Monday, April 28, 2014

Stirling Acres Trial 2014



For the second year in a row we attended Lee Lumb’s  Spring Stirling Acres Trial in Coldstream, BC.  Although this trial is in the opposite direction from the majority of our destinations on this trip, it is the perfect place to dust off the cobwebs and introduce the young dogs to trialing.  It also helps us see where they are lacking, and we always schedule a week of just training after this trial to fix the problems we noticed on their first time to the post.   The field is flat green grass with katahdin-x, farm flock sheep.  Lee’s sheep are rare for a home flock in that they are not knee knockers, and not only are they not dead to humans, they also do not regroup behind your back while you try to call your dog in on the shed.   Lavon Calzacorta from Idaho was our judge and was very aware and considerate of this being most of Western Canada’s first field trial of the season. He often allowed handlers in the under classes to help their dogs find the sheep on the first day if they got lost on the outrun.
Setout was outstanding, because as we all know, setting a dog broke farm flock is never easy when they are ready to run away as soon as the dog is sent from the handler’s feet.  Jorgen Person set for all 3 days and was spelled out by Pam Boring and Chris Hanson during the Nursery classes.  Many thanks to all of them.
Friday started with the first class of Pro Novice.  Scott and Alice  ran well in this class,  but were topped by relative new comer, Gord Lazzaroto and his dog Oakley who should be proud!  The outrun on this field was deceptively hard and the sheep were hard to see.  More than one dog didn’t find their sheep or had difficulties.  Cy Peterson’s Erin, handled by Scott was one of the dogs that needed some handler help with redirects, but once she saw them she did fine and ended up in 13th place.  When I walked to the post with Ford, he had spotted his sheep, but he had also spotted the geese in the standing water on the right hand side of the field.  It was proper to send left, but I knew if I did that, Ford would cross over so I figured, “What the hey!  If you want to fetch in the geese, be my guest.” And I sent him right.  He ran out well and as he approached the geese and tried to lift them towards me, he figured out that it wasn’t quite right and was much more agreeable to taking my redirect after that.  His run was fair- a giant improvement on how he was running last year, and he did a nice pen placing 16th. This was the first trial my Mikey had ever gone to the post at and he had only outrun off the farm once before.  He didn’t seem to realize what he was there for let alone scoping the field for hard to see sheep.  I sent him and never got him out there.  Rather than bully him out for too long, I retired.  Fortunately, Lavon told me we had enough time if I wanted to walk out and help him find and exhaust his sheep so I did.  Once Mike found them, he stopped and flanked well as he fetched them in and it made me itch to try him again for real.  In the second Pro Novice of the day, Mikey had a perfect outrun and lift and did me proud by winning the class!  Scott and Erin also improved on their run and moved up to 6th place.  Alice had an odd sheep that wasn’t going to cooperate enough to get her another high score so Scott retired and Ford, although he had a much better run and ran out nicely to the left like I asked, gave me some trouble at the pen a la last year.  Still, he improved his score and moved up to 15th place.
The next morning it was damp and had a light rain for most of the morning, but dried up by the late afternoon.  We ran Open first and even a few of those dogs had trouble finding sheep.  Scott ran Don and surged to an early lead but was again topped by a newcomer, Jennifer MacDonnell and her dog, Diesel .  Jennifer is a great addition to this sport because of her cheery attitude (with good runs and bad) and this is the second year she has kicked butt and taken names at this trial in the open.  Laddie gave me a very good run but I just couldn’t see the crossdrive panels well enough to make them and it hurt us points wise.  He ended up in 8th place for the day.  Scott actually had a nice run going with Bliss but decided to make sure she had a good attitude for the start of the season and trained on her and retired in the shedding ring.  (you’ll see, it paid off later)  Hemp was giving me a fair run but it wasn’t up to the standards he had been giving me last year and when he didn’t take a flank in front of that difficult cross drive panel, we missed them and I decided to retire.
The next class was nursery and it’s always entertaining as the babies go to the post for their first time.  Scott had most of the class in his stable of dogs and traded off with others every couple of dogs.  He won it with Alice who was certainly the most experienced of the dogs.  Second place was her littermate, Flint, also handled by Scott, and owned by Jeanne Boudrieau.  Flint has been a challenge for Scott but he likes him very much so he was very happy to have him listening and trying to figure out what Scott wanted.  His outrun wasn’t perfect but he took a redirect and then saw the sheep and opened right up. By placing second, Flint earned his first leg towards the nursery nationals! Scott also handled Scott Kelso’s Joe to 8th place and Scott Johnson’s Tap to 9th.  Both of those dogs had difficulties on the outrun but looked really good once they got behind their sheep.  He also ran Diane Pagel’s Ben who wasn’t too bad on the outrun, but stopped short and then didn’t want to take his flanks on the fetch so Scott retired him to make a point to him.  Even though he was nowhere near ready for this class, I ran Try to get him the feel of new fields.  There was no lower class offered at this trial (like Pro Novice in the east with a smaller outrun and one leg drive) so I just decided to enter him and stop when he struggled.  He needed 4 redirects to get to the sheep as he had never been that far in his life, (250yrds)  but he had spotted them and did take my commands.  The set out dog got a little antsy and the sheep started to run before he got there.  I called him off, knowing it would only turn into a grip and Lavon gave me a rerun.  On his second outrun, he only needed two redirects and stopped at the top. He didn’t do very well with his flanks on the fetch and drive so I called him off before he got to the first drive panel.
Sunday’s open had a change of leaders, this time, Scott won it with Bliss.  His training on her the day  before paid off and she moved the sheep quietly around the course, dropping only 4 points.  Laddie ran very well for me.  The only difficulty he had was in the shedding ring.  They had started to rerun the sheep right before his run and there was only one set waiting in the exhaust pen.  They started calling to my sheep in the shedding ring and I had a very difficult time keeping them in the ring and it hurt my score.  Still we ended up in 3rd place and we were second place overall!  Don was running well for Scott but it just didn’t come together so he only placed in 10th.  Hemp ran very well, and felt like the dog he was last year.  Unfortunately, I had one sheep that  kept lagging behind and preventing him from getting a very high score.  At the post the lead two sheep surprised me and took off for the exhaust and the lagger and a pal hung back.  I sent Hemp to catch the sheep running and they came around the post to join the two laggers who never turned the post.  This caused me to have to take the whole group around again because if you don’t take all the sheep around the post, you are at the judges mercy and they might disqualify you.  We had a very good and quick shed, pen, and single and finished with a 7th place.
In the second nursery class, Scott and Alice again placed first.  This time, Flint was feeling his freedom a little too much so Scott called him off before Flint thought it was acceptable. Scott added Erin to this go round and she ran well enough to take 5th place.  Joe nailed the outrun and looked great around the course but missed both drive panels.  Joe is very young and Scott didn’t want to put too much pressure on him too soon so when the sheep ducked around them, Scott just let it go for Joe’s sake. He placed 6th this time around. Tap wanted to outrun on the sheep in the exhaust which is not unusual when young dogs start trialing.  Scott tried to redirect him but he was confused so he walked with him out to get his sheep and then he looked very good.  His score however was a retire.  Ben was better this time around and Scott said he was still having trouble with his fetch flanks but he made his panel and looked good to us spectators. He placed 7th. Try was a little more cocky on his second time to the post and wasn’t listening as well so when he busted the sheep on the drive away, I retired.
We’d like to thank everyone who was involved in this trial but especially Lee and Brian.  It’s a beautiful, well kept farm with great sheep and we plan to be back next year!

