Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fido's Farm Trial for April 19 and 20

This weekend was the earliest that I have ever gotten up for a sheepdog 0400....out the door to met Janet at the park and ride on Saturday morn, then off to Starbucks....were to our complete horror is not open at 0500 in the morning. So we found a McDonalds and then made it to the trial with caffeine in our veins. Handlers meeting was at 0615 and  we arrived at 0630 and were in time.

The fetch was about 350 yards where the dog lost sight of the sheep and some crossed in the gully just past the fetch panels. You had a dog-leg fetch which was not easy and was the undoing of many runs. Then a nice first leg, followed by a long crossdrive, which faced the exhaust and the sheep took full advantage of that. Then a single and the pen all in ten minutes.

The sheep were freshly shorn yearling, NCC with a bit of attitude. Worked some but not dog broke and quick to exploit the weakness in your dogs. Fat, sassy and not interested in being victims, they proved to be nice sheep to work if your dog was correct. If not, they you p[aid the price. I loved the sheep and they were a pleasure to work. The trial host went all out to make this a super nice trial, with a great setout crew, trial folks who keep everything running with cheerful smiles and just darn fun. It wasn't a cake walk but it showed where you had to go home and polish up and also where you did your homework. Loved this trial. Thanks to Chris and her tireless crew.
We didn't stick around for PN but I got Saturday's scores for you.

Maid was the first and had locked on the exhaust sheep now matter what I told her. She cast out then wanted to cross so I got her to stop, then reflanked her. She had a nice lift and could hear me tell to stop but was headstrong and didn't take it. How do I know this? Chris was at the top and ratted on her so that made me aware that the dogs could hear but chose not to listen. I did get a hold of her and did the last half of the fetch properly. Nice first leg and slipped past the panels and high on the crossdrive and then adjusted and the nice last leg.  Took the single at the front as he presented himself and I am not to look a gifthorse in the mouth, when the singles had been tough. Maid worked like a champ and got them in the pen like it was stealing candy from a baby (I have heard that is easy but never actually did it) Maid was a bit headstrong and her being in standing heat probably added fuel to the fire.

Nan was towards the end of the day and went out crisp. Listened like a champ on the dog leg, although a wee bit on the muscle. I have noticed this year, she is really getting on the muscle. Nice tight turn at the post and then nice first leg, then the wheels fell off  the wagon. High, low , high low, like a broken record and then missed the second panel and finished up the fiasco but a nice last line.  Two attempts at the single and she got it and I didn't hear the judge call so turned and asked her and in the split second in listening to the reply, Nan and the sheep went merrily to the exhaust where the gate had been left I said she was on the muscle! She wasn't quite on her game that day and too pushy and I didn't rein her in  enough.

We packed our bags, licked our wounds and headed home. Janet will blog about her runs. We decided to stop and have Japanese food and I gorged myself on sushi. Thank goodness Janet was driving and I was too full to think about driving! Instead we reminisced about past run, past dogs and our future with our dogs.
So I was on my won to drive on Sunday morning, so got up at 0330 and headed out. Got coffee at McDonalds so I would be coherent. The girls were wondering why so darn early but soon were soothed by a bite of my breakfast.
Nan was first and cast out wide and came clean behind the sheep. We had the same course and she was on the money on the dogleg fetch, still on the muscle. Nice drive with a sheep slipping past a panel and a bit high on the crossdrive. Called her in for two singles and on the third one she (finally) came in and held it .  (You can guess what our homework is tis week) The sheep weren't interested in the pen but Nan stuffed them like stuffing Green Peppers. The door shut on tem before they had a chance to protest.
It was much later in the day when Maid ran so I hung out and chatted with Sue and George. It's great talking to them as they are super folks and got me hooked in the sport. And it started wit my $100 puppy too!
Maid was quite ready to go as she had been waiting all day. She was amped so we spent some time in the handler's blind, just chilling and rubbing her belly and soon she was soft.  We were ready and I sent her out. She cast out wide and came deep behind the sheep. They were eating grain and didn't want to leave the bucket so I gave her a soft walkup and let her figure out how to lift the, She was steady and eased them off the bucket and once she got them going, I stopped her and flanked her to get the dogleg fetch. She was wonderful and handled them with kid gloves down the fetch and had a nice gentle turn. We just glanced at each other at the post turn and smiled at each other. she wanted to push but I reined her back so the drive was slow.  By this time in the day, the sheep were hungry and wanted to stop and graze so we worked them nice and slow. Nice turn, then they slipped down the gully and she brought them back up fast, so I made her stop and get the flow. A wee bit high, then we lined them up. At the last part of the crossdrive, they wanted to run to the exhaust to so I put them a little low to pus  them through and that made them dash through the panels and I quickly flanked Maid to meet them on the other side. They were surprised to see her!  She was kind and made them turn the right way and marched them into the ring.  She came in for a sweet single and then we went to the pen. They had no desire to go in and danced around the pen and we finally got them headed properly when the time ran out. She ran quite well and was pliable, although pushy but did slow down as I asked. I was very happy with her run and she was happy as well. We are really enjoying each other and she tries  so hard to please me. I am so blessed to have two incredible Open dogs.

After Open was over, I packed up the girls and headed home. I was tired and so were they!  They did well today  but we still have some more homework to do. The rest of the day was sunny and we lounged around the pond and watched lamb races.

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