Monday, February 1, 2010

On to 2010

It's a new year now and everyone at Alta-Pete Stockdogs is preparing for another trial season. We are planning on going to alot of the same trials as last year as well as taking a trip down to New Mexico to the Free To Be Ranch and hit their July trial. Scott and I went to this trial 7 years ago and really enjoyed it.
We will have some of the same dogs as last year, Maid, Hemp, Lad and Don, who will be moving up to the open class this year. In addition, we will be running some new ones in the lower classes. Scott's first trial will once again be the Heppner St. Patrick's trial in Oregon on March 12-14th and I will get to my first one in April at the Plumb Lucky Trial in Missouri. I will start profiling the returning dogs and the new ones starting next week.
Our winter has given us a chance to review our last trial season and guide us towards changes for next year. Undoubtedly, the biggest success was Donnie and Scott's wins of both the Canadian Nursery Championships and the USBCHA National Nursery Championships.

Don with his USBCHA and Canadian Nursery finals trophies
Don had been winning all year long and it was good to see him prove his worth in these North American finals. He will be moving up to open this year and it will be a whole new ball game. He will again need to prove himself before he can be considered a top dog.
Maid made it to more than one double lift this year and finished 10th at the USBCHA Nationals. Her biggest accomplishment was winning the Best Shed trophy in that Nationals.

Maid doing an International shed at the EID trial last August
She has taken the winter off to have a litter of pups with Don and will be starting back to work next week. Her first objective will be to get the baby fat off and get back in shape and then start brushing up on what she already knows.
Laddie and I probably have the longest road to haul to get ready for this next year. He had a very good year in 2009, winning the overall at the Madden trial after a run off and making it to 11th place in the Bluegrass double lift, but he was injured in a fall at last year's Canadian Championships in August. Because we were on the road, he was resting alot and only trialing once or twice a week so the problem didn't really start to become chronic until this past November when we started our winter training. He was unable to walk without a limp in his right hind leg. After some x-rays we found out he had a sub-luxated hip, which is a mild hip dysplasia, on that side. There is no obvious degenerative changes yet so the main objective is healing the injured muscle with a slow recovery program and then strength building exercises to build the muscle up around his hips. That will slow down any arthritis that will develop as he ages. He is also on a MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement with fish oil, yucca and vitamin C added. His recovery is coming along very well thanks to my "coaches" Sarah and Amanda who have been admonishing me when I want to skip steps and talking me down from my ledges when skipping said steps resulted in a recurrence of the lameness. I hold out a realistic hope that he'll be back on sheep at the beginning of April a few weeks before his first trial of the year.

Lad running full out before his injury - photo by Sarah Novak
With Lad on bed rest it is safe to assume I have been putting most of my time into Hemp. Oh, how I hope it pays off! He is a difficult one and has earned the nickname of Mini-Pleat, yet last year he made his first double lift at the EID trial after only 4 months in open.

Hemp in his first double lift at the EID trial in Brooks, Alberta
Although he didn't have much in the way of scores, he showed me that if only I could handle better, he was just the dog to move the range sheep of Soldier Hollow and Meeker. This year, I received another invite to accompany Scott to Soldier Hollow and since I haven't "earned" my way there yet (soon, soon, I promise) I will once again be running only one dog. After Hemp's performances last year, I have no hesitation in picking him to be that one dog.
Scott has a few new nursery dogs he'll be running and one or two in Adv. Pro novice. I have no nursery dogs this year but plan to run Megan, a littermate to Hemp on Adv. Pro novice. Next week I will profile Scott's number one nursery dog, Kuro, owned by Diane Pagel.


Joan said...

Make sure your truck is sound before going to NM.

Camp said...

Sounds like a great spring ahead..wishing you both the very best!!!

no worries either..i have every faith my SWEET LADDIE will be ready!!

Jenny Glen said...

I forgot all about that, Joan! Fortunately the truck we drive now is considerably younger than the one we were driving back then!

Monique said...

Kuro the knucklehound :) Look forward to hearing how he is doing. I really liked him a lot while he was here.

Sarah said...

I look forward to reading more about the up and comers and the trial season, and I'm glad Lad is doing well too!!!