Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Hollow Day 2

We woke up this morning to a drizzle and a deep fog.  Hemp was up second but I couldn't see the sheep from the post unless I closed one eye and squinted.  It didn't matter though, Hemp ran out clean, lifted and took the sheep into the dip with no help from me.  When he came out of the dip, he was dead on the line, but coming fast.  He was going to make the fetch panels so I didn't slow him too much until he was through, then I told him to settle down.  He did and ended up getting a full point fetch! (he once had a full point drive, now a full point fetch.  If we could just do that in the same trial we might really have something!)  He was nice on the drive but we were wobbly in front of the crossdrive panels.
At the pen I was a little careless and let the sheep go through the rope and around.  My motto is that you must sacrifice the body to prevent this if you want your pen bad enough.  Stupidly, I let it happen again and this time I held on to the rope and took a decidedly ungraceful fall before getting a clue to shorten up the rope and get that pen.  The shed was rough as I was running out of time and the sheep just didn't move off a person.  They did, however, get pretty jumpy if Hemp moved so I took a cheap shed just before my time ran out.  Hemp scored an 83 today and was good enough for 4th place again.
I didn't see June's run but Scott was unhappy with her today.  She didn't finish her outrun on the comebye side and didn't want to take her comebye flank on the fetch.  Scott decided to train on her during the rest of the run and retired at the pen.
I told Scott that since I had to run this morning in no visibility fog, he needed a handicap too.  The fog had lifted and it had been on and off raining that morning, but as Scott walked to the post with Don, it started pouring. It was terrible but Don never faltered.  His fetch was a little off as he came up from the ditch but he was back on line before the fetch panels and had a good line the rest of the way, including his drive lines but he missed the crossdrive panels by just a little bit.  His pen was good and the shed looked easy despite the flood waters dropping on them.  He got a 90 today and won the trial again.
Poor Laddie.  Even though the rain had stopped and it warmed up a little, the sound went to pot.  The run before ours looked bad but I didn't realize it was the hearing.  Laddie had a good outrun and lift and his fetch went very well.  The start of his drive was good but as he went down a hill on the way to the panels, he clearly stopped hearing.  He kept trying but I couldn't get through to him and what he did hear was harsh and made him start to think I was mad at him.  When I missed the panels, I retired.  I wasn't going to place with that and there was no reason to keep harping on him when he wasn't doing anything wrong.
We moved on to the nursery and the sun came out and made it quite pleasant.
The nursery babies enjoy the sun.  Front to back, John, Ford, Mikey (next year`s nursery) and Missy Parker`s Tex (to debut at the Bluegrass)
 Unfortunately, the outrun and drive were as far as they were the day before so it was still very difficult for the babies.
Scott ran first with John and you could see that from yesterday to today, John's confidence had grown in leaps and bounds.  He had a clean outrun and made all his panels and was starting to get some style (as much as he could with the high grass) a nice pen and he got an 84 to win the class!  That was a 16 point jump from yesterday.  John is now qualified to run at the nursery nationals.
Jane and Bliss learned that Scott wasn't tied to the post during a trial.  Jane gripped at the top and Scott ran down the field, and Bliss tried to cross and ignored Scott's stop whistles, so he again ran down the field.
I sent Ford to the right today so that he could try the other outrun.  He needed a redirect and took it after a stop but he needed one more and wouldn't take his stop and crossed over just in front of the sheep.  His fetch was better but his stops still need improvement.  Shortly into his drive away he had a ewe look at him.  I had tried to get a straight line right off and ended up putting him in the sheep's eyes too much.  One started to look  at him and after being attacked last week at a friend's house by a grumpy ewe, he got worried.  He never ran away (an improvement from last week - he didn't know the sheep could hurt him until he was attacked and we knew it wasn't time to teach him to bite for confidence right before he started to trial) but didn't want to push on her.  He just tried to flank, so I walked away from the post towards him and got him started on the drive and then flanked him around to exhaust the sheep.
Wynn was a good boy today too!  He didn't have as good a drive today because he headed them just in front of the drive panel (the drive is about 200 yrds) but his outrun was good and his crossdrive
Wynn making the cross drive gates
 and pen were also good.  He got a 79 and was in second place getting his first nursery leg.
Diane Pagel`s Kinloch Wynn
 In the pro novice, Nan improved her run getting a 77 but Mike Goracke and his Nick dog improved even more, winning the class with an 80.  Nan ended up in third place behind Margaret Johnson and Art.
Ford had a better outrun on the shorter course and only needed one redirect to the right.  His fetch was also better and he was stopping but not for long enough.  His drive away went very well and he made the panel but after the turn I asked for a right hand flank to put them on the crossdrive line and he wouldn't give it to me. He just wanted to bring them back to me.  I walked away after several tries and showed him how it was important for him to take that flank.  We have work to do this week but he's getting better.

