Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shaker Village Day 1 Open

Today started out rainy and cold. The rain stopped mid-morning but it stayed pretty chilly all day. Jet ran 26th and i was thrilled with how well she ran. She was listening so well and the pace and attitude of the whole run was just sweet. I sent her right and the sheep were moving towards her as she crested the hill. Seeing them, she slowed up to keep them from taking off. With a bit of eye, she turned them around downfield, then slid into place for a perfectly straight lift. The fetch was dead straight at a quiet pace. Turn at the post, first leg of the drive, and turn at the driveaway panels were perfect. Crossdrive was a bit low, turn at the panels tight. I thought the return leg was good but in hindsight it may have been a bit offline. Shed and pen were nice and clean. I was a little disappointed in the score (84) but it was a sweet, sweet run. I couldn't have asked her to run any better than she did.

Zac ran 59th and was definitely rusty - the extra work in new fields when he was hurt would have really helped going into these trials. For some reason, he decided to run straight up the field on his outrun. I kept thinking he'd kick out but he didn't until he was almost on top of the sheep. They held on the spot for some reason, and the fetch was good, with him listening well and lining the sheep out nicely. The drive was really very good right up to the crossdrive panels, when Zac decided to "help" hold the pressure above the line - and tipped them just below the panels with this help. Shed and pen were perfect and he finished with an 81. I'd have thought there would be a lot more than 3 points between his and Jet's runs. Christine Henry won with her Mr. Reliable, Rook, with a 94. Connie Brannen was 2nd, Scott Glen 3rd, and Vergil Holland 4th and 5th. There were some really pretty runs today and the sheep were very good.

Nursery was run after the Open finished and i ran Bill again. He was wonderful! I sent him right and he set off wide but ran out really appropriately for the field, just beautiful. He was looking and thinking all the way to the top. I gave him a little "stay back" reminder as he came around the top but i think he'd have been fine without it. Lift was soft and sweet. Fetch was good though we missed the fetch panels when Bill wasn't quite wanting to flank and stay over to the right side. I'd decided to go at this as a training run rather than a competitive one, and was more concerned with getting the work right than hitting the panels, so wasn't trying real hard to get them. Turn and first leg of the drive were nice, with Bill really starting to enjoy pushing into these sheep and taking little flanks to adjust the line. Crossdrive was especially nice and Bill was flanking well there. We hit the crossdrive panel and Bill took the big flank to turn well enough that the sheep came back through the panels. That was okay though, he was happy and working well and i didn't want to fool with him too much to try to save it. I left the return leg and pen to him, just shutting up and letting him handle it all, and it was perfect. He's such a good boy (and laying here on the bed in the hotel room right now, all proud of himself). I don't know where he finished in the class but he sure made me happy. I've noticed that he really prefers the whistles to be quiet and sweet, and that he works much harder to do right then. Also today i went to voice command a lot quicker and more frequently, and that seemed to help him a lot. He really looked good out there today, very competent and not a bit over his head. This weekend has been extremely good for him.

Tomorrow is supposed to be very rainy and both dogs run fairly early. I doubt i'll be putting up another report for a few days - big drive home tomorrow instead of an evening chilling in the room with the pups. You can tell who did well today by looking around the room right now - Jet and Bill are sprawled out on the bed instead of out in the van with the others!

1 comment:

Laura Carson said...

Great report - Nice job yesterday! I'm sure you won't see this until you get back, but I hope today goes great for you guys. Be safe driving, too!