Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bluegrass Day One

Well we had good things and bad things happen today.  I'll start at the beginning. On the underclasses field, this morning was a blood bath.  In Open Ranch, there were very few runs that even made it down the fetch line.  The sheep are the same sheep from the open, only this year, they have never been worked- were shorn right before they rode on a truck up here from Texas that was stuck on an interstate for several hours and then were rained on the night they got here.  They are not happy.   Fall brockle faced wool lambs who have no idea what they want to do but they know it has nothing to do with the dogs that keep bothering them.  Scott sent Nan to the right and she pulled up short.  He blew her over but she pulled up short again.  It was unusual for her to do this but the sheep ran back to the set out to the handler's left and that was the end of that run.  Because it had just been a disaster for the runs before Ford, I decided to send him and immediately run up the field.  I could keep his outrun honest and make sure his first contact with his sheep was good.  He had 7 more runs on this field this week and I wanted to make sure the first one wasn't a disaster.  He had a nice outrun and I was at the fetch panels when he lifted them.  On our fetch down the field, I realized that although he didn't have real open flanks, he was opening up to cover the sheep who were constantly trying to go around him back to set out.  He did a nice job and we got them exhausted.  I felt pretty good about that and vowed to let him do it by himself that afternoon in the nursery.
Scott then ran Bliss.  She looked really good!  I was very surprised but her open flanks and patience made the sheep very comfortable with her.  She got only a 54 but it ended up in 3rd place.
Over on the open field, Scott ran June.  She did a great job but the sheep just didn't cooperate.  They ran almost the whole way and on the drive away, she and Scott handled a very difficult drive away panel in a clever way that I couldn't even explain.  Unfortunately, the sheep were still very jumpy by the time they got to the shedding ring and it just didn't happen.  I am having trouble accessing the scores.  They are on but they don't seem to be working so I will give you the link when I figure it out.  I think June got a 54.
Lad then ran on the open field.  I didn't think anything good was going to come of it because he hasn't been  shedding and the judges were making you hold the shed for a VERY long time.  Kiss of death for Lad.  He struggled on the fetch but it was probably due to the fact that the run before ours took over 10 minutes to exhaust while my sheep contentedly grazed at the set out post.  By the time Laddie got there, they really didn't see any reason to come down the field.  He got them down but it wasn't pretty and we missed the fetch panels.  We had a nice drive and I was pleased with him but the sheep were running and Laddie loves running sheep.  When they got to the shedding ring, I took a deep breath and tried to not worry too much about it.  Fortunately, the sheep gave me that shed by having one hang way back, Lad came right in but kind of floated about between the two sets until I "shushed" him onto his single and he not only focused on her, but dodged over and held her when she tried to break back and the judge mercifully called the shed.  We headed over to the pen.  Scott said we rushed it a little bit and we didn't get it. I was a little worried when there was some sort of chaos behind the pen that looked alot like it could have possibly been a grip and I wouldn't have been surprised if one of the judges had DQ'd me.  They don't know that Lad isn't a gripper but even I couldn't really tell you what went on back there.  I know that my final score was a 68 and that wasn't bad at all for today.
 On to the nursery.  I didn't see Bliss but I hear this time it looked good again and she got another 54.  However, I think it dropped to 4th place but I think she got her first nursery leg.
Jane was pretty grouchy about these sheep and kept trying to get a grip in but she never quite got it done and Scott felt like he got some good training on her.   
 She didn't get any placing but we are hoping she will be better when she runs tomorrow.
Wynn didn't believe Scott when he told him to widen out his outrun and he almost crossed but then got out and around his sheep with a nice deep lift.
It was looking like it was going to go very well until the crossdrive panels when he started to argue with Scott about which flank was appropriate to make the panel.  After arguing for a few minutes, Scott retired him.
Ford ran last in the nursery and he went from hero to zero today.  I have to preface this story by going back a few weeks.  If you didn't read on facebook, you wouldn't have known that I had gone to a friend's farm to get Ford out on light sheep and a new field.  Unfortunately, he didn't get to work the light sheep he worked some head hunters that plowed him into the ground.  At his age, this is disastrous and Scott and I had to work quickly in the couple of days before we left to try and build his confidence again.  He needs to learn to grip but we felt that with his first trial one week away, it wasn't the time.  He didn't have any trouble in those first few trials but with these difficult sheep today, it showed up big time.  I sent him to the left and he did a nice outrun, and stopped behind his sheep.  Then he lifted them and started on his fetch, but before he got very far, there was a banging in the pens behind him.  I don't know if this scared him or if the sheep thought they were going to get to go back to set out and started leaning on him, but he left his sheep and came running back to me.  I sent him back up there and walked up the field.  The sheep ran back to the set out and Ford actually went back and lifted them several times off the tarps covering it but he could only get them a few yards.  Then the sheep stopped bothering with him and he got worried and tried to circle instead of helping me drive them down the field.  The set out people had to help me move them down the field.  After his run, when he cooled down a little, he was ready to exhaust the next run and cut in a little as he went around them, cut out a single and NOW was going to bite it on the shoulder but I had to settle him down since it wasn't the time or place. I was very disappointed but not really surprised after he had been pummeled by the sheep before we left. I will give him one more chance tomorrow but if we have similar problems, I will pull him from the rest of the runs and try him again in NY where I know the sheep will come down the field.  Poor Ford it blew his little mind!

1 comment:

Kelpie and Collie said...

Poor Ford. Hard stuff on a wee lad. :(