Day One Pro Novice (22 dogs)
1. Scott Glen and Nan 69
2. Kathy Farkos and Diva 67
3. Mike Goracke and Nick 64
4. Linda Meyer and Jill 60
5. Margaret Johnson 58

Day Two Open (30 dogs)
1. Scott Glen and Don 90
2. Larry Birch and Dot 86
3. Roy Taber and Craig 84
4. Jennifer Glen and Hemp 83
5. Peg Anderson and Hope 76
6. Linda Meyer and Gnat 76
7. Jennifer Boznos and Peach 75
8. Stephanie Goracke and Gwen 72
9. Peg Anderson and Spot 69
10. Larry Moore and Brandy 68

Day Two Nursery (10 dogs)
1. Scott Glen and John 84
2. Scott Glen and Wynn 79
3. Stephanie Goracke and Tweed 76
4. Linda Meyer and Jill 40
5. Margaret Johnson and Lark 40

Day Two Pro Novice (18 dogs)
1. Mike Goracke and Nick 80
2. Margaret Johnson and Art 79
3. Scott Glen and Nan 77
4. Cathy Farkos and Diva 61
5. Linda Meyer and Jill 45
6. Shane Hall and Yankee 42
7-18. RT

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Hollow Day One

Scott and I are currently in Russellvile, MO.  It should have taken us only a little over 2 days to get here from home but instead took us all of 3 days!  Wind and construction slowed us down, and we always go a little slower on our first trip of the year while the new dogs and customer dogs get used to loading and unloading out of our truck with the dog box on it.
The temperature is a good introduction for our dogs to get used to the humidity.  It's only around 76F and overcast.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler with rain. It's so beautiful and green here and the grass on the field is a little high, making the outruns fairly difficult with the additions of rolling hills.  The camping area is a little crowded but not bad.  No room for big free runs with the dogs but there is enough room to get the job done.  The sheep are a motley crew of Katahdin crosses - some yearling lambs.
I was going to call this the peanut gallery but I think "trouble maker's" is a better label.
Scott and Don ran 9th in the morning and the sheep were at their nicest around that time.  Not that Scott needs much help from the sheep to win the class with Don, but that's what he did anyway.  The grass made it a little difficult to see the short dog but it didn't seem to bother Don.
Don trying to peer over the tall grass on the fetch
  It was a left hand drive and they made all their panels with a pen and single.
Don and Scott on the shed
 His score was a 92.
I ran Laddie as the sheep started to get heavy and it warmed up a little.  He had a great outrun which was unexpected from me because it was a little tricky.  He's been running out well at home but I'd been afraid he might have peaked too soon!  I blew him over a little bit and he lifted nice and went into the dip.  You can't see your dog for a little while before the fetch gates and it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut and be patient until I see them again.  He came up a little to the left of the fetch panels, then dropped down a tiny bit and to the right but we got it under control and made the panels with a nice finish to the fetch.  He also had a nice drive but I missed the crossdrive panels high.  A nice but slow pen (the sheep didn't move off the handler) and then a messed up shed.  I had a slow ewe with two yearlings.  I called him in on the slower ewe and I thought he needed a flank to come all the way through so I gave him a comebye and the brat regathered instead of finishing the shed.  I had 20 seconds left so I called him in on the front yearling who was running away and took what I could get.  He got a 73 for his run.
Next June ran.  She ended up with 3 yearlings and they were not happy about the speed demon behind them.  Scott smoothed her out but they didn't forgive her and  still ran.  However, they made all the panels and the pen and the shed.  They ended up in 6th place with a score of 82.
Next Hemp ran.  I have to say that even though aliens have clearly abducted the real Hemp, I didn't miss him today.  He was smooth, obedient and biddable.  Not your typical Hemp run.  I'm afraid pilot error was the only screw up and as I walked off the field, the judge told me I had it won until I missed the crossdrive panel AGAIN - this time low.  We got an 84 and placed 4th!
