Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WFAC Results

Here's the official trial write-up. It all went great, couldn't have gone any better!

The second annual Whistle for a Cure SDT was a resounding success. Held as a fundraiser for Joan Knight’s team in the Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk, raising money for ovarian cancer research, the trial smashed our goal amount by a long measure.

We were concerned about the weather forecast for Shoofly Farm near Oxford, NC as the weekend approached but even that worked out well. There was an occasional light mist during the running on Saturday, with heavy downpours overnight, and then the clouds parted for a gorgeous sunny Sunday, our main day for trialing, with spectators, raffles, gift item sales and our big fundraising lunch.

Start time was noon on Saturday, with just the Open class for this day. It was what I picture a farm trial should be, with nearly everyone there pitching in to help, a very laidback atmosphere, just good friends getting together for a little friendly competition. The outrun was not very long at 225 yards, but it was certainly tricky for some of the dogs. Four sheep, a mix of ewes, lambs and wethers, both wool and hair sheep, were set in a far back corner of the pasture, mostly hidden to the dogs by the rolling terrain and trees. Dogs sent right needed to negotiate their way around the farm pond, while dogs sent left had a clearer path but tighter top end and greater risk of bumping the sheep off before the lift. Just after the lift, sheep and dog dropped out of sight of the handler, coming up over the hill just before the fetch panels. They were a bit cranky about turning the post, then went back up a hill for the drive and back down for the crossdrive. Penning was pretty easy and then off to the split, which was sometimes pretty difficult. The sheep were a mix of two flocks, with 3 of each group from the home flock and a fourth from a neighboring flock. At the end of the running, we had a tie for 1st place between Julie Poudrier with Twist and Denise Wall with May. Another trip around the course for each found them separated by only 1 point, with Julie taking the top spot. 3rd place went to Peggy Wilkinson with Liz, and 4th to Robin French with Bill. It was quite a good day for the young dogs, as 3 of the top 4 places were taken by dogs just at or under 3 years old.

Sunday dawned wet and dreary but cleared off as we started setting up. With some hay spread on the mud, on we went. The Open course was completely different for the second day, with a more straightforward outrun, though still somewhat blind for the dogs, and the pond to negotiate to the right. The sheep again dropped out of sight on the fetch, but this time only if you weren’t exactly online. Fetch panels were eliminated for this course, as the fetch line passed through a marshy area at the edge of the pond. Two small trees marked the area of the natural “fetch panels” and the sheep had to be convinced to step down in there. The drive was pretty straightforward with a hard dogleg on the return leg, then pen and split. The sheep had learned where the exhaust was by Sunday, and the pen and shedding ring were fairly near it, so handlers had to keep it in mind and not let their attention wander or they’d end up off course quickly. We again ended up with a tie for 1st, between Julie Poudrier with Pip and Peggy Wilkinson with Sis. After the run off, Julie and Pip (in his 1st Open run!) ended up on top. Julie with Twist finished 3rd, and Tony Luper with Maid were 4th. Overall Champion for the weekend was Julie Poudier with Twist, with Reserve Champion being Tony Luper with Maid.

The quality of the competition in the afternoon novice classes was impressive. The course and sheep proved to be quite difficult for the novice dogs and handlers last year, but this year it was smooth sailing for the most part, as dogs and handlers treated the sheep well. The Ranch class ran a course somewhat smaller than the Open class, without the marshy fetch area. Ranch Champion was Lauren Seabolt with Mac, 2nd was Christine Henry with Meg, 3rd was Amanda Winecoff with Scott, and 4th was Julie Poudrier with Lark.

Pro Novice was won by Liza Williams, with a very pretty run by her Jet. Second place went to Kelly Jerman with Spottie, 3rd to Barbara Shumannfang with Kat, 4th to Sally Glei with Sid.

The Novice Novice class was very nicely done by all of the competitors, with a lot of calm, steady dog and handler work. Charlie Hurt and Deacon were the winners, with Lisa Roberts and Kat 2nd, Charlie Hurt with Patsy 3rd, and Pam Helton with Slick 4th.

