Saturday, April 5, 2014

Farm and Fleece March 30 Sheepdog Trial Results

For once I didn’t have to get up at Zombie time for a trial but had a leisurely cup of coffee and then met Janet at the park and ride at ten. The trial was at Fido’s Farm and the other classes ran before Open. Janet just moved Jude to Open so it was nice for us to be running dogs in the same class. I took Maid and Nan. Janet figured that our runs would be around 1:30 and I was sure it was going to be at 11:30 so she humored me by making sure we got there by 11:30, only to realized that all my four years of Engineer Math did not include figuring out run times calculation….I was way off and she was spot on…darn and I had to admit I was wrong so we went out to lunch for Chinese. We have a favorite restaurant so we went there and had a hot lunch which was good as it was wet, cold and windy. We got back in time and hung out until our runs.
Maid was the first of the dog to go and the fetch was a tough dogleg fetch. She ran out nice and came up behind the sheep and two broke down the field while the wether kept his nose buried in the grain bucket. They used two shorn ewes and one yearling wether that did not want to join the two ewes. I let Maid sort out the wether and she looked over the wether at me, then carefully walked up on him and he popped up and ran to join his friends. I flanked her over to start the dogleg and she took each command like a champion. Hit the panels at the nice fast trot and superb turn at the post. Nice first leg and the run was looking quite nice then she refused to take the comebye flank. I downed her so I know she heard me so when I gave her the come bye she either drove them up the field or did an away flank. I shouted out at her and finally she took the flank so we got them back online at halfway on the cross drive. We got hit hard for her transgression and she put them neatly through the second panels and to the shed. The sheep swirled and we got the single. Two ewes darted off to the exhaust and maid went to get them. She didn’t grip but gave them a loud growl and then ran back to me and as we got them ready to put into the pen, we ran out of time. The extra drive on the first leg ate up the much needed time we needed for the pen. Aside from that debacle she ran well and was soft, biddable and willing.
Jude ran next and did well for his first time in Open. He held his ground at the first leg when the ewes wanted to run over him to go to the exhaust and then they timed out in the shed ring. His outrun, which he has been struggling with last year and part of this year, looked sweet and he totally ignored the setout crew. Is lift was nice and he gave it all for Janet. I hope she write about it in her blog.
Nan was second to last and it was drizzling by then. As we waited for her sheep, I looked at her and saw an earthworm was crawling on her paw. She saw it took and examined with great care and thoughtfulness. I sent her and she flung the poor worm in the earth, no doubt stunned by his airborne adventure. Apparently Nan’s thoughtfulness for the worm extended only so far! She had a wonderful outrun and came nicely behind her sheep and I redirected her to the far side to pick them up for the dogleg. She came in nice and of course, the wether was too busy eating to notice a dog. The other tow darted off and I saw shades of Maid’s run. I gave her a walk up and she carefully lifted the wheter and got them all gather for a nice fetch. A little bit offline but she got them back online and a tight tidy turn around the post. Smooth first leg and she held the draw and marched them around the course. She only  lost two on her drive but it sure was one of her nicest drives. Into the ring and he peeled the single off quickly. The two ewes ran like hell bent for leather for the exhaust while the wether and I springted for the pen. The wether was waiting for me to open the gate and parked himself at the mouth. Nan began to march the ewes back and I looked at her to give her a flank and saw in her eyes that told me to be quiet. She marched them up and cut a little to the right and left and trotted them into the pen without a word from me. It was amazing that she looked at me and I knew to let her figure it out. She lost zero for her pen. I was very happy with her run and she danced with delight after her run. Not bad for an 11.5 year old.

After it was all done, she won first place with an 88 out of a 100 and Maid got 62, losing most of her drive points and all of her pen points. She only lost three points for a difficult outwork and many dogs lost a good chunk of the fetch points.  So Nan gets a winner photograph by Lisa Charaba!
We packed up the dog and headed home, happy with the work and some homework in mind to fix the errors we had on the course. But overall, we were quite happy with the runs. Much thanks to Fido’s Farm for the great trial and challenging course.

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