Pro Novice I (27 dogs)
1 Gord Lazzarotto Oakley 83
2 Scott Glen Alice 83
3 Lee Lumb Rando 81
4 Wayne Hadley-RobeDrtisck 81
5 Kathy Williams Pepe 80
6 Pam Boring Bob 79
7 Charmaine Henderson Fling 79
8 Julie Carter Hailey 78
9 Sue Wessels Skid 78
10 Charmaine Henderson Dan 77
Pro Novice II (27 dogs)
1 Jennifer Glen Mike 83
2 Sue Wessels Skid 82
3 Carol Nelson Mo 81
4 Gord Lazzarotto Oakley 81
5 Lee Lumb Rando 80
6 Scott Glen Erin 80
7 Pam Boring Sophie 79
8 Julie Carter Roy 78
9 Charmaine Henderson Fling 78
10 Carol Nelson Tiki 77
Open I (49 dogs)
1 Jennifer Macdonnell Diesel 92
2 Scott Glen Don 92
3 Thad Buckler Nic 92
4 Brian Nelson Pleat Jr. 92
5 Lynne Schweb Dex 88
6 Pam Boring Mirk 88
7 Lynne Schweb Toss 87
8 Jennifer Glen Lad 87
9 Carol Nelson Kale 87
10 Lee Lumb Cass 87
Open II (47 dogs)
1. Scott Glen and Bliss 106
2. Lee Lumb Nan 101
3. Jennifer Glen Lad 99
4. Thad Buckler Nic 99
5. Louanne Twa Craig 97
6. Jennifer Macdonnell Boomer 97
7. Jennifer Glen Hemp 96
8. Jennifer L'Arrivee Tweed 94
9. Jennifer Macdonnell Diesel  94
10. Scott Glen Don 93
Nursery I (14 dogs)
1 Scott Glen Alice 87
2 Scott Glen Flint 79
3 Lee Lumb (Bill Crawford) Bella 78
4 Lee Lumb (Daphne Tomblin) Sweep 78
5 Jennifer Macdonnell Harold 77
6 Nancy Barker Gwen 74
7 Louanne Twa Drift 72
8 Scott Glen Joe 63
9 Scott Glen Tap 57
10 Gayle Cochlan Tess  51
Nursery II (15 dogs)
1 Scott Glen Alice 86
2 Lee Lumb (Bill Crawford) Bella  85
3 Lee Lumb (Daphne Tomblin) Sweep 77
4 Jennifer Macdonnell Harold 76
5 Scott Glen Erin 75
6 Scott Glen Joe 70
7 Scott Glen Ben 70
8 Louanne Twa Drift 70
9 Gayle Cochlan Tess 62
10 Nancy Barker Gwen 55

