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


Camp said...

that's my sweet Laddie ;-))

Doniene said...

Great pics. Thanks for the play by play. Helps me to start visualizing my runs better. Do well at the Canadian Finals!!!