Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kirchgessner Jan 4th Sheepdog Trial

Again I got up at O-dark-thirty to head out to a sheepdog trial...well, 6:00, then out the door at 6:30. Got there, had handler's meeting then fog delay for a couple of hours. It was bone chilling cold so I sat in my truck to stay warm. Maid was third and was pretty amped by the time we went out. You couldn't see the sheep, they were like faint shadows in the mist so it was a true test of Maid and her outrun. I sent her away and soon she was swallowed up in the fog. I saw movement in the mist and gave s short, low walkup so she could get her bearing. She brought the sheep nicely and at the last moment, they slipped to the side of the fetch panels. She was soft on them and being very willing. We slid a little more as the three undogged lambs bolted here and there. Nice turn and se settle them nice for the first leg, went straight to the panel and they bolted to the side and made a run for it. But Maid got then in hand and back online. The second half of the crossdrive you could not see the line and as a result the lambs were low and I missed the panels.   It wasn't pretty and we made our way into the shed. I had to single and they wanted no part of Maid. We settle them and she came in like a champion and held her lamb. we timed out at the pen as they were walking it. The drive killed us so we landed 6th out of 25 dogs. Needless to say, I was happy on well she tried as she had plenty of opportunities to be bad but held her cool and was soft.

Nan was the last dog to run. She was quite spooked as gunfire was going off and she is gun-phobic. She ran out nice and came hard on the sheep but settle down. I got her to slow down but she was being very reactive.  Pretty good fetch and nice turn. The first leg was nice and we made the panel and had the first half of the crossdrive looking nice then it went to hell in a handbasket. Gunfire went off and she promptly turned the sheep to me and almost brought them back but I got them headed to the second panels. She wanted to bring them back but I made her do it some what right so the last part of the drive was a real mess. we got killed for that, One missed attempt and she got the single and then marched the lambs into the pen. She was pretty spooky from the gunfire and her whites were showing white. She finally settled down and went to sleep in the truck.

The first leg of the drive proved to be the undoing of a lot of runs as the dogs would flip and bring the sheep back. If you made it past that then the second half of the crossdrive was blind and the lambs would slip up the hill back to you. There was a hill in the way of the handler and the line on the second half of the crossdrive. The single was very tough and not many got that. By the tenth run, the fog had lifted the sun smiled on us for the rest of the day.

By this time it was well past two so I turned on Bertha and she slowly chugged home. I was so tired that I didn't even stop at Del's farm store to get supplies. Instead we got home, did chores, then all passed out in the living room.

Here is the Open scores. I didn't stick around for the PN, ranch or Novice runs.

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