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Try

My youngest dog this year is Try.
My Try
Try is part of my continuing obsession with the Don X Gin line.  Try's Father, Wendy Schmaltz's Ky, is another one from that cross.  As I have mentioned before, Ky is the same way bred as my Mikey, Louanne Twa's Gus (2013 Western Canadian Nursery Champion) and Scott's Alice- the 2013 USBCHA Nursery Champion.  Their mother, Gin was the 2010 All Around Stockdog and their father, Don is the 2013 USBCHA National Champion and a son of 3 time USBCHA National Champion, Star.
Wendy Schmaltz's Ky(behind) and son,Try in front, watch a trial
 Try's mother is a bitch named Gem who goes back to Dave Claypool's Calgary Stampede winner, Glen - a son of Norm Close's CV Joe, the 2005 Canadian Champion.  She also goes back to Lola Chaffin's Import, Queen and Jim Chaffin's Import, Roy, who passed his ears down to Try and, it's hoped, what's between them too.
Jim Chaffin's Imp. Roy, Try's great grandfather who gifted Try with his ear genes!- photo by Michelle Prescott Guderian
Scott and I have an agreement that since I don't sell any of the dogs that become mine, I have to wait until they are 2 years old before I pick them so we can be sure they are good workers.  It doesn't seem to be happening that way though.  My plan had been for us to get Try as a pup and then, if he turned out, keep him for myself when he was two.  Without any prompting, (I swear!) Scott gifted Try to me when he was just 8 weeks old.  Not long after, knowing that what a pup does on sheep at that age means nothing, I took Try to them to see what would happen.  He never hesitated and went right to work!
Try's first time on sheep at 3 months old
This Winter, I started Try's training.  He's immature in mind (off stock he's a dork!) and body and although he's a large dog, he's still very round and squishy like a pup.  Nonetheless, I've taken his training slowly and didn't put alot of pressure on him at the first.  I've been rewarded for that by his confidence really coming along and he's pushing back on me now.
Try working this Spring
I'm going to run him this year but I have needed to continuously remind myself that he doesn't need to be good enough to win yet.  He's only 18 months old and has another nursery year next year.  It is important that I take his first trialing year as easy on him as his first Winter training has been.  That means I will need to walk away from the post alot (sometimes RUN) and I am fully expecting to not finish a course for a while. My original plan was to only run him in the Eastern Pro-Novice classes (150yrd outrun, fetch, one short leg drive and pen) but there seems to be a lack of those classes this year so I am going to run him in Nursery but take it easy on him and just make sure he stops, open flanks and doesn't grip!  However, on the more difficult Bluegrass field, I will only be running him in Pro-Novice.  He won't be ready mentally to go to the Nursery finals this year in Colorado so it doesn't matter if he gets any legs in his trials.
Try
Try has been alot of fun to train this year and I hope his season of "intro to trialing" will be just as fun so that he can be a competitive nursery dog next year.  He is a hesitant outrunner, but a nice open flanking dog with a good amount of forward (that can sometimes break into chasing on the fetch! bad dog) and a good driving dog. When he gives his sheep some space, he reads them very well- a trait I often see on the Don x Gin side of his lines and I believe when he is broke he will do a good job babysitting me in a trial. He seems to have gotten his gripping tendencies under control but they can crop back up if he is uncertain how to react in a new situation.  Keeping him calm and his flanks open and his stops controlled will be the plan for this year.
His first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres, on her flat field with broke katahdins, in the nursery class.  It should be the perfect place to introduce him to trialing - in 10 days!

