Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beautiful British Colombia

Canadian Championship video by Kristi Oikawa

Monday, August 29, 2011

Canadian Championship 2011- Double Lift

Sorry it has taken me so long to do this post. We are home for a couple of days but off to Soldier Hollow on Wednesday, and there is much to be done.
The morning of the finals had that nice cool weather we had been appreciating every morning before the oppressive heat descended. Maid drew up in a prime spot to take advantage of it. She ran 3rd in the order but she wasted her time. Her first outrun was an indication about how she was feeling - grumpy. She needed a couple of redirects but she still slammed into the sheep on the lift. She made her fetch panels, and turned back but then slammed into the second set. She did a drive by on the sheep during the fetch but did not get called because the judge didn`t see it. She made sure he saw the second grip on the drive away and was DQ`d
Many of the dogs who didn`t bite their sheep, were having trouble with the turn back. A few crossed just a little bit on the first request but most of them tried to go back to the horse who held the first set, back on the right of the handler. It was hard to redirect them when they went into a dip and didn`t reappear until they were almost to the horse. Most handlers let them get to the horse at that point, so they could see there were no sheep there and then they seemed to be more amiable to go over to the second set on the handler`s left.
I had decided to have fun for the day but when I saw the complication of the first set out horse needing to stay on the field, I worried that Hemp would do what all the others did. By the time he ran, it was too hot to play that game and he would also get mentally tired if I threw too many commands at him. I was afraid I was going to have to retire him. I let him watch the run before me and he seemed ok with the second set being out there. In fact, when I set him up, he wanted to go to that last set that he`d seen and when I sent him, he needed a redirect, which he didn`t really take on the fly. I thought he`d get there anyway, but he ended up tight and kinda crashed them on the lift. He felt crazy for the first few seconds, but then settled down and listened. I thought that felt new and nice and I hope he has decided to make it a habit. He made the fetch panels and I set him up to turn back. He didn`t take my first request and crossed over a little bit. My second request, he took and I gave him the flank as soon as he started to go. He was bending well, but I couldn`t take the chance so I gave him another and then one more just before he dipped out of sight in the dip. Then I just waited with shaking hands. It seemed forever but he was good! He brought those sheep through the fetch panels too and around the post but the drive away was getting to the end of his command quota. The sheep were hot and heavy and I did not get a flow going and he really tried but I could see it was cooking him a little so I just let the panels go. It wasn`t really about how much push he had but about how he was trying to be good and was feeling a little frazzeled. It was a terrible drive but he just needed to get to the shedding ring so he could have a break. Scott was saying the same thing to himself on the sideline. I sent him to the water when I had the sheep quiet in the ring and when I called him back, he was refreshed. We did not get our shed done but I was really happy with our effort. All of Scott`s advice from last summer`s clinic was going through my head. ``Do not get greedy. Slow down. Flank your dog to stop the sheep, don`t call him in.`` I practiced them all. Hemp was trying to stay out of trouble but got confused a couple of times and ended up doing a spin. Not a crazy one, just when he would check on the sheep behind him and then I`d ask him to flank on the ones I had. When he`d come back on the collared sheep he`d turn the wrong way around. It`s something that will go away I think as we get better at this. In the end, we had one chance to get the last 3 out and we just were not experienced enough of a team to make them leave once they decided they`d just rather put their heads down in the circle of collared sheep. I swear there were 15 collared sheep and not just 5 but everyone said I was hallucinating. I was very proud of Hemp this whole weekend and I hope this partnership idea continues.
Now, on to the good run! Donnie ran last. It was hot but he was game. On the first request for his turnback, he crossed a little. Scott did not like that but he went back the second time and got his sheep. He made his fetch panels both times and had a nice drive. When they got into the shedding ring, Scott must have thrown out all his advice to me and just jumped in and started shedding. I had never seen him shed like this. He did loose them out of the ring once too. Later he told me that he had figured that if he let the sheep settle in like I did, he`d never get it finished. He got down to one and had to shed her off himself. The question was: were the collared sheep out of the ring when he pulled that last one off. It seemed that the people that were rooting for him were sure they saw the shed happen before they left and the people who wanted someone else to win saw the sheep leave before the shed. The judge decided the shed happened before they left the ring and Scott and Don won the Championship!
Big congratulations are also in order for Dennis Gellings and the 10 year old Jan who were the Canadian Reserve Champions!
For more results go to http://wcsdt.wordpress.com/sunday-results/

