Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bluegrass 2009, Day Three

Okay, i'll try to keep this a little shorter than the last couple of posts. Sorry, day two was a full one!

Day three was less than stellar for the Shoofly team. Bill's stop at the far end of the field had pretty much worn out by his Nursery run. The outrun really was a little long for him with as little experience as he has, both on strange fields and at longer distances. I sent him left and he stopped very short, at about 10:00, very unlike him. I think he was feeling the difference in the sheep, since the nicely broke flock from the first 2 days had been replaced by the sheep from the Open field, barely dog broke and in some cases not at all. I gave him a redirect and he took it very well, ending up with a 16-8. I got him stopped just as the sheep lifted, but he got up and didn't take the next stop, pushing into the sheep too hard and scattering them, then grabbing one to end the run with a DQ. It's a small problem Bill has right now and it showed up at Hanley's and on this day - he can push in too hard and unsettle sheep after the lift, sometimes scattering them, which makes him want to grab one. He's working through it and pretty reliable at the shorter distances, such as in his PN runs, but the Nursery distance is still a bit too far out for him to control himself. If i could stop him, i could handle him through it and he'd settle down and be okay, but the down was getting harder to get all week long at the top end of the Nursery course. I guess he was due a bad run after all those good ones.

Jet ran very late in the day, 5th from last. It was hot and the sheep were feeling very cranky. I sent Jet left again and she slowed up well before getting to the sheep to eye them. I gave her a redirect, which she took, but had to do it once or twice more to get her close to balance, and she still walked in short. The sheep started off nicely on the lift, though crooked as Jet was overworking the draw. Outrun and lift were 14.5 and 7.5. On the fetch, the sheep didn't fight Jet quite as hard as in the first round and weren't trying quite so hard to run over her to get back to the setout, but they started running and just wouldn't settle down. Jet was pretty hot on their heels on the fetch though, which didn't help and we missed the panels. To top if off, at the end of the fetch the darned sheep flipped hard to my right and because Jet was so far back, i couldn't get them around the post the right way. I think we managed to get them around the wrong direction twice even. The drive was sloppy. Fetch and drive ended up 6.5 and 17.5. The sheep had all become very good friends racing around the course by the time they entered the shedding ring and we couldn't get them to split for anything. After a missed attempt, i finally ran one off the front for a 3 point shed. With only a few seconds left, we had one good try at the pen but ran out of time. Final score was 49. I was really disappointed, as i just knew Jet was going to get through to the final round after that good score in the first round. She's been running so good and would have done a great job moving the 20 sheep around in the final. I hope she's still fit and sound next year so we can try again. Spottie ran last year at 10 years old so i'm hoping Jet will still be going strong next year at 9.


Debbie P said...

Thanks for the great commentaries. I enjoyed visualizing your runs - almost like being there!
Sounds like you did well and should be very proud of your dogs.

Robin French said...

Thanks! Sorry to be so wordy, but the blog helps me remember stuff down the road.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think it was wordy. Like Debbie, I visualized each run and tried to learn something from them. Your comments were especially good to read after my runs at Dr. Ben's over the weekend.