The next few days will have the very belated trial writes ups from the last two trials that I attended. I already did the write up for the Magnolia Farms Saturday trial but here is the Sunday trial write up. (The trial was on July 7 and 8th) On Sunday, they put in a dogleg fetch around a cone in the middle of the field and the drive was reversed. You had a shed, pen and single. The weather was hot and the sheep were lively. I love these sheep as they tested the dog but were in very fir shape. Lambs were huge and had nice spring to the rib cage. Magnolia farms sells lambs weekly to a niche market and as a result, the lambs were uniform and very nice. The size ranged about 80-120 lbs on the hoof and I think the optimum weight was around 67 lbs. Either way, these were some of the best lambs that I have ever seen. I asked a lot of question on the breeding, raising and care of these lambs so I could do some adjusting to my own flock.
The night before, Elissa and Mel hosted a handler’s dinner and we all brought side dishes. Their daughter made the coolest sheep cupcakes that were so adorable, that you didn’t want to eat them. Elissa made Muzaka, which ad chopped lamb, eggplants and cheese in it. It was delicious and I keep bugging her for the recipe. At the handler’s dinner, they had a “Best Shed” award and Nan and I own it. I was so happy and got a huge bag of dog food as the prize. Nan placed 4th on Saturday and has been running well for me. Maid did a somersault on her outrun and it rattled her all the way around. Dr Angie Untisz did a deep cold laser therapy on Nan and Maid. It helped Maid a lot on Sunday and as for Nan, well, she felt so much better that she ran through the bit!
Maid was the first dog out and she went out on the same outrun as the day before but she took her time at the area where she had rolled the day before. I got her to stop then she began to bring the sheep down the line. I stopped her to do the dogleg fetch and she reluctantly gave in and did it although she probably was sure I was an idiot. Nice turn at the post but the sheep tried to break over her to go to the exhaust and the sheep wisely saw the fire in her eye and her rather large teeth, and soon they trotted back online. We had a nice drive to the first panel, sweet tight turn and then started the cross drive. Suddenly they veered down the hill towards me and we lost some points but got them back online. It cost us dearly but we did manage to finish the drive and go to the shed. They broke out of the ring to run to the exhaust so we lost those points but got them lined up for a shed. She came through swiftly, held them and re-gathered them for the pen. We worked like a team and got them in the pen and they had no intentions of going into the pen! We got them out and she got the single in a flash. Our close work has been great but the drive is still a work in progress. She placed 10th.
Nan was on fire, as she was feeling great from her treatment the night before. She did great on her outwork, losing a total of five. We had a stunning drive and she had two sets of sheep that did not want to flock with each other. So on the drive, she would have to keep the front two from running off and tuck the last two laggards in. Just before the first drive panel, there is a gully and as the first tow went into that, they bolted sideways. She had to catch them and while she was doing that, the last two also bolted but she got that. That cost us eight points on otherwise a nice drive. The rest of the drive was nice and she brought them into the shedding ring at a nice pace. We had to work for a bit but finally got it. At the pen, one little lamb kept breaking away from the three in the pen but we managed to tuck him in and lost two for those efforts. We tried hard to get a single but the group that I had was a set of two and two and as much as I tried, I could not get them into a line to break one off so we timed out. Nan kept leaning forward, ready to leap in as she saw the shed come open repeatedly and was probably wondering why I wasn’t calling her in. However, trying to get the single proved too much and she got an 82 for efforts which per her in 12th or 13th spot. Either way, I was very happy with her and she was definitely on the muscle!
Later in the day, Kathleen ran Josh. He was misbehaving so she retired. He was running great all week but that day, he was not teaming up with her. Since she already has her legs for the Finals, she is fine tuning him now.
Right after the Nursery Class was done, we hit the road. We stopped at the local store for some cold drinks and we got about one block down the road when we got a flat. I called AAA and they said 45 minutes but called later and said it would be over 2.5 hrs so I raised a fuss and told them we had dogs in a hot van and were on the side of the highway. They fiannly got a guy to come out and put the spare on. Then we noticed the other front tire was looking pretty sad so we went to Costco to get two new tires. Costco closes at 6 on Sunday and we squeaked in and got two new tires. Well, Kathleen did! Turns out the alignment was out and they wore out. The bright side it happened early enough so we could make it to a tire store and not on top of a mountain in I-5 after ten at night with no cell service.
Several hours later, we finally pulled out and made our way home. it was the end of a very long day and I was glad it finally ended. But poor Kathleen, still had to drive an hour home still that night but was a trooper and did it.