Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meeker Day One

Well, as fellow Albertan, Corey Perry stated last year, "I've been Meekered." Actually both Scott and I have been Meekered. The sheep were tough this morning. It was rough for most people getting them around but that's Meeker. We know that when we come here. I know, I know, what is the enjoyment of it? I guess it's 'cause Scott won it once so we come back for the abuse every year hoping to get another sniff of that. Meeker is difficult on and off the field. Everyone knows how the sheep are tough but have you ever tried parking a camper on the side of a hill? It's a bit precarious up here with one side of the trailer up on blocks and the other side as low as we can get it. Add to the fact that we are having electrical problems in the camper that so far, even a local electrician hasn't been able to figure out. Our usual electrical hero won't be available until we get to the finals in another couple of weeks!
Ok, on to the disaster of our runs. Bev Lambert started the day with Mirk. I didn't catch it but with a score of 54, you can imagine it must have been difficult. Tommy retired with Ben and Sonia Craig, although getting a low score of 49, managed to push them all the way to the pen but not in. Bill Berhow raised the bar with Mike and got a 71 but didn't have a pen. The sheep moved well off of Mike. Scott sent Maid to the right and she needed a couple of redirects. Her sheep left like gangbusters -typical of the sheep here- pulling hard to the set out to the right. Maid didn't wait any longer and grabbed a running single by the leg. Scott didn't wait to be called off and walked off after Maid had brought the rest of the flock down the field. Mike Meredith ran 10 year old Gwen (A littermate to Lad's mom - I need to hang on the coat tails again) and got the sheep all the way around and in the pen with a 63 for a score.
Then Lad was up. After Soldier Hollow, I didn't think much was going to change with him here. These western range sheep are just too difficult for him. I sent him to the left and needed a few redirects. He lifted them and they ran to my right. I flanked and flanked him and eventually, he caught them and stopped them. I tried to get them on line and we were within reaching distance of the fetch panels but didn't get it done. Shortly after, when we were back on the line, Lad stalled out again and then gripped them. So far, the judge, Don Helsely from Idaho, is not calling grips. The sheep split into a million pieces then and ran back up the field. I whistled for all I had and got Lad back up that field to stop them. They moved a little better and I thought I'd let that fetch line go and just keep them moving to get to my feet. Lad started to race them around and I encouraged him, knowing that it was not a good run and maybe I'd just get a course done to get some confidence in Lad and myself. I knew it was risky and the sheep might not tolerate it and that's what came to pass. As we were racing up the drive line, one sheep took off in the opposite direction while the rest ran up the field. I got the run away ewe back towards the now running flock but she left again and hid behind a rock just to my left. I knew we were done and I'd just be wasting the dog and judges time to continue so I retired.
Before I left to do the laundry, Larry Burch was in the lead with a 74.
Getting warmer. I'll get the top ten for the day when it's over.
I believe Scott runs Drift tomorrow and Hemp and I run on friday.

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