Thursday, February 27, 2014

Saturday Trial Wrap-up

A bit late due to work and life but here is the wrap-up from this last Saturday. I originally had not planned to go but Janet twisted my arm so I went with Maid and Nan to Scatter Creek Trail, judged by Sandy Johnson. As usual, we got up before the sunrise, and snuck out of town under the cover of darkness. Rainey was put out when I slammed the door in her face. We got there early and hung out and watched runs. The handler had to stand in field A and the sheep were in field B. You had to send your dog and the gate was in front of you. In back of you was the exhaust and the gate was open and to your direct side was a corral wit ewes and lambs. The dogs that didn't get confused by all of that had the challenge of going thru the gate and many hit the fence, crossed or went back to the handlers.

Maid was first so I did a walk up and she was confused but did as I asked, although her walk-up was tentative. As soon as she hit the gate, I gave her a huge flank and she cast out nice. Picked up the sheep well and I hit her with a down. She took it readily and waited for my next command. The sheep were the super light hair sheep and bolted down the field. As soon as they settled, I had her  walk slowly and she brought them nicely through the gate. The post turn was hard as the sheep ran to the corral sheep and plastered against the fence or tried to bolt to the exhaust. I did the wrong turn then made a bloody mess of trying to unwind. But we finally got it going and had a nice first drive. As soon as the sheep hit the panels, they bolted over the hill and I was slow to flank Maid. Maid took a wrong flank but brought the sheep nicely over the hill. I put them back online and we made the rest of the drive nice. We timed out in the shed ring as they were super light so as a result we didn't get the pen as well. But in spite of the runaway and missed shed and pen, she placed 7th. I guess even with that debacle, she had one of the better drives. Maid worked well for me and was soft and biddable. I really enjoy running her and we click well together. She really bends herself over backwards to please me and no tension.
Nan ran towards the end of the day and by this time the sheep had run through the course several times and knew where the exhaust was as well as the draws. I did the dame walkup and flanked her at the gate and got points docks for a redirect but it was that or a crossover. She bent out deep and came in nice for a superb lift. The setout crew told me later she had one of the best outwork and positioned herself nice. She stopped and the sheep calmed down and we had a nice controlled fetch. In fact, she had one of the best outworks at the trial and so did Maid. In Maid's case, the lost points was me fumbling at the post turn.
Nan had a sweet drive and I didn't repeat the same mistake that I did with Maid. A little bit off here and there and she had one of the best drives. it took a bit to set up for the shed as the sheep wanted to bolt through the gate to the exhaust but she came in clean and fast and got the shed. We had them in the pen but one busted out and they spun but we did sneak them back in and got the pen. Nan placed second and I was quite please with my 11 year old dog!


The drive home was quiet as we mulled over the trial and what to do to improve. Janet ran Jude quite well and placed sixth out of 15 dogs. Hopefully she will post on her blog about her run. I was quite happy with both dogs considering I hadn't worked them very much as I was out of town the prior two weeks for work and didn't get home until late. The day was nice and patches of sun. It waited until we were driving home before the snow fell. All in all,  I was glad that Janet twisted my arm. Plus she is great company and just a good person!

1 comment:

gvmama said...

Hard to believe that Nan is 11. Where does time go?