The Nursery course was very difficult.  They brought the outrun in a little, but not enough.  It was really too big for babies and I'm hoping they make it shorter tomorrow (they did in the Pro-Novice and it was a good distance).  They told us to drive the fetch panels to shorten up the crossdrive but the drive away was still as long as the open class.  There were alot of first timers to the post in the trial so we were all feeling the pressure.  Scott ran first with Marianna Schreeder's Jane.  (Stephanie Gorake's Liz X Alasdair MacRae's Nap)  Jane looked really good.  She needed a redirect on her outrun but made her panels nicely and with confidence.  Unfortunately, she got frustrated on the 3rd leg of the drive and gripped off.
Ford was next.  Like I said, time and time again - this is a training year.  I was happy that he needed only one stop and redirect on the outrun, but when he got up there, and realized he'd never seen this set out person before, he bailed back to me and wouldn't stop until he almost got back.  Then I realized he thought he'd just go behind me and retrieve the sheep he'd seen exhausted earlier ( I guess he figured they didn't have a set out person) so we walked off but I walked up the middle and made him retrieve his sheep and I'm sure that helped.
Scott and Diane Pagel's Wynn had a crossover - Wynn wasn't being belligerent, he just got confused.  However, after that he looked really good on his drive and pen and I have no doubt he'll do better tomorrow.
Bliss with Scott was handling the sheep well but as they went through the drive panels they tore back up the field (they were doing that on some of the runs) so she got an RT.  She looked like she had promise for her next run.
Finally, Scott ran Annette Haithcox's John (John's mother is same way bred as Ford -Pete X Lena - and his father is Annette's National Reserve Champion Nursery dog, Dod)  John was very good with the difficult run.  He needed one redirect on the outrun but listened and worked well with Scott, making his panels and pen and placing second - getting his first National's nursery leg!  Good Job John!
I don't have the finals for the Pro-Novice class yet but the last I checked, Scott was winning with Nan.  She had some sheep that wanted to graze or run but she kept her head.  They shortened up the distance for this class and since Ford had almost gotten it right the first round, he got the outrun easily clean with it being shorter.  This time he lifted his sheep and started to bring them to me
Ford is no taller than Don!
 but I had no line or stop until he was 30 yards away.  He had a nice turn though and actually a good drive away and made the panels,
Ford: Look Ma, I made the panels!
 but then sniffed and it was the first warning bell that maybe it was time for me to walk.  I grumped at him and he went back to work and took his flank to turn them but not his stop.  He started to bring them back to me and I thought it was time to impose my will so I walked away from the post to enforce it but he stopped just after it was too late!  I'm not sure I made my point as he was exhausting them so I may remind him of the meaning of the down before his runs tomorrow.  I think I will also send him the other direction on his outrun so he can work the other side of the field for experience.  I'm pleased with both his outruns today and that he spotted the sheep nicely.  Now a stop!  Fortunately, after this trial we have a week and a half to train at a friend's so I know what I'll be working on and Scott has his own ideas about his dogs so we'll be prepared for the next trial in PA.

Open 1 (31 dogs)
1. Scott Glen and Don 92
2. Roy Taber and Craig 88
3. Susanne Hoffman and Toss 87
4. Jennifer Glen and Hemp 84
5. Larry Birch and Dot 82
6. Scott Glen and June 82
7. Stephanie Gorake and Gwynn 81
8. Mike Gorake and Kate 80
9. Linda Myer and Natt 79
10. Peg Anderson and Hope 74

Nursery 1 (11 dogs)
1. Jennifer Boznos and Tony 68
2. Scott Glen and John 68
3. Stephanie Gorake  and Tweed 66
4. Margaret Johnson and Lark 65
5. Scott Glen and Wynn 62

