Monday, August 17, 2009

Madden Summer Classic - Day One

August 15-16, 2009 Madden, Alberta : Denis Nagel , DVM and the Madden Ag Society put on this classy trial for the second year. The whole town of Madden gets behind the show and it gets quite a few spectators. At Saturday night's dinner, every open dog was bought in the calcutta and most of them by locals. The sheep are crossbred woolies and are the same ones that will be used in the upcoming Canadian Championships. There were a few unfit ones but most of them were good as long as you treated them well. If you chased them, the judge, Denis Nagel, didn't need to mark it, the sheep would penalize you for your bad stockwork. The weather was blissfully cool all weekend and allowed everyone to lay down their best runs. The field; Well, the field was very difficult. It had dips that tricked the dogs into coming in early on their outruns and the grass was so high in places, especially on the lift, that you couldn't see your dog. It certainly gave you practice in learning to watch your sheep instead of your dog because you had no choice.
We started with the Pro-Novice class. Scott and Don were second to the post and got a difficult draw. It was a learning experience for Don who is figuring out how to handle all types of sheep. His run earned him a 69. Susan Gilbert's Tuque and I were next to the post. She seemed to see the sheep when she left my side. She ran out with confidence but at about 150 yards out she started to come in early. I stopped her and redirected her but she didn't take it. I stopped her again and tried to bend her by chewing her out but that didn't work either. In the end, I tried to get her to bend all the way across the field but once she had crossed over and I could see she wasn't going to bend and get her sheep, I figured nothing could be gained and walked off. She clearly had no idea what I was talking about so brow beating her was not going to fix it - something to work on at home.
Scott's next run was with Andrea Anderson's Chase from Alberta. Chase is a 6 year old red bitch out of the same Meg as Maid and Hemp and is in for some brush up training work. She is incredibly honest but had pups a few months ago and hasn't gotten her vigor back yet. She did a nice but slow outrun and took her sheep politely around the course. Unfortunately she only earned a 32. Scott then ran Diane Pagel's Sleat who was definitely on her game. Apparently she has decided to peak at a good time and we are hoping this continues through the nationals. She acted as if the high grass and touchy sheep were no problem and marched them around and made all her gates. When the pen gate closed, she had earned an 82! This was enough to win the class! Shortly after Sleat, David Titcomb's River and I went to the post. I had a feeling this outrun was going to be beyond him and he just didn't have any idea where those sheep were. I gave him several redirects but he didn't understand so we retired. Next, Scott ran Tarn. Tarn is a 4yr old bitch owned by Chris Soderstrom of Fido's Farm in Olympia, Washington.

Chris Soderstom's Tarn in the high grass on the fetch
Tarn is another bitch out of Grant Musgrove's Megan and is a littermate to my Hemp but is very different from him. Tarn is very courteous to her sheep. Scott did her early training a couple of years ago but she and Chris have put alot of miles on at their working ranch since then and that has really molded her into a dog that understands sheep. She has recently come back in for shedding and turn back training and even though she had never run in a trial before, Scott thought she could handle this one and she certainly did.

Tarn having no trouble with her sheep
Because of her practical work, Tarn was able to do the outrun when many other dogs couldn't. She only needed one redirect and then took her sheep around nicely and made all her panels and pen.

Tarn at the pen
She tied for second with an 81 but her redirect on the outrun bumped her to 3rd. Not bad for her first trial!

Pro Novice Day One - 24 dogs (unofficial):
1. Scott Glen and Sleat
2.Thad Buckler and Cora
3. Scott Glen and Tarn
4. Corey Perry and Jill
5. Scott Glen and Don
6. 7. Judy Finseth and Maude
Penny Ohanjanian and Moss (Tie not broken
8. Judy Finseth and Kate
9. Thad Buckler and Scott
10. Ian Zoerb and Lexi

The Open class started in the afternoon and Scott and Drift were the first to the post. Drift took his redirect and found the sheep but his fetch was a little rough. It wasn't a bad run but wasn't great either and earned him a 65. A little later, Scott ran Maid who had one redirect on her outrun and a good lift. The sheep were coming along nicely on the fetch but shortly into it, they split in half and two ran back up to the set out. Because of the high grass, it was impossible to tell what caused it but Scott knows his dog well and has his suspicions. It looked like it couldn't be fixed but Maid went back and got them and slowly and carefully worked them back together and continued on her run. It hurt her score and she ended up with only a 78. Next, I was up to the post with Lad. He didn't need any redirects on his outrun but I couldn't see him at the top and had no idea where he was. I blew some walk up whistles and got nothing. I was getting a little worried that he was lost somewhere but since he always comes up short, I tried a comebye whistle and then a walk up. That worked. He must have been waiting for the redirect and didn't want to walk up in the wrong place. Why he didn't just move over I'll never know. After that, he had a good run but I had a hard time getting the crossdrive panels. Other than that, it was nice enough to get us an 83 which put us in a 3 way tie for second (one point behind the leaders, Ian Zoerb and Peg) but dropped us to 4th because of the slow lift. Shortly after, Diane Pagel's Lucy and I went to the post. Scott put some training on Lucy this winter but then she went home to Diane for a couple of months. She came back last week and I only had a couple of days to work her before we went to the post at this trial.

Lucy and I at the start of the outrun
She needed a couple of redirects on the outrun and I think it threw her off when she finally got there because she was a little rough on the sheep and that is very unlike her. We missed the fetch panels but got back on line and made our drive panels. I again missed the cross drive panels but we had a nice shed and pen and earned a 65 in our first trial together. Last, I ran Hemp. It was not a good run. He needed one redirect but once he got to his sheep he was wild and didn't settle. I didn't allow him to abuse the them but it was never a straight line. His one good thing was his shed but after the pen continued to be it's customary round and round, I retired.

Open Day One - 29 dogs (unofficial)
1.Ian Zoerb and Peg
2. Milton Scott and Ben
3. Ian Zoerb and Freckles
4. Jennifer Glen and Lad
5. Scott Glen and Maid
6. Milton Scott and Moss
7. George Stambulic and Gyp
8. 9. Scott Glen and Drift
Jennifer Glen and Lucy (tie not broken)
10. Grant Musgrove and Sam

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