Friday, April 11, 2014

CWS Mike

My Open Ranch (Pro Novice in the West) dog this year is 3 year old Mike.
CWS Mike
Mikey is a son of Scott's Don (2013 USBCHA National Champion) who is a son of three time USBCHA National Champion, Star. Mikey's greyhound like body type and speed are attributes clearly passed on from Grandmother Star, and not from his shorter legged father, Don.
Mikey's grandmother, Star at the Plumb Lucky Trial in MO
Mike's mother is Wendy Schmaltz's Gin (2010 All Around Stockdog), a granddaughter of Scott's Dan.  Mike is out of the first breeding of Don and Gin and his full sister from the second cross is Scott's Alice, who won the 2013 USBCHA Nursery Championships before she was two years old.  Other notable dogs in that same cross are Wendy's Kye, Louanne Twa's Gus and Jeanne Boudrieau's Flint who is being run by Scott in the nursery classes this year - and, of course, our 4 month old Anne is the last to be born of those two dogs.
Magic Mike working this Spring at Alta-Pete Farm
Mike is 4 months too old for this year's nurseries and missed his nursery year last year due to injury.  When he was one year old, Mike was running in a field while we were traveling, and hit a stake in the ground, rupturing his cruciate ligament (knee).  Because Scott had seen Mike work enough as a youngster, and x-rays showed his hips to be good, we thought it was worth the time and money to fix his knee.  Unfortunately, the first surgery didn't work because every time he was taken off the antibiotics, he developed a high fever.  It was determined that he was having an allergic reaction to the bands holding his knee together and a second surgery was done two months after the first.  This one worked and Mikey spent last Winter rehabilitating and couldn't get enough training in to run in a trial.  He was originally Scott's dog, but I did all his nursing and rehab. Scott was concerned that Mike might not hold up to his rigorous training schedule, but felt he was a good enough dog that he didn't want to let him go out of our kennel, so he gave him to me. (and very grateful I am!)  This past Summer, Mikey battled a groin injury - (common after this type of surgery) to further slow his training, but it seems to be under control right now.  He often rocks the weight off that leg when standing, especially when he is tired, but when he's working sheep, you wouldn't know he'd been injured and he's the fastest dog in our kennel.  How well he will hold up to the larger open courses will be determined next year.
My Mikey
 Mikey is a very talented dog who is way above my pay grade and I hope I can do him justice this year.  I'm a slower trainer than Scott so my new dogs will be going to their first trials very green broke but Mike is an honest and stylish dog with alot of talent and I'm sure we will improve as we get our trial experience.  Mike's first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres in 2 weeks in the Pro Novice (Open Ranch in the East) class.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tap

Scott Johnson's Tap is Scott's next nursery dog
Scott Johnson's Tap
Tap was bred by Stewart Harvard of Alabama.  Although Stewart does not trial anymore, he breeds dogs that are currently competing successfully in  high levels in both sheep and cattle trials.  Tap's father, Rye and several other dogs in his pedigree go back to Stewart's dogs and Tap's Mother, Finn does too.  Finn is a full sister to Debbie Bailey's Huck and Camp who were sired by her Ben.  Tap is actually double bred back to Ben, who was a top producer,  and was a descendant of Dale Montgomery's Huck and Tim and Dodie Green's ABCA hall of fame bitch, Soot.
Debbie Bailey's Ben, grandfather and great-grandfather of Tap - photo by Christine Koval
Tap has a great birth date in July of 2012 which makes him aged just right for next year's nurseries too.  Scott will be running him through May and will be returning him to Scott Johnson after Dr. Ben's trial in North Carolina. 
Off stock Tap is an easy going, polite dog but on stock he is all about confidence.  He has the right amount of eye that makes him stylish and precise and alot of fun to work. He also has the honesty to gear down to a handler that is not quite ready for his forward. (I worked him to take pictures today and Scott better hold on tight to him so I don't steal him!)
Tap working this Spring
Tap's first trial will be in the Nursery class at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres Trial at the end of April.
Tap