Monday, April 9, 2012


Scott's second nursery dog this year is our Bliss.
Scott's Bliss
Bliss is a Canadian bred bitch who was born on St. Patrick's Day 2010 and has a pretty fancy pedigree. We are hoping she lives up to it.
Her father is Scott's Don, the 2009 Canadian and US  Nursery Champion, and the 2011  Canadian Champion.  Don is a son of Eileen Stineman's three time USBCHA National Champion, Star.
Bliss' mother is George Stambulic's Kate who was the 2009 Alberta Open Champion.
Bliss' dam, George Stambulic's Kate - photo by Penny Caster
 Kate's mother is George's Gyp who was 5th in the 2006 USBCHA National Finals and was rookie of the year.  Kate's father is Scott's Pleat who was the 2004 USBCHA National Champion.  Pleat is also the only dog to win the top 4 trials in the US - The Nationals, The Bluegrass, Meeker, and Soldier Hollow.
Scott and Pleat
 Pleat goes back to Scott's Dan (who won over 50 open trials) and Dodie Green's ABCA Hall of Fame dog, Soot.
Bliss, although keen to work, was late maturing and Scott was not originally planning to run her in the nursery classes.  He started her this past Fall but then put her away to grow up some before he continued her training. A few months later he tried her again and changed his mind about her.
Bliss in training this winter
 He decided to put her back into training and although she was a couple of months behind the rest of the dogs in our kennel, she caught up very quickly and will be ready to trial this spring.  We are also looking forward to seeing her two littermates trial this year, George Stambulic's Nan and Lisa Wright's Ben.
 Bliss' first trial will be the Happy Hollow Sheepdog trial in Missouri on April, 28-29.

Monday, April 2, 2012

T-N Ford

My nursery dog this year is Ford.
My young nursery dog, Ford.
 Well, maybe it's not fair to him to call him my nursery dog just yet.  He will be running in the nursery classes this year but will only be 16 months old when he steps out on to the field for the first time. He's far enough along in his training that as long as I keep in mind that it is a learning year and not a go for the gold year, we should be good.  Since our trialing season doesn't start until May and is quickly over in July, we only have a short time to qualify our nursery dogs.  I thought it might be a good idea to get Ford out this year and get a feel for the different sheep, fields, and situations that can only be gotten at a trial.  That will leave us another winter to polish up his training before his real nursery year starts in the Spring of 2013.
Ford in training this winter
 Ford is out of Norma Stewart's Lena who is out of a long line of her own breeding that goes back to Tommy Wilson's Roy.  Lena has had success on both sheep and cattle.  Ford's father is Tom Forrester's Pete.  Pete's lines go back to Nathan Mooney's Max and is heavy to a long line of Tom's dogs with  quite a few Kuykendall dogs in there on both Pete and Lena's sides of the pedigree. Pete was the USBCHA Reserve Champion Cattle Dog at the 2010 Nationals and went on to make the double lift finals at the USBCHA Sheepdog Championships in the same year.
I wanted a Pete/Lena pup ever since I saw Lori Cunningham's Matt when he was about the same age Ford is now.  I was impressed by his cool head and bidability  but yet he still had plenty of forward. Matt proved me right by making the Open double lift at the USBCHA National finals when he was just a nursery dog.
Ford's older brother, Lori Cunningham's Matt, prepares for the International shed at the 2010 National Finals
  Shortly after the finals Norma repeated the Pete/Lena breeding for the 3rd and final time.  We were lucky to be on the list but I had to do alot of begging to Scott before I was allowed to add him to my string of dogs. (by the way, although I do drive a Ford Ranger, he is not named after the truck but after a good friend, Bobby Ford, in TN)  Ford got a nice start on being a confident puppy from my friend Joan Shelton in TN who took him into her house and raised him until I was able to pick him up when he was 5 months old.
Baby Ford - photo by Christine Koval
 By the time he was 9 months old he was craving work and Scott felt that he could hold up to some training so I've been working him ever since.  Although I see alot of similarities to Matt in his cool head and forward, Ford has a stubborn streak that you can't fight.  Once I learned to quit arguing with him, we got alot more done and I learned to enjoy him.
 As long as we are both continuing to learn and not cause any harm to his training, we'll muddle through our courses this year and prepare for the next.