Friday, September 3, 2010

Soldier Hollow '10 - Day One - ALMOST!

Tough! That's what I have to say about today. Soldier Hollow is still it's absolutely amazing self but the trial is difficult. This year's sheep are from a different flock than the last few years. They were born a year ago in April and don't know which way is up. Add to that some real heat in the middle of the day and you've got one hard trial run.
Hemp was lucky to draw in the morning and I was hoping to do something with the run but no, it didn't happen. He was third up and I thought he might have spotted the sheep (up a steep hill with roads crossing through it and many trees to confuse you and the dog) but I wasn't sure. He's been running stupid wide at the last few trials so I'm sure you could understand my fear on this difficult outrun. No worries. It was the best thing he did all day. He wasn't quite sure where they were but stayed smart never coming in and always searching. When he saw them he cast out and went nice and deep at the top. He had a quiet lift but as usual, it got a little Western after that. His line was good but his pace was fast (many dogs had some difficulty lifting but not Hemp) so since he was ignoring my pleas for pace, I stopped him. That allowed the sheep to try to run back up the hill and I had to do some maneuvering to fix it. We missed the panel and I continued to over command Hemp. We had a nice line to the drive panel but missed it anyway and after a wobbly start to the cross drive, Hemp had enough of my nagging and flew into the sheep (he was mad at me, not the sheep) and we were off with a DQ.

Scott and Maid enter the Soldier Hollow park
Scott was in the hot hot afternoon with Maid.

Maid and Scott waiting for their sheep to be set
Most of her outrun wasn't bad but she pulled up very short (she did that last year here too) and had to be flanked 3 times before she was in the correct lift point. She had a super quiet fetch with that nice way that Maid is now learning.

Maid on the fetch
Made her fetch panels and had a nice turn around the post. They had a good drive away and made their drive panels but the crossdrive was a little off line and they were eating up time keeping things calm so by the time they got to the shedding ring there wasn't much room left on the clock. The turn around the crossdrive panels is blind because of trees but Maid did fine.

Maid gets ready to make the blind turn on the crossdrive
The third leg of the drive took even more time, with the sheep trying to get around Maid.

Sheep trying to get around Maid on the third leg of the drive
A great shed and only 30 seconds left to pen. The pen is quite far away from the ring and you use up almost all that time getting there and you can't rush the sheep once you have arrived. Scott gathered his sheep in the ring and started over to the pen, not in a hurry and time was called. The score wasn't bad, a 72 and was enough to stay on the leader board, ALMOST to the end. Top 5 go to the double lift from each day. The very last run, by Patrick Shannahan and Riggs, bumped them off!

They almost did it
So, Scott has the great white hope, Don, to run tomorrow. He's never been on these kind of sheep so it will be an education.
BTW it's supposed to reach 90F tomorrow.
For complete scores, go to the Soldier Hollow website


Wendy said...

Go Canada go! Wish I was there, but nobody has invited me yet!

Sueellen said...

Nice blog Jenny. By the way, we now live in Utah. Any folks from WA state, we'll be at the finals on Monday....I'm looking for Patricia Pederson, if anyone knows. Please give her my email:
We used to take classes together:) miss you:) Shayna is 14!!!!