This weekend I went to an AHBA Trial. It was at Elsie Rhodes farm and put on by Elsie and Barb Davenport. These trials are a wonderful venue and you should attend. I was asked to judge one day of this trial back in the summer so I really looked forward to it. I also needed to get another title in another area of the AHBA. I already have the Level III in HRD (Sheep) with Tess and Scott.
This time I took Rain, daughter of Tess and Scott) to get a Level III Title in HTAD. Since I judge on Saturday, I ran rain and Barb Davenport judged Rainey. Her score did not count in the placing since I was judging but it did count towards her title. She got like 91 or so, out of 100. It was a nice sized arena, and you had to take the sheep out of a pen, go to center post of the arena, go 90 degree to the side and put the sheep through a Y chute, then 90 degrees back to the center post, do another 90 degree to a set of panel, go through them and turn 90 degrees again. The back to the far side to do a pen, then a gate sort of the five putting two into the pen, hold off the three, then pen them. Rainey did this quite handily and the sheep were very heavy. This could be her calling as she was very quiet and had them totally under control.
I ran her today since Dave was judging. She had a pretty much flawless run withe wild white sheep that had caused trouble all weekend. They did not pen and would break from one end of the arena to the others. When I judged the handler who had this set, most of them retired. When I saw this set, I was worried but Rainey went into the pen like a pro and scooped them out. They bolted as soon as they got out but she covered them and brought them back to me. She marched them next to me like little soldiers until we go to the pen. We had them in the mouth three times and they refused to go in. Finally we muscled them in. We were both determined to do it. It was tough! The rest of the run was great. This penning cost us first place and High in Trial but I was happy how well she rallied to keep the sheep under control. She got third place and a nice ribbon for her efforts. Most of the points we lost were at the pen. So she had her HTAD (sheep) and we still have to get her duck title. I am going to get ducks so we can practice before we go. Rainey was quite pleased with herself. I thought it was only fitting that Rainey carry on the tradition of her parents in the AHBA course.
Saturday I was the judge and the weather was nice then turned horrible at noonish. I was wearing my heated vest and now am thinking of getting heated pants. It was cold, wet and very windy. The first runs were the ducks runs. The ducks were very difficult and would go back to the draw. But most of the people kept working on it and got success. If you put too much pressure on the ducks, they would pop and run off. Driving the ducks proved to be a real challenge too! They had to do three panels, driving, hold, take and repen so it was not easy.
Then I judged Junior Handing, which is the dog is novice level. The sheep have to be gather then taken through three panels, then held off a gate and penned. The handlers were very patient and dogs listened and it was very successful. All passed and I could see some nice dogs!
Last was sheep which had three level. The ducks had the three levels. Level one you could walk through the course withe the stock, Level two, most of the way you could walk and Level three yo had to stay towards the back of the arena and do a lot of driving and also a gate sort. I was very impressed on the quality of work that I saw. Everyone passed, aside from the handlers who chose to retire. The white sheep proved to a challenge and the handlers had difficulties with them. The sheep were in great shape and certainly never missed a meal. I can't remember most of the dogs runs but the notable ones were an Aussie, "Woody" (Twin Oaks) and Gin and some corgis, "Rocky" and ? (Pembroke and Cardigan), a ACD named Lokota, a Kelpie "Moktje (SP?) and Tori, Maddie and Tyke, excellent Border Collies and couple of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. There were more but forgive me as I forgot!
For lunch, they rolled out the welcome wagon and had turkey with all the trimmings. OMG, it was fabulous! It certainly was a great touch for a wonderful trial. They go all out to make this a five star trial. Thanks very much for letting me judge, and letting me run. This is a must go to trial!
I got home and am tired as two days in the cold, wet and wind just sapped me!! And I never took my camera out. I was going to take pix today but ended up scribing instead! They will be having another AHBA trial in Feb! I will be going with Rainey!