greyish and lacks luster. 
Doggy - Short, harsh, coarser than type should be; lacks crimp and elasticity. 
Down Wool - Wool from breeds that originated in the Downs of England; the wool is medium in grade, short, wiry, lacking crimp and often contains black fibers. 
Felting - The process of locking wool fibers together to make felt t . 
Fleece Wool - Usually all fleeces grown in the states east of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. 
French Combing - Wool of medium staple length, suitable for combing on the French comb but too short for the English Noble comb. 
Frowzy - wool that is dry and lifeless without distinct crimp due to weather and or poor quality. 
Grading - Separating fleeces into groups according to fineness and length. 
Grease Wool - Wool as it is shorn from the sheep, before any processing. Gummy - Grease wool that has excessive amounts of yolk which has set and is stiff and sticky. 
Handle - Refers to the actual feel of the wool; a good "handle" has great resilience and softness, fineness, length, and is pleasing to the touch. 
Hank - A 560-yard unit of wool yarn wound on a spool or reel. 
Kemp - Chalky white, brittle, weak fiber which may be mixed with normal fibers in a fleece; kemp will not take dye and is objectionable. 
Lanolin - Refined yolk or wool grease. 
Lock - A tuft or group of wool fibers that cling naturally together in the fleece; also known as a "staple". 
Lofty - "Full of life", springs back to normal position, very elastic, and bulky compared to its weight. 
Luster - Natural gloss or sheen in a fleece; very desirable . 
MeduIIated Fibers - Fibers having more meduIIa (center cell area); such, fibers are coarse and uneven in diameter, harsh, low in elasticity. 
Noils - Short wool fibers removed in the combing process; the noils are used in woolens and felts, usually blended with longer-stapled wools. 
Off-sorts - Fleeces or parts of fleeces that are rejected because of being badly stained, undesirable in color, or carrying excessive vegetable matter; same as rejects. 
Open Fleece - Fewer fibers per square inch; opposite of dense. 
Pelt - The skin of the sheep with wool still attached to the skin. 
Pencil Locked - A fleece with narrow staples or lock formation: indicates an open fleece that has less density and probably more vegetable matter. This type of lock formation is genetic and is passed on to offspring. 
Pulled Wool - Wool removed from the skins of slaughtered sheep. 
Purity - Refers to the absence of dark fibers, kemp or hair. 
Quality - Refers to the degree of fineness. 
Raw Wool - Grease wool in natural state before scouring. 
Scouring - The actual separation of dirt, grease, and vegetable matter from grease wool; usually this is done in a hot, mildly alkaline solution followed by a rinse. 
Second Cuts - Short pieces of wool that result from the shearer clipping off the wool left from a previous stroke; increases the noilage 
Shrinkage - The weight raw wool loses when scoured, expressed as a percentage of the original weight. 
Sorting - Most fleeces contain more than one grade of wool; as grading is the classification by fleece, sorting is the classification of wool within a fleece. 
Soundness - freedom of the fiber from breaks and tenderness; relates to strength. 
Staple - (has two meanings) 1. The length of a lock of shorn wool. 2. The longest length wools within a grade. 
Tender - Wool that is weak and breaks anywhere along the length of the fiber due to poor nutrition or sickness. 
Tippy Wool - The tip or weather end of the fibers are encrusted making the wool wasty in processing (increasing the noilage). 
Top - A continuous strand of partially manufactured wool, which previously has been scoured, carded, and combed; an intermediate stage in the process of worsted yarn. 
Virgin Wool - Wool that is used to make fabric for the first time; not reprocessed 
Wastiness - The loss of fiber in carding and combing due to vegetable matter, weakness, or tenderness or shortness of fiber. 
Woolen - Large amounts of shorter wools, such as noils, wool wastes and reworked wools are used in addition to virgin wool; woolen yarn is not combed, hence fibers lie in an uneven fashion. 
Worsted - Longer length wool fibers that have not been processed before are made parallel during combing into a product called top, then spun into a worsted yarn. 
Yield - Opposite of shrinkage; the percentage of clean wool fibers after scouring. 
Yolk - The combined secretion of sebaceous (oil) and sudoriferous (sweat) glands in the skin