Here are the scores for Fire Ridge. I didn't fare so well, partially due to lack of training due to the fractured arm and also being one step behind. I saw what I did wrong at least this time and have homework. I moved Rainey up to Open and it was a tough trail for a first time to the post for a dog in Open. The ewes are range ewes and will run or fight a dog since they have to fend for themselves against coyotes. I did not run in PN but judged PN on Saturday.
Nan's run was decent, and I had to flank her out as she wanted to cross. About 50% of the dogs on the first day either DQ, RT and about 12 crossed. Directly in front of the handler's post, down 500 yards was a huge silver trailer that reflected light and it caught many dog's eyes, mine included. All of my dogs stopped when I asked and took a nice redirect so they did not cross. Nan had a nice lift and little offline and just missed the fetch panel, a bit of a bobble at the turn and very on the muscle on the drive and we missed the panels. Nice shed and at the pen, one ewe who had been trying to break away throughout the course, made a run for it. Nan flew up in the air, with her teeth in full force and I shouted her out of the grip and the ewe came back. She got the pen.
Rain took the redirect, and I had to help her get behind the sheep and she had a nice, quiet, slow lift. Dead online to the panel until I foolishly tried to help her and then the line wavered like a chicken with it's head cut off and as a result we had to unwind at the post. She had to work hard to do the drive and one ewe stood her off again and again, and she slowly worked it. These sheep were very tough for her and she gripped the challenger on the ass, twice to get her to drive and was then DQ. But I was happy that she tried to move the ewe, than fade away and took a couple of grips to try to get her to move more. She ran her heart out and it was over her head, but she didn't give up.
Maid had a redirect on her outrun and took it like a champion and then came nice behind the sheep. The sheep broke down the hill and she tried to head them but stopped when I asked and went back behind the sheep as I asked her. Her fetch was smooth as butter, and at the last second, the ewes slipped past the panels. The turn was slow and the run was going smooth. She had to work to keep them online for the first drive but they lined out and three went through the panel while two missed. Those two ewes were fussy all the way and I gave her a big comebye flank to turn them so she reached down, grabbed one of the ewes by the hock and pulled her back through the panel. I am sure if she gave it a quick hock, it might have OK but the yanking the ewe a few feet was not OK. She got a DQ and I could not figure out why she did that but up to that point it was one of better runs. I did have to come down hard on her at the fetch panels for a down so that might have been the tension that started it.
On the second round, the sheep were move about 600 yards to the left and on a ridge. Their night pen was behind them. You had to rotate about 120 degree from the first run. The sheep blended in the brown patched of the alfalfa. Rain was sure the trailer in front of me (500 yds plus) was the sheep and I stopped her and reflanked her. You could tell she was sure the trailer was the sheep but went on my blind trust to leave that "huge silver sheep" behind and go blindly in the direction I sent her. She did see the sheep and cast out nice behind them. She started to have a nice lift but the sheep broke towards the setout along the ridge line so she had to work the two front runaways and the three that stopped to graze. It was tough as she had two sets and had to go back and forth between the two groups and tuck and tuck but 200 yards later, she got all of them grouped and then down to the fetch line and came just in front of the fetch panels. They trotted smartly to me and a turn that she had to work to get but she got it. The first leg was down a driveway and directly to their night pen. They broke and she stopped them about 50 feet past the panels and had to work hard but get them to turn and to the second panels. We just missed the panels and one faced her off and she was slowly working her but we timed out. It was tough and she didn't fade or back down when the ewes charged her but didn't have the tough pushy to their faces. She held her ground and would kindly work the ewes but she needed Maid's "Don't *&&**&% walkup". Regardless, she gave me all she could and got a low score but worked her heart out.
Maid was not listening to me when at the post I told her to look up the field and keep looking at the trailer. I told her no and re walked her so she could see the sheep in front of her but she kept craning her neck to see the trailer. Finally, she saw the sheep and people moving about, so I thought and I sent her. She ran out 100 yards and began to cross. I hit her with a HUGE down and she ignored me and I hit her with more and my voice. She almost crossed and finally took the redirect but pretty much ran up the field, spied the sheep and went in like a heat seeking missile. The lift was hard and fetch was ragged but the post turn was smooth and quiet. I thought she was all settled down and relaxed until the sheep ran down the driveway at full speed. I flanked her for a comebye and she went away so I stopped her. I gave her another comebye and she broke away on the away side. Again I stopped her and gave a comebye and she finally took it and sliced in and grabbed a ewe and spun her like a top. I was sad.
Nan ran out and I had to give her a little redirect and she took it and came in nice behind the sheep. This group had broke back to the night pen twice before Nan was sent so they were ready to break back again. As soon she she came in, the setout crew backed out and the sheep split into two group and ran past her. She tried to catch them but the groups split over the hill and we retired.
I judged PN on Saturday. I moved the turn post down the hill as the sheep would break back to the exhaust pen for the first two rounds. It worked as most of the runs were completed and the RT and DQ were due to grips or handler calling their run. Karen and Cam laid down a pretty flawless run, followed by Lee Lumb and Guss. Quite a few of the PN runs had scores in the 80s.
Lee won Nursery with Rando, with Bob Stephen and Black Lux, only a 1/2 point difference. This is the third year I have judged this and I really enjoy it.
I have some serious homework to do with my dogs when the Ortho doc gives me the OK to work the dogs again. I know what my winter projects will be. More on Fire Ridge later this week.