Double lift parade, Jean Gellings, Randy Dye, Scott, Amanda Miliken, Dennis Gellings, Brian Nelson, Bev Lambert, Gail Cochlan, Ian Zoerb, Me, George Stambulic, Lisa Wright and judge Faansie Basson. - photo by Louanne Twa.

Parade of flags - photo by Louanne Twa

Hemp and I discussing the turnback.-photo by Kristi Oikawa

Approaching the post - photo by Louanne Twa

Hemp and I in the international shed. Should have let that one go! - photo by Kristi Oikawa

Scott and Don start the drive. -photo by Kristi Oikawa

At the pen! - photo by Kristi Oikawa

Penny Ohanjanian hands Scott and Don the Canadian Championship trophy!- photo by Kristi Oikawa

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Canadian Championships - Day Three

The second round of the nurseries started at 1:30 in the blazing heat. The sheep were very heavy and didn't do straight lines. This got the young dogs either hyped up or slowed down and I don't think the hearing was very good at the top. Reba was a little rough at the start and missed her fetch panels but after that she marched them around. Many of the dogs in both the open and nursery were turning the sheep short of the panels because of the pressure. Not Reba, she put them through both drive panels and then with a little work, got them in the pen too. We are very proud of her.
Congratulations to the Reserve Nursery Champions, Amanda Miliken and Dorey!
June also had a nice run. Until..., Until... the grip! She made all her panels but the sheep were just making her mad (she is Maid's niece after all) and she ate one at the pen.
The open ran in the morning and Donnie drew up 3rd. It was a great time to run and he didn't waste it. He took good command of his sheep and fought for his pen. He finished with a 90.
I didn't hold out much hope for Hemp. It was very hot when he ran and I felt alot of pressure to do something with him. I'm not good with that kind of pressure. I don't think there was much hearing at the top and it was very rough. He missed his fetch panels but then got them on line to go around the post. Not a bad post turn but the drive away was killer. Everyone struggled there. It was hard to line out the sheep and they were like pushing bales of hay. Hemp was trying to be good. He wasn't just blundering on. He was listening and didn't grip but he did give into the pressure once and try to bring them back to me. We adjusted and pressed on though. It didn't get much easier on the crossdrive. He really had to work. It wasn't pretty but he made both his panels and we got to the shed with a little over two minutes. I was pushing a little and then realized I wasn't going to get the pen in that amount of time. Not with this dog. So I better settle down and get a good shed. I got a shed and had about 30 seconds to pen. I ran to the pen more out of habit and opened the gate. Hemp started bringing the sheep and then I noticed that the lead sheep was walking right towards the pen. SHE WANTED IN! So I thought, "You better make an honest attempt for this." and flanked Hemp out a little. Everyone went in but the last sheep who tried to duck around the side. Hemp, with his new found appreciation for putting sheep in a pen, did a nice flank to catch her but not an overflank (like he did at the Bluegrass just 3 short months ago) and put her in. As I started to close the gate, I heard the crowd yell at me to hurry up so I slammed it closed with seconds to spare. Not a pretty run but a 67 got us into the double lift!
There were alot of really good runs in the second round and one of the prettiest was Norm Sommer and Lexi. She had a great first round too but gripped at the pen so she couldn't run in the double lift but a 94 in the second round impressed alot of people.
Louanne Twa and Meg and Joanne Zoerb with Mik were out of the double lift by ONE POINT! Good job anyway girls!
Check out the scores from today at http://wcsdt.wordpress.com/
I don't have the results for everyone in the double lift but my random memory can tell you that Scott and Maid are up 3rd and Donnie is 13th (last run of the day). I drew up 10th. Randy Dye and Sweep (yea Randy!) drew 2nd. Jean Gellings is 1rst. Dennis Gellins is 5th. After that, I can only tell you that Amanda and Bev each got one dog in. Lisa Wright got in with Kate. Brian Nelson got in with Sweep (a Pleat son) and George Stambulic and Kate (also a Pleat child). and 2 more dogs that I can't remember right now (cringe). Hopefully the website will get them up soon.
I'm planing on having fun tomorrow. It's going to be hot when we run and Hemp and I are by no means ready to be the Canadian Champions so we'll just take it easy and enjoy ourselves.

