The fall trials are starting to kick in now. I took Bill and Zac up to the Montpelier trial Oct 2nd to run. I just went the one day. It's close enough to drive up and back, and gives me an excuse to spend the day with my friend Joan, since she rides up with me. It was a fun day and nice to see some folks i hadn't seen in a while. The crowd was huge this year for the fiber festival, maybe because the weather was so nice. Zac was first up in the Open and had a nice run but i had trouble penning - the sheep were glued to my knees. I finally managed to convince them to go in by actually moving to the other side of the gate, with the rope across their backs, so that Zac could get close enough to make them move. Weird! We couldn't get them to separate for the shed at all. Bill ran later on and had a nice go, finishing 2nd for the day.
Edgeworth was last weekend and the lovely trial it always is. I don't understand why it draws mostly local people rather than folks from further away like it used to. I guess maybe because it's just after the Finals, and also there are so many other good trials in other parts of the country these days. But we ran about 60 dogs for each round. Zac and Bill ran out beautifully both days, which is always a nice feeling on that difficult outrun. Both were very good around the course, not losing many points there. I didn't do an especially good job on the at-hand elements (a chute, pen, shed/split) but that was no fault of the dogs. Not sure what was up with that, maybe just a bit of a let down after all the Finals excitement. Zac ended up 4th and Bill 8th in the first go, and both were just out of the placings in the second.
We're off this weekend to the Watercress SDT in Limestone, TN. The setting is absolutely stunning, up in the mountains among all of the fall color. I'm hoping having had a weekend off that we'll be back in a more competitive mode, or maybe i should say hoping *I* will be. Zac ran extremely well at this trial last year, with a nearly perfect run on the second day, the kind you don't forget. I'd love to see a repeat performance!