The awards for this trial were truly unique. A local baker, Dorothy Booth, donated them. She took pictures of some of the Shoofly Farm border collies and printed them on icing on cookies, with different colors of “ribbon” (icing) around each one, to place each class. It was something different and quite fun.

The trial part of the weekend was really wonderful. The sheep worked well, the courses were good, and the competitors did a fabulous job out there. Even more impressive to me were all of the amazing people who threw in to put on this trial. I believe nearly everyone who attended ended up doing some job or task, and I know everyone pitched in as much as they could to make it all a fundraising success. I’m going to try to remember everyone here, but forgive me if I miss you – there were so many folks doing so many things, it was hard to keep track. Thanks to Julie Poudrier, Laura Carson, Peggy Wilkinson, Denise Wall and Sandy Gunter for all the setout and exhausting and all you did before and during the trial to help; to Dan King and Christine Henry for judging; to Kate Caldwell for the use of her sheep and for organizing and cooking the delicious lunch, Jim Knight for the yummy barbeque and Bonnie French for the slaw; to Joan and Jim Knight for organizing and running the raffle and sale stuff, and posting scores and announcing; to Lauren Seabolt for arranging the awards and the clerks; to our scorekeepers Barbara Shumannfang and Laurie Schulz; and to Dorothy Booth for the awards. I’d also like to thank all the folks who donated such nice items to the raffle, and those who couldn’t join us and instead sent in-spirit entries.

It was a great weekend and for the worthiest of causes, and I hope we can do it all again and even better next year!

Open 1 (20 dogs)
Julie Poudrier Twist 93
Denise Wall May 93
Peggy Wilkinson Liz 92
Robin French Bill 90
Tony Luper Maid 90
Peggy Wilkinson Buzz 85
Denise Wall Moss 82
Julie Poudrier Kat 82
Denise Wall Kate 81
Robin French Zac 77
Laurie Schultz Nara 74
Joan Knight Brook 73
Dan King Vic 63
Robin French Jet 54
Tony Luper Blurr 46
Colin Campbell Scout Ret
Julie Poudrier Pip Ret
Dan King Fann Ret
Laura Carson Nick Ret
Peggy Wilkinson Sis DQ

Open 2 (19 dogs)
Julie Poudrier Pip 88
Peggy Wilkinson Sis 88
Julie Poudrier Twist 86
Tony Luper Maid 86
Christine Henry Bess 85
Christine Henry Rook 80
Robin French Zac 78
Christine Henry Tweed 75
Peggy Wilkinson Liz 74
Robin French Bill 73
Peggy Wilkinson Buzz 72
Denise Wall May 67
Robin French Jet 67
Joan Knight Brook 54
Laura Carson Nick 50
Tony Luper Blurr 47
Denise Wall Moss 44
Laurie Schultz Nara 29
Colin Campbell Scout 21

Ranch (8 dogs)
Lauren Seabolt Mac 64
Christine Henry Meg 59
Amanda Winecoff Scott 59
Julie Poudrier Lark 57
Julie Poudrier Phoebe 51
Caroline Reichard Jim 36
Emily Falk Rae DQ
Mary Luper Ben DQ

ProNovice (12 dogs)
Liza Williams Jet 66
Kelly Jerman Spottie 64
Barbara Shumannfang Kat 63
Sally Glei Sid 63
Christine Henry Kep 57
Caroline Reichard Roy 54
Christine Henry Kaige 50
Robin French Nan 42
Laurie Schultz Boomer 36
Emily Adham Manse Ret
Laura Carson Linc Ret
Kate Caldwell Sam Ret

Novice Novice (9 dogs)
Charlie Hurt Deacon 70
Lisa Roberts Kat 68
Charlie Hurt Patsy 64
Pamela Helton Slick 63
Liza Williams Piper 55
Kelly Jerman Jen 53
Kate Caldwell Rose 47
Pamela Helton Bonnie 46
Emily Adham Case DQ

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