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Joe

Scott's next nursery dog is Scott Kelso's Joe.
Scott Kelso's Joe
Scott will be running Joe through May and he will return to Scott Kelso after Dr. Ben's trial in North Carolina.
Joe was bred by Bev Lambert and is out of her Awel (Nell).  Nell was imported from Wales and goes back twice to Aled Owen's first Roy (1999 ISDS Champion).  On the other side, Joe's lines are so strong to Western Canadian dogs that one would think he'd finally come home when he came to Alberta for training this Winter.  His father is Bev's Joe, who's mother is Dennis Gellings's Jan the 2009 Canadian Champion.
Dennis Gellings and Jan (Joe's grandmother) winning the 2009 Canadian Championships
Jan was bred by Pam Boring and is from Pink Mountain, BC (that's WAY up there). Joe also goes back to Norm Sommer's Gyp and JoAnne Zoerb's Mik.
JoAnne Zoerb's Mik at Meeker -photo by TK inc
Joe K. is only 16 months old so most of his classes will be in the Pro-Novice with a few Nursery classes thrown in on the easier fields.  The idea is to build his confidence this year so that when Scott Kelso has him back, he can be ready for next year's nursery classes.

Joe Kelso working sheep this Winter
Joe is a biddable and keen worker with a great stop and nice open flanks.  His first trial will be at the end of April at the Stirling Acres Trial in BC.
Joe

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Erin

Scott's fourth nursery dog is Cy Peterson's Erin.
Cy Peterson's Erin
Erin is a bitch that Scott started and ran a little bit last year.  He got a leg on her in nursery at the Bluegrass trial and she ran a 89 out of 90 in the pro-novice.  During the Summer, Erin went home for Cy to work and was sent back this year for some polishing and to introduce her to turn backs and shedding.
Erin was bred by Cy and is out of her Emma.  Cy runs Emma in open and last year, at their first National Finals, they were in the top 50. She goes back to Debbie Bailey's Jose and Bill Berhow's  ABCA Hall Of Fame dogs, Nick and Jen.
Emma, Erin's mother - photo by Maureen Robinson
  Erin's father is Matt Cook's Gunner, out of Jennifer Ewers' Sweep and Jesse.  Sweep and his line are the dogs I saw when I was first introduced to trialing in California.  His steady parents, Wilda Bahr's Val and Mirk are who I studied on the trial field as I was learning.  Mirk was a son of Terry Parrish's Rhys and Val was a daughter of Tommy Wilson's Roy.  Jesse was a granddaughter of Ken Willard's Imp Ben (Alasdair MacRae's USBCHA National Champion).
Erin working this Winter at Alta-Pete Farm
Erin is both biddable and independent at the same time.  She understands her job and we are hoping she and Cy will make a perfect team when she goes home this Summer.
Erin

Saturday, March 22, 2014

CWS Flint

Scott's third nursery dog is Jeanne Boudrieau's Flint.
Jeanne Boudrieau's CWS Flint
Flint's breeding is one I am very familiar with because it is one of my favorites.  I wish we could take credit for it but actually it goes to Wendy Schmaltz, who's bitch, Gin is the mother. Gin's pedigree reads like a who's who of the old Alberta lines.  She is a daughter of Denis Nagel's Finn and Ian Zoerb's Gyp and  is granddaughter of Scott's Dan.  She also goes back to Scott's Old Sweep, Milton Scott's Sue and Jack Regier's Tweed.  Gin was 4th in the 2010 USBCHA National finals and was the 2010 All Around Stockdog - that was the only year the All Around was won by a dog who made the double lift in both the sheepdog finals and the cattledog finals.
Wendy Schmaltz's Gin - mother to Flint
Flint's father is Scott's Don who is a son of three time USBCHA National Champion, Star.  Don was the Canadian and US Nursery Champion, the Canadian Champion, and in 2013, the Bluegrass Champion and the USBCHA National Finals Champion.
2013 USBCHA National Finals Champion Don - the father of Flint
This cross of Gin and Don has been done three times.  The first litter produced Wendy's Ky and my Mike (who I will blog on later), the second cross produced Louanne Twa's Gus, Scott's Alice (2013 USBCHA Nursery Champion) and Jeanne's Flint.  The final cross gave us only one puppy, Anne, who is only 4 months old right now.
Don with some of his Gin pups, L-R - Don, Mike, Flint and Alice
Flint got his start a little later than his littermates but is making up for it now.  He's a little more pushy than the others and although he wants to be a teammate,(and is a big squishy-softy off sheep) he keeps you on your toes when he's working.
Flint working this Winter
Flint's first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres trial in BC at the end of April.
Flint