Monday, July 30, 2012

Hilltop Trial 2012 Day Four!

Set out crew and hosts, Chris, Wendy Schmaltz and employees
Oh, boy we are just wiped out! But no matter how exhausted I feel, it can't be anything compared to how Wendy and Chris Schmaltz feel!  They have worked so hard and were wonderful hosts.  People should really think about coming to this trial next year.  It was a blast!
We started the morning with a nice breeze and the nursery classes, although now down to 7 dogs, did well.  Norm Close won the day with Craig.  Craig got better every day and should look to be a contender at the Nationals this year.  Overall nursery was won by Scott and Bliss (who was the only nursery dog to get 4 scores)  and reserve was Norm and Craig.
We had a little bit of cool left over for the double lift but it didn't last long.
Chis Jobe started our day off with a very nice turn back and a great shed.  However, when she got down to one sheep, her dog Fly gripped off.
Next up was Laddie and I.  Laddie moved just a little bit on his turn back instead of going straight back and ended up with a little crossover before going back nicely.  I was quite proud of how he handled the sheep around the course.  It was getting a little warm and normally the double lift drives are difficult for him but he pushed them so easily and flanked so agreeably that I enjoyed going around the course.  Our shed was a little close to the edge of the ring but I thought I had a plan and it didn't pay off.  I got down to 2 sheep before my time ran out.
Joanne Zoerb ran after me with her just turned 4 year old Brae.  It was rough but they were getting it done (nice turnback though) until Brae gripped off.
Dale Montgomery had a winner going until he gripped off and Norm Sommer was having trouble pushing the hot and heavy sheep around before he gripped off.
It was beginning to look like we weren't going to have anymore scores when Peter Gonnett and Taff walked up to the post.  Taff kept the sheep moving and never gave them a chance to think about slowing down.  They had a great shed but just couldn't get the ewes to look in the pen even though they had over 6 minutes to get it done.  In the end they had to go off with no pen.
That run was followed up by Ian and and his white headed Sam.  Sam doesn't grip and so Ian didn't have to guard against it and just let Sam plow on.  The sheep moved well off of him as the temperature climbed into the 90F area.  Ian and Sam got a rough shed and proudly got the pen.
Scott then ran Don.  Donnie had sheep running off line at the start of his fetch but then got them back on and did a fancy swallow tail turn back for his second set.  His crossdrive got a little low at one point but then looked good going into the shed.  His shed was quick and clean and they had a good pen.
Hemp ran next but the heat got to him.  His turn back wasn't clean but he did make all his panels which was getting hard for me because he was sliding through his stops like he has been known to do in the heat.  In the shedding ring, I got quite a few sheep off but then because of the heat, he just wouldn't back off the sheep and the remaining few just didn't feel like they had enough open space to leave the group.  We had time called with no shed.
June ran last but she gripped off shortly after her lift.
In the end  Scott and Don took home first with Peter and Taff in second.  Ian and Sam were third and me and Laddie were fourth with Hemp in fifth.  The other five dogs gripped off.
We held a driving competition after the double lift and Norm Sommer and Lexi won it with  Wendy and Floss in second with a very nice line.
We will definitely be coming back to this trial next year!
The end!

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