Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Tomorrow I am putting our 2011 entries in the mail. Yes, thank goodness, we were both invited again. Scott's invite is not a surprise but I am very glad they decided I could run a dog too. I have bombed out every year I have run there so I'm never sure if I'll be allowed back again. There are a few discretionary invites every year and they usually are extended to spouses. Last year, one of those courtesy invites, Jean Gellings, won the whole kit and kaboodle. I need to do that! It's a really fun trial to compete in, and go to. I would go to watch even if I didn't get invited (SHHH! but don't tell them that or maybe it will happen!). Truly, this is a sheep dog trial like you've never seen. It's so much more than a trial, it's an event and I encourage everyone to go and experience it.
Scott will, of course, be running Maid and Don and I think I'll be running Hemp again. It's a toss up for me, but Hemp, at least, has never lost the sheep at the top of the trial's hill. (knock on some serious wood)
This year they are giving back to the border collie community by offering a few "extras". Their new WEBSITE is going to offer a "Border Collie Resource" tab that will include subcategories to promote, blogs, websites and Twitter address and sheepdog related enterprises.
They are also adding a "Sheepdog TRIAL Resource" tab where a trial organizer can get information about how Soldier Hollow became so successful (over 25,000 visitors came last year) and use the tips to improve their own trials. In addition, they are giving complementary passes to any trial organizer and a guest to come to the Classic, if you contact them ahead of time.
Last year, they introduced the handler VIP room with water, sodas and snacks for the handlers. It also had a handy outside deck with shaded tables and chairs that became a popular gathering place for the competitors. This year they will be making computers available there for the handlers, to email, blog or Tweet from.
Speaking of Tweeting, taking a page from the super successful Tweets from the National Finals, Soldier Hollow has added a Tweet button on their home page and they will be posting live updates after each run.
So if you are making the big trip to Meeker or the Finals, come a little early and visit the Soldier Hollow Classic. It's an amazing show.