Don catches an independent ewe as they turn the post.

Don and Scott at the shed.

Scott and June (you'll have to trust me - it's June not Don) set up for the outrun.

June on the fetch.

Nooooo, June! DON'T BITE THAT EWE!

Cy Peterson's Reba on the fetch.

Canadian and Western Canadian Nursery Champion, Reba.

Reba's Nursery Champion traveling trophy

Reba and Cy Peterson's new crook!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Canadian Championship - Day Two

I have to say I'm not as happy a camper as I was yesterday. Laddie had a very good time to run but he didn't get to his sheep. He went out well and then went down into a gully as expected but never came out of it. He went right on past them and despite my walk ups, flanks and recalls I never saw him until I was told he was behind the spectators. Very disappointing to say the least.
I missed Maid's run because I had to take some of our dogs for their CEA DNA test. It sounded rough and Scott said it was but he ended up with an 82 and it will be certain to get her into the double lift on Sunday.
That was the end of our open runs today. We finish up the rest of the runs tomorrow morning. Scott and Don have a good early draw. Unfortunately, Hemp drew in the blazin' heat and I just can't bring myself to believe yesterday's run was anything but a fluke. I'm going into the run with no expectations. (ok, that's not true. If you know me, my expectations will be of failure but I'm tired of people telling me they are tired of my low expectations so I'll just say I'm going in with a blank slate)
We ran the first run of the Nursery finals with the rest of our time today. June was first out of the gate and the sheep were something none of these babies have ever seen. She was fast and on the muscle but ended up with a 72 and in second place to Amanda Milliken's 75. With a cumulative score going to determine the winner, this is not a bad place to be.
Reba was equally quick on these sheep but did what she was told and got a 71 right behind June. Fingers crossed that the girls can jump ahead tomorrow!

Scott and Reba discuss the set out

Reba was so fast on her flank she almost ran into the horse!

Reba and Scott pen

Judge Faansie Basson's dogs cool off in the water tub after a practice run in the evening.

Nursery 1
1. Amanda Milliken and Dorey 75
2. Scott Glen and June 72
3. Scott Glen and Reba 71
4. Denis Gellings and Tess 68
5. Denis Gellings and Gin 67
6. Bev Lambert and Joe 61
7. Lee Lumb and Cass 54
8. , 9. (Tie not broken)
Vickie Close and Jess 52
Lynn Schweb and Toss 52
10. Lorna Savage and Tyler 50

