Monday, September 24, 2012

USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals - Pre trial

The view up the field is a sweeping field of lush green with rocky hills peppered in the background. You can see this is a farming community by the numerous irrigation lines, pick-up and fat cattle in the pasture. As I stopped by the local store to grab some lemon juice, the people inside were sincere and once they found out I was here for the Finals, they asked questions. Do I work my dog on cattle? Do I farm for a living? Price of Hay? We chatted for a brief bit and it was nice to see the backbone of our life is well and thriving in Klamath Falls. People are not in a rush,  life is about living, and manners are still the core. It's a nice feeling to take a step back in time and I often wonder if my cards had fallen a little more differently in my life and I didn't do this sheep dog stuff, that I might be a city girl and thoroughly would miss one of the greatest pleasures in life. As it is, we have a farm, not big by any means, we have a pig, lamb and beef in the freezer, either raised by me or my neighbor.
I wandered about the Handler's Central most of the afternoon after I made my husband take me to Big R to to buy sheep supplies. He wasn't impressed but was a good sport about it. The Handler's Central or Tent is a huge tent  with a well laid out food sections for the Handlers. You will not want for tea, coffee or any drinks. There are snacks so you will be sated during the day. The Handlers Central Tent is pretty darn good. They have a table, power and coffee for me so I will be blogging. I have folks helping me on and off during the time so this Finals blog will be the work of a sheepdog handler's village.
The time on the course is 14 minutes with a right hand drive,  split two of the four and then pen. They are mostly coops but I saw a high headed Romney and a dark faces crossed bred. They did two demo runs and one runs the sheep were light and the other, the sheep just ambled about. If you send your dog on the comebye side, they do into a few dips and will lose sight of the sheep and may cross. Toe the away side, there is a house or barn that may suck them in. The outrun is over 400 yards and the dogs have more than enough room to get behind the sheep. We will so another demo run at 7:15 ish or so and the first dog in at 8:00. I run in 33 spot so will leave the blogging at that time to relax, get my dog ready and then run. I am good for about 30 minutes to an hr for blogging but asked a bunch of folks to blog today so hopefully I will have enough people.  I will run over to the Nursery field on the last day to see my dog to be run by Scott Glen.
The place  is getting quite full and the Border Collies are happy to be running about after no doubt being in the trucks for hours. The handlers are all getting caught up in events and it is good to see some folks that I haven't seen in three years.
The Vendors tent is still being set up but I managed to buy stuff from Honest Dog and Operation Sheepdog (see Saturday's blog) I got a 12 x 12 ft screen and it has been put up already. I got a purple lanyard, toys for Tess and other general stuff. I got a nice long sleeve t-shirt from Honest Dog that has 2012 National Finals stamped on it with Allison's lovely artwork. Bonnie Block has her artwork and photo booth set up and I got a mini mouse pad of Tess. The other vendor had not set up yet.
Info booth was busy and handler were buying tons of gear. They have high quality Carhartt jackets for $99 and I got one with pink embroidery on it. The hats were selling like hotcakes and I got four for the four farm sitters (Vet Diane, Janet, Wayne and a spare). If you want to get some gear, I suggest you get it as soon as you can. I think the gear will be sold out quickly. It is nice quality gear.
The volunteers have been amazing. Geri, Lana, Marti, Amy, Lora, Shaun and a bunch more have the place going like clockwork. It seems like a millions people ask Geri or Amy questions and they know all the answers and are super helpful.
Hub stopped bu to remind you to buy the DVD they will be offering from the Finals. The livecast is free but we need to make DVD sales. As soon as I have more info, I will post that.
Ok, off to listen to Ray and Amy Coapman and Getty play some music and my wine is calling me. 
I plan to update several times tomorrow. Excuse the typos but I am mostly typing with my left hand.

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