Monday, June 29, 2009

Catching Up, Breezy Hill SDT

I thought i should maybe do a quick catchup post before i get so far behind that i can't remember what's happened! Things have been pretty hectic in off-farm stuff - trying to arrange some home repairs, thinking about buying a new truck, yada yada.

In dog and farm stuff, lots has been happening as well. Spottie has gone to live with Kelly Jerman so she'll have a second dog to work and trial. Kelly's just getting started in this stuff and Spottie should be a good teacher for her. I expect they'll do great together and we'll be seeing Kelly on the trial field in no time, with both Spottie and her young dog Jen. It'll be nice to be able to see Spottie on a regular basis since i see Kelly at least a couple of times a month.

This past weekend, the dogs and i went to the Breezy Hill trial in VA. It's been years and years since i've gone to trial there, even though it's only a couple of hours away. It was a lot of fun and the sheep were mostly pretty okay - not the crazy-ass barbs from years past! I ran Jet early in the Open class on saturday. She ran pretty decent but i screwed up the pen badly. The sheep needed some convincing to go in and i went to sleep on closing the gate or something - they popped right out for no good reason. I didn't protect the opening like i should have, oh well. Never did get the shed after they got all upset. Zac ran next and i was really thrilled with how well he worked. He was smooth and sharp and did a terrific job on a less than cooperative barb ewe that kept trying to break off. I knew before she even got to my feet on the fetch that she'd be a problem at the pen and she was - after some jostling around we did get the group penned but lost several points and came out of the pen with only a few seconds left to shed. I forced a hole quickly and pulled Zac through but again lost some points for a sloppy job, though getting a few is better than none for time running out! I didn't run Bill the first day. ProNovice is held in a smaller fenced area at this trial, with a lot of pressure and i didn't want to put Bill in that. At the end of the day, Julie Poudrier and Twist were 1st and Zac and i were in second place.

Since there was more time for running dogs on sunday (saturday there was a long lunch break for a VBCA club meeting, or a nap if you were me...LOL!), i decided to move Bill up to Ranch so he could run on the larger field. He did such a good job! He had a rogue ewe much like the one Zac had on saturday, one that wanted to break off all the way around the course, and he handled it extremely well, especially for such an inexperienced trial dog. She broke off hard at the lift and Bill very calmly worked the split group back together into a bunch and brought them up the field. These sheep always break hard to the right at the first drive panel towards the top of the field, and that threw Bill a little - i flanked him left but he wanted to go right so he could more quickly catch the sheep to keep them from escaping. It took a couple of commands from me but he did go the right way and caught the group easily, putting them back on line for the crossdrive. Crossdrive and return leg were nice and Bill did his usual lovely job at the pen. Bill ended up winning the class, a nice way to begin running the Ranch class! Zac was my first dog up in the Open and had a really lousy group of sheep. He worked so hard but they were just going to run and race around no matter what. We got around and penned, and then quit after trying the shed for a minute or so. It wasn't going to happen and it was too hot to keep working at it. Jet ran later and was good around the course but we gave up a bunch of points at the top end of the field when she pulled up on the setout pen and then was short on the set sheep too. After 3 or 4 redirects, she finally got around and lifted. Fetch and drive were okay, pen good, then with time running out, we missed an attempt on the shed. Neither Open dog placed on sunday. Bill was the dog of the day for sunday!

I'm not sure where we'll be headed next trial-wise. I'd planned to go to Canada in early August but now with Chris due to pup and a bunch of other stuff going on, i may not make it. It may be the end of August before our next trial. In the meantime, i'll be anxiously awaiting the Zac/Chris pups, sharpening up the Open dogs' shedding, and trying to get Bill ready for moving to Open too, possibly this fall. The fall trial schedule is really filling up and it's going to be a busy trial season!

That darned barb keeps trying to leave the group!

Zac says "Get the heck back in there with your friends!"

Zac completes the shed


Kelly said...

Spottie is fitting in great! She is working for me well and loves our 2x daily walks. She is so funny, when she comes out of her crate in the morning she jumps up and licks me to death! Can't wait to see how much weight she has lost when we go to the vet on Friday!

Laura Carson said...

You guys really rocked it this weekend! Congrats - Billy was definately a superstar Sunday.

Julie Poudrier said...

I agree, Billy put the rest of the ranch dogs to shame on Sunday. And I thought both Zac and Jet did great jobs with cranky sheep.

Now we get to start thinking about puppies!

Anonymous said...

Yay, Billy!

Who were the trial judges?

Joan.sorry she missed it but had to take care of Jethro

Robin French said...

Steve Mc Call judged both days. We missed you!

And congrats to Julie on winning both days!!