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Canadian Championship 2011

The Canadian Championship and Western Canadian Finals are being held this year in Cranbrook, BC at the beautiful Pine Butte Ranch. The scenery is breathtaking with mountains on all sides, not the least of which are the Rocky mountains on our right. We are running at a different angle this year than we did in 2005. It makes the terrain less dramatic, but that year the sheep were very cooperative. If you need dramatic this year, you need not look any farther than the sheep. They are fine wools from a local Hutterite colony that are used to being worked by dogs in large groups. If you rushed them, one would usually leave or run over the fence behind the post and off through the spectators and then the parking lot. If you were too kind, you might keep them together and on line, but they took it as a sign of weakness and got heavy. There were the rare dogs (namely Jean and Dennis Gelling's dogs, Star and Jan) who kept the sheep calm and moving.
My dogs were working well and in a rare occasion, I was also not doing too bad. Laddie had a good outrun to the right and overran just to where he needed to at the top - it was a lucky break as he usually pulls up short. The judge (Faansie Basson) had asked for the set out horse to back away from the sheep as the dog came around the top. Laddie followed the horse, assuming he had the sheep and when he noticed where they were, he was at a good spot. He needed a little coxing to bring them on but had a very good line to the fetch panels and looked like he was going to hit them but at the last minute they dashed around them. The rest of his run was nice but it was hard to get a flow and I was a little low across the crossdrive. He had a very nice pen, and shed and got an 81.
Scott and Maid were very mean and dashed my hopes for second place this afternoon with an 83 - his main problem was a high crossdrive and missing the crossdrive panels. He had a good finish and is sitting in a good spot for a double lift run.
Hemp ran when it was hot but I was lucky to have a cloud cover come over just as we went to the post. He was listening today and working with me and we had a nice run. There was one major wobble in front of the crossdrive panels. We were low but I had flanked him down to catch it when he took the wrong flank due to the pressure. The third leg of the drive is the typical place for him to grip so I decided to let the panel go and live to fight another day. He had a good shed and believe it or not, actually got a pen. He had two nice flanks at the pen to put them in the mouth and then I laid him down and did the rest myself so I could be sure he wouldn't mess up! He ended up with a 78, which was quite respectable.
Donnie ran towards the end of the day and drew a grumpy sheep. He missed the fetch panels, similarly to Laddie when the sheep dashed around at the last second. Scott had a difficult crossdrive and missed the panels high. He had a good shed but his leader sheep was not wanting to pen and kept dashing out. Donnie had to do some quick footwork to hold on to her and eventually got his pen. He tied Hemp with a 78 but likely lost on the outwork because he missed his fetch panels.
In the end, all the Alta-Pete dogs are sitting well to make a play for the double lift. Tomorrow they will be running open dogs 1-29 (this includes Laddie and Maid) on their second run and then will start and finish the first round of the nursery.
Pressure for me!

Scott and Maid set up for the outrun

Scott and Maid at the pen

Donnie's sheep just miss the fetch panels

Donnie catches the sheep on the third leg of the drive

Don holds a shed

Open 1
1. Jean Gellings and Star 87
2. Dennis Gellings and Jan 84
3. Scott Glen and Maid 83
4. Jennifer Glen and Lad 81
5. Brian Nelson and Sweep 79
6. Jennifer Glen and Hemp 78
7. Scott Glen and Don 78
8. Bev Lambert and Hemp 77
9., 10. (tie not broken)
Amanda Milliken and Clive 75
Wendy Schmaltz and Gin 75

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Canadian Championship - Coming Right Up

We are off tomorrow to Cranbrook, BC for the Canadian Championships. It should be alot of fun. I was at this trial 5 years ago and made the double lift with Jed, but Scott, Bev, and Amanda were at Meeker (Scott was first at Meeker that year, and Amanda was second) so it will be a new field for those heavy hitters. Of course, most of the handlers going to this trial, including me, are probably going with dogs they didn't have 5 years ago so it will be new for them too.
This field is a tough one. The dogs can see the sheep before you walk to the post, but not from the post. The double lift turn back is blind.
Unless they have put up a new cel tower in the last 5 years (I hope they have), I won't be able to get service. I will post what I can, when I can.
In the mean time, I got Reba's traveling trophy from the Wild Rose Classic back from the engravers and took her picture with it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shaunavon - Day Two

