We took a few days to get out here and had a mini vacation along the way. We visited one of Getty's best friend in Ogden, UT to play catch up and watch the LSU game. Then off to enjoy a day at the Moab National Park and next time, we will need more than a day! And finally arrived in Carbondale, Co for the 2014 USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals. We decided not to take the trailer but hotel it and it was a good decision as we could do more sightseeing. Nan and Maid sure enjoy the beds at the motels and feeling special.
Handler's meeting was on Monday at 5 and the course is pretty standard, maybe 500 yd outrun (not sure) and a 165 yard drive (So I was told) and long crossdrive, then shed and pen. Sheep were fat and alert and worked in large bunches and I watched them moved about and they looked very light or alert. It is held on the Strang Ranch and it is quite lovely, brilliant emerald green grass set against the wind blown craggy mountain hills and brush. I appreciate that they put on the trial and it looked well run and very efficient. Tons of food tents and vendor goodies to spend your money on and just well run.
Time is 13 minutes, with a left hand drive as well and sheep seemed to pen somewhat ok. I didn't get there until 1:00 ish as I am recovering from a head on collision and woke up to pain so took meds and waited until I didn't hurt so much to drive. I tried to remember the run but it got super windy, heavy rain and cold so I was trying to stay warm and didn't take notes so going off memory here. Please ignore the typos. The sheep would draw to the left on the fetch and on the first leg of the drive, the handlers covered the draw on the left side and then the sly ewes would break to the inside of the drive panel and bust up the field. Some almost made it 2/3 of the way back to the setout. Once they got them back online the last leg was to the shed and they were shed-able and pen-able. (are those real words or ones I just made up?) I don't know how they were in the morning. Some of the packets loved to turn on the dogs and challenge them for every step of the way. But some folks had nice runs and you couldn't tell what you had until your dog picked them up. But nice sheep nevertheless.
I got there at run 22 which Jo Woodbury ran her dog, Bond. She had a nice run and got 101. Michelle Brothers got a DQ on a grip. Bill Berhow had a nice quiet run going and as one ewe broke at the pen, his dog gripped her at her head and was a DQ. Chuck Dimit and this three legged dog, Cole got a 76 but for a three legged dog, he handled the sheep quite well. As I was driving up, I picked up his wife to give her a ride to the tent since the handler's rigs is about 1/2 mile away and it was dumping sideways and she was walking. Ron Enzeroth and Mick laid down a stunning run, quiet and hit the panels and smooth...in the rainstorm and got a whopping 159. Fantastic and I thought I had overheard someone say the dog was only four...is the correct?
Mindy Bower ran Possum and that is one darn, nice dog but the score of 82 doesn't show the heart the dog had on the field. I liked this dog. Chris Bowen and Bella walked when the sheep became too cranky and Carol Clawson and Tell got a DQ for a grip.
As soon as the Canadians (next two runs) the weather went to hell in a hand basket. It begain to dump sideways and everyone ran under the tent. The rain swept the the tents in huge drops and soaked us and the wind nipped our bones and souls. But tough Dennis Gellings and Tess bravely ran the course. You could see the rain going at right angles to the ground; that's how bad it was. Dennis had to hold onto his rainhat to see and they bravely marched through the course and got a 106. The sheep had no intention of even participating in this run and would run everywhere to escape the relentless rain. Then another Canadian, George Stambulic and Kate went to the post in the driving rain. You could see the sheep at the top wanted to bust away for cover as he sent Kate. But those darn Canadian, being of tough wild frontier stock, manned up and kept on trucking while we all huddled like penguins under the tent. He had a nice controlled run and got a 121, in spite of the foul weather. At this point, I was glad my run is tomorrow.
Larry Moore and Bea got a DQ and Suzy Applegate walked with Tru. She had a packet that kept turning on Tru but Tru held her ground and when the ewe charged gave an appropriate "Hello, I am here welcome Kiss" but she walked on the first leg of the drive. Allen Hickenbottom and Bodie had a nice run, quiet and controlled and the rain finally began to cease and they landed with a score of 124 and it looked quite nice. LouAnne Twa and Craig had tidy turn and nice lines and it looked quite nice wen he grabbed a ewe for a split second in time in route to the pen. The drive was super nice and very controlled. They are a nice team.
At this point I left as I was wet, cold and my rib began to ache. I had gotten into a head on accident with a guard rail at 55 mph and still recovering from that so my ribs began to scream so back to the hotel so I don't know what the last score are. I will blog on some on Wed and TH and whenever else I can but no promises.
Sheep in the exhaust.
Not all the scores but here is what I have so far.