This weekend anyway! Five classes and we ended up with four 3rd place finishes. Zac added the 4th one today, finishing with a 79 and 3rd in Open. Had we had about 1 more second to get the pen gate shut before time was called, he'd have had 2nd place and been the overall champion for the weekend. Today's winner, and weekend champion, was Victoria Wilcox with her bitch Pat, with second place going to Christine Henry and Tweed.
Jet ran early this morning and had a very nice run around the course, after pulling up a bit short on her outrun. Unfortunately, the two small lambs just would not split up in the shedding ring. Jet and I tried everything we could and i don't think we could have split them apart with a spatula! Finally one of the lambs broke off and Jet gripped it, ending our run.
Zac ran very late in the class and had an interesting group of sheep. There was a horned ewe that had "opinions" on where she wanted to go - leaning off at every opportunity and trying to get off course. The second ewe and one of the small lambs were pretty happy to stick with her, but the second little lamb had decided she was hungry and was putting her head down to graze at every opportunity and lagging behind the main group. Zac did an excellent job sorting them out, changing his method to suit them on the spot. As i wrote in yesterday's post, Zac prefers to get out front and work the lead sheep in a group, then slip back and tuck the rear sheep in as needed. Today however, he got in behind the group and pushed from the rear, something i've tried showing him many times, and can handle him into doing, but have never seen him choose to do on his own. His lines were pretty clean around the course and we got to the shedding ring with about 3 minutes to go. The groups had been difficult to split all day and they certainly didn't get any better as they got more and more tired. I had to do a lot of fiddling around and moving the lambs to try to get one ewe and one lamb on each side of the split, but it finally came and Zac came in like a bullet and did a beautiful job holding the shed. I looked at my watch and had all of 20 seconds to get to the pen and shove the sheep in. I really didn't think we even had time to move the sheep into position, much less get them in, but Zac brought them straight up, they hesitated a tiny bit, we forced them in, started shutting the gate and time ran out, arrggh!
I couldn't be happier with all three dogs' performances this weekend. It was a nice weekend and enjoyable trial. Even the weather cooperated, with the rain and storms all hitting during non-trial hours. The field was very nice, and Anet and her crew had worked hard to make it a good trial and for us to all feel welcome. I hope they'll do it again soon!