We started the day earlier today so everyone could get home and prepare for the rest of the trials this week. (The Canadian Championship starts Thursday) The first dog left the post at 6:30AM. It seemed to stay cooler, longer today and there was a definite improvement in the hearing. It showed in most of the dogs, including mine. We changed the course to a right hand drive so there was less of a pull to the exhaust and instead of making a right hand turn after the crossdrive panels, we made a left hand turn to cross our course and then a straight line to the pen - another attempt at trying to beat the sheep on their pull to home. Apparently this is the norm in South Africa, as Faansie explained it to us. That way the dogs showed both sides of their turns at the panels. After the pen, we had one ewe with a collar (3 sheep total) and we were to shed one uncollared one.
Hemp was much better today and ran more like I had been expecting. I backed him off the sheep at the fetch and he made the panels. He had pretty good drives, especially his crossdrive which was tricky because the sheep took off running toward it and liked to go low. His turn up the course was difficult because the sheep wanted to go over him or back through the panels but he got them to the pen. Unfortunately, even though he listened very well at the pen, I wasn't able to get it done. I need more of a partner at the pen and Hemp is trying to be good and listen but he just doesn't get it and therefore, doesn't do his half without being told. I end up watching him and helping him more than paying attention to the sheep and we ran out of time with no pen or shed. He got a 63 which I felt was respectable outwork.
Laddie really did a nice job today and listened well and held his ground with the sheep. He walked when I asked him to and ran his butt off when I needed him to. I was low on the crossdrive but still made the panels. That was where my major points went but we had a good pen and good shed and ended up with an 89 - tying George Stambulic for 4th but we dropped to 5th because George had a better outrun, lift and fetch. His only major flaw with Kate was a missed attempt on the shed because she contemplated eating one on her way by.
Lisa Wright and Kate also had an outstanding run and was likely going to place until the new turn at the crossdrive panels. Kate was sure Lisa had gave her a wrong flank and took the one she was sure would save them both but it wasn't the correct one and cost them a big placing. They timed out at the shed.
The outstanding run of the day was Randy Dye and Sweep who is a son of Grant Musgrove's Zeus who is a littermate to Scott's Pleat. Randy smoked everyone with a 94 run to win the day!
George Stambulic and Kate won the overall Open.

Open 2
1. Randy Dye and Sweep 94
2., 3. (tie not broken)
Chris Jobe and Jill 91
Dale Montgomery and Ben 91
4. George Stambulic and Kate 89
5. Jennifer Glen and Lad 89
6. Dale Montgomery and Zip 88
7. , 8. (tie not broken)
Chris Jobe and Gwen 86
Peter Gonnet and Taff 86
9. Peter Gonnet and Jill 85
10. Joanne Zoerb and Bryn 84

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shaunavon Classic - Day One

Shaunavon Stockdog Classic in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan is the first trial of the new season for Western Canada and one of the last trials to school your dog at before the Canadian Championship. (Not to mention Soldier Hollow, Meeker and the Nationals). Scott has been doing alot of clinics this year so he decided to stay home and train on his dogs but I headed over to the competition, judged this year by South Africa's Faansie Basson.
It's a pretty flat field with a gentle breeze that changed directions during the day. The sheep are a fine wool cross who know where the exhaust is and are determined to get to it.
Most of the good runs came from the cool morning and as the heat came up, the sheep became insistent about getting to their buddies and the hearing got less.
Hemp ran just as the heat was coming up but it didn't help him.

The best part of Hemp's run - setting up for the outrun
He had a nice outrun and then it all went to pot from there. I'm not really sure what got into him. He lifted ok but then before he got to the fetch panels he circled the sheep. Not in a frantic over flanking way, but just in a casual flank - so much so that I asked people later if I gave him the wrong flank. They said no. It surprised me so much that I stopped whistling for a second and missed the panel. Hmmm. What to do? Well, the score will be bad, but we needed some training - especially at the pen so we pressed on. We had a wide turn around the post, and then settled everything down on the drive. It is a left hand drive and you spend the whole first leg trying to keep them on line as they try to climb over your dog and get to the exhaust. Just before the panel, Hemp didn't hear my flank, or chose not to take it, I'll never know- and the sheep got away so I figured, there was no useful training going on here and retired.
Laddie ran at the end of the class during the 2:00PM heat. People were retiring all over the place. I decided to try and stick it out. I WANTED A PEN. Come what may. I sent Lad to the right since there was a fence to keep him in if he wanted to go wide but he actually ran a little tight. I left him that way 'cause it was just a little bit and when he got near the sheep, he flared wide and deep but came in a little short just as I was thinking he might. It was the wrong side to be short and the sheep ran off to my left. Lad was on them but didn't work that hard to put them back on line until after the fetch panels. He had a nice turn around the post but his whole first leg was horribly difficult with the sheep trying to cut around him and over him to get to the exhaust.

