Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ninety Farms Sheepdog trial

Well this trial is a toughie! Well known for a long outrun and a good portion of the outrun is blind. A road intersects the outrun so dogs will hit the road and go down it for a crossover. Then a tough fetch and a drive into the draw and a shed that is like buying the winning lotto ticket and pen.  Yep, pay your dues for a course that will test you. Tom Wilson was the able judge for the trial.
Nan ran well on the first day, a bit hard on the very light sheep and we got the shed and I cant remember if we got the pen and placed 6th out of 41 dogs with a score of 59. Every point earned the super hard way. Maid was sure the ewes were running away so stayed on their tails and was pushing too hard and even though we got a low score, no shed or pen, 32 still was in the upper half and of the dogs did not get a score.
On the second day, Maid ran ok but refused to flank on the drive so I called her off. She was very surprised but I wasn't going to let her do her own thing.  She had heard me as she started the flank then thought her flank was better and ignored my downs so that was the end for her. Nan ran out like she was on a mission and had one of the sweetest fetches of the trial and at the first drive panel had only lost three points so far. One ewe kept breaking off to the right and left and in the 90p plus degrees, I called it good for her and let the damm ewe run off for the fourth time.  No sense in overheating her when a ewe kept breaking away no matter what she did. She would cover the right side, the ewe would run to direction of the exhaust and when she cover the left side, the ewe would run off in the other direction. This ewe fought her down the fetch in trying to go back to the setout and she handled her well. As I walked off, Tom told me it was a beautiful run up to that point and she was looking good and fit for her age and ran well.
So to help deal with the light sheep (I have medium to heavy sheep) I went out and bought ten hair sheep and did tons of homework for the next trial.

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