Saturday, November 16, 2013

MacDonald's Winter Series #1

Sue and George MacDonald had the first of their winter series today. JB Brick was the judge and she did a fine job. The day was sunny with wind gusts and some misting. Sheep were light and testy!! It was a fine day for a sheepdog trial.
Once again, I fell out off bed in complete darkness, fired up Bertha the truck and off we went to our adventure. More like, Nan and Maid passed out as soon as I started to drive so I cranked up the music and drank my coffee.
The Open course was a normal outrun, then a short first leg and then an angled cross drive which proved to be quite difficult. The last lag was to the center of the ring and you had to single. The pen had a panel in front of the mouth and the gate was not movable so you had to angle the sheep dead on to get them inside.
Nan ran out nice and did great outwork. She was quite pushy though and I had to get her to slow down and feel her sheep. Nice turn at the post and made the first panel and nice turn. A few bobble on the crossdrive as she was really leaning on the sheep and I thought we had the second panel, when to my dismay we slid by them and I was too slow to correct that. Trotted them into the ring for a "Hail Mary Shed" which wasn't the prettiest but sure was super fast and furious and she then stuffed them into the pen.  She was in first for most of the day and towards the end, she was knocked down to second. That will teach me to miss panels! Bad, Diane! 
 Nice turn.

 The draw was to the right and she had to really hold it. First panel as a panel and a tree. 
 Whew, the super shed.
Maid was being the social butterfly before her run so I had to remind her to follow me to the gate. That was fine as she was really relaxed and willing. She looked into my eyes at the post and I saw softness and laughter. I sent her and she had a nice outrun, lift and was pushy on the first half of the fetch. The sheep were offline so it took a bit to get her to push them back online and we did it after the panel.
Maid said you are not running to the exhaust.
She was very soft and biddable and there was no tension. Nice turn at the post and she really had to hold the draw to make the first drive line. But she did it willingly and held her line. 
Nice tight turn.
 The turn and she came in nice for a tidy turn. This is were we sometimes struggle as she thinks she knows where the line should be so we fight. However, she did exactly as I asked and walked nicely behind her sheep. The crossdrive she nailed dead on and had a nice pace and distance behind her sheep. Made the second panel and dead on to the ring. I was so happy on the drive as it was so enjoyable. She was bending over backwards to please me and no tension and being super soft.

Superb shedder.
Oh yea, the shed. Picked a lamb and she held it like a champion. The sheep where wanted to race out and were squirrely. There were a couple of times I could have called her in and she was leaning to come in but I didn't trust the sheep so waited until I had tiny sliver. The poor lamb had no idea what happened as a dog suddenly appeared in front of her. She really wanted to go back but Maid was firm and calm. She gathered them and walked them into the pen. She placed 5th with a 85 and now has her first points towards the Finals. She was quite happy with herself after her run and leaned into my leg, did a deep sigh while I rubbed her neck and told her she was a star. I loved the fact she had no tension, was soft and biddable and really trying to do as I asked of her.
I enjoyed running both girls and it was a nice day. Came home and crashed hard and Maid crawled on the couch with me. She snores but she earned the spot on the couch.

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