Laddie trying to beat the sheep to the exhaust on the turn at the post
I was proud of him for holding his ground and getting them stopped but his flanks weren't quite rounded enough to make the panel and we missed it high. We got back on the line for the crossdrive and got in front of the panel but I couldn't take anymore chances on him missing the panel so I broke out the "that'll do" command to round out the flank and hoped that I wouldn't get hit too hard for it. It paid off and we made the panel, had a good 3rd leg and had a good shed. We had to work a little for the pen but got it done and ended up with a 69 for our troubles.

Laddie tries to convince the girls they must not go in the exhaust but in the pen
Pen closed. Mission accomplished.

Done. Good boy, Laddie
Just to take away my "they can't hear" and " the sheep are hot and bad" excuses, George Stambulic had a great run with his Kate in the heat and took the day.
Ho hum. We'll try again tomorrow.

Day One Open
1. George Stambulic and Kate 91
2. Chris Jobe and Fly 90
3. Dale Montgomery and Zip 87
4. Peter Gonnett and Jill 87
5. Joanne Zoerb and Soot 84
6. , 7., 8., 9. (tie not broken)
Bev Lambert and Oden 82
Wayne Roberts and Sal 82
Ian Zoerb and Freckles 82
Chris Jobe and Gwen 82
10. Randy Dye and Sweep 81

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bow River Classic - Double Lift

Today's double lift started out in the nice cool of the morning but was very hot by the time we were done. It showed in the sheep. They were a little cranky anyway with a few breaking away from the flock on the drive but as the heat came up, they let it be known that they would prefer to be resting the shade. Still, if the dogs treated them well, most sets behaved. Maid drew up 6th and she did get a run away ewe but she didn't do anything helpful to keep it with the group. She was getting a little hot and irritated herself and she didn`t appreciate that ewe making her life any harder. Even with that, she had a good run and won the day with a 151!
Ian Zoerb and Freckles gave Scott and Maid a run for their money and with a quick and efficient shed, it looked like they might eclipse them until Freckles went to the water on the field and then left to go look for some more off the field. It ended up being a DQ.
George Stambulic and Kate had a nice run too and ended up in 5th which was a brave feat since Kate had been battling diarrhea for 24 hours and wasn`t feeling her normal self.
Scott ran Don in the 12th hole. It wasn`t a great time for running. The breeze wasn`t blowing and the heat was wearing on everyone. He had a grumpy lead ewe who took the flock and left the set out early as Don was approaching. Don caught them as they were running but the fetch was supposed to be almost a crossdrive and Don didn`t expect that. He ducked back behind them and pushed them back off the line and ended up very low. His turnback was great and his drive was nice but that ewe gave him trouble again in the shedding ring. It was noticed at one point that he had one extra ewe collared. The judge told him to let one go and he did but unfortunately, the bad one wasn`t around at that time. He had a struggle digging out his last two sheep and lost them out of the ring. He penned and got a 141 - good enough for second place!
In the end, we`d just like to say we love this trial, and love the new location.

Scott and Maid turn the post

Scott calls Maid in on the International shed

Scott and Maid pen

Schmaltz niece and nephew take a break from set out

Don tries to catch a bitter ewe on the first fetch

Don and Scott turn the post

Scott calls Don in on the International shed

Louanne Twa and dog Meg pinch hit in set out to give Wendy Schmaltz a break.

1. Scott Glen and Maid 151
2. Scott Glen and Don 141
3. Peter Gonnett and Taff 136
4. Joanne Zoerb and Mik 135
5. George Stambulic and Kate 131
6. Thad Buckler and Nic 128
7. Bob Stephens and Pete 124
8. Ian Zoerb and Sam 120
9. Joanne Zoerb and Brynn 120
10. Lee Lumb and Nan 118
11. Joanne Zoerb and Soot 110
12. Lynn Schweb andDex 89
13. Ian Zoerb and Freckles DQ