Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Scio Trial on May 17 and 18

The weeks have been racing by, as well as the storm clouds and rain that we have been getting for our spring and allegedly summer. Well, we did get three days of 80 degree plus weather so I guess that does counts as our summer. Anyways, I was able to sign up for the Scio, OR sheepdog trial that is held in Scio, Or in the mid May.  I entered Nan and Maid in Open and looked forward to a tough trial (and it was). We headed down about lunch time on Friday but still managed to hit the Friday afternoon traffic jam from Olympia to well past the southern end of Highway 205, south of Portland. So the 4 plus hr drive was over 6 hrs but I stopped along the way and took the girls out for a run a couple of times. I stayed in the Valuu-Inn which is a lower rate Inn with no amenities but clean and functional. It had a hot shower, microwave and small fridge and free WiFi.

I found a Japanese restaurant with very good sushi that was marred by the lack of service. I took extra home to eat for later. Nan and Maid also enjoyed the sushi.  We got good and comfy in the room and went to bed early on Friday night.
Early on Saturday morning, we got to the trial with lots of time to make the handler’s meeting and check out the course. Nan was one of the first dogs up and we watched the runs before ours.   The sheep were winning byracing to the exhaust or just bolting at the first leg of the drive. This didn’t bode well.

 Nan ran out quietly and had a nice lift but they veered offline and we made the fetch panels only to swing to one side but got them back online for the turn, where they tried to bolt for the exhaust. She stopped them and marched them up the field. As she was tucking in the last stragglers through the first drive panels, the first half of the sheep bolted to the exhaust, and then followed by the rest. Nan had to work them off as they split into two groups and would swirl around her to break back. After a bit, she got them convinced to leave the exhaust and go back to the first panel and do a decent crossdrive. Halfway as they went through the second panel, two went low and as she was turning the top sheep, the low two bolted to the fence and went through a hole in the fence so I walked off.

Not much you can do if the fence has an escape route. She was tired mentally and physically from this and got cold laser treatment but pulled up lame later that night. So I pulled her on the advice from a vet for Sunday’s run. She tried so I was happy with that.

Maid was later and went out nicely. She gather them and was slow on her downs and as a result we went offline most of the way but got it back together. A mediocre drive trying to keep the sheep on the drive as they wanted to bolt and then to shed. You had spilt the marked sheep and drive off the unmarked and put the marked sheep in the pen. But before you could put them in the pen you had to put them in the ring. We got the shed and as they were entering the ring, we ran out of time. It wasn’t east and Maid was gassed out.

 We crashed hard that night. I had leftovers from the night before. We got up early only to discover that someone had pried open the back of my truck and stole my first aid kit, a pair of muck boots and Cheetos and Pretzels. They did rummage through my ice chest but only stole the junk food. By the time I had gotten done with the police, I raced to the field and arrived as my name was being called.  Nan was lame so I talked to a vet and it was recommended to pull her so I did. The course was a standard setup with a shed, pen and single.
Maid had no time to loosen up and she ran up the field like she was on fire. Nice outrun and lift and slightly offline on the fetch. The drive was high then low and slipped past the panels at the last second. She was really leaning on them and her down was three extra steps. We had to finagle to get the shed and the ewes had no interest in going into the pen but we got them in after a few circles. She was a pistol on the single and flew in and stopped the ewe before she had any idea what was going on. She placed 13th and we headed home. But first we stopped by Coastal Store and loaded up chicken feed as it was $5 cheaper a bag.  And they had a sale on rootbeer so I loaded up on that as well. It wasn’t a very good weekend for us so my homework is to get better lines and a fast down.

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