Friday, September 28, 2012

National Finals 2012 (day 4)

The day is not over yet and neither is the first round of the 2012 National Finals but I decided to blog now because I will likely be going out to dinner later.  I think I am safe enough to say that Don, June and Laddie will all be returning tomorrow for the semi finals round!  Donnie's run today was just beautiful.
Scott preparing to send Don
 It was hot and the sheep were turning into very determined beggars. Many dogs appeared to hear but with the pressure the sheep were putting on them, they didn't want to let go and flank off or push on them to get them on the line.  Scott sent Don to the right and he came in deep behind the sheep.  It seems that if you get ahold of the sheep within the first 20 yards, you will be ok, but if not, you will rarely recover. Don had some work to do moving back and forth at the top to hold the sheep but he got them broke and they were very nice the rest of the way around.
Don brings them in on the fetch
He had straight lines and was smooth all the way around, making all his panels.  It took a little bit of time before Scott got a shed lined up for Don to come through on but when he finally opened a gap, Don came in and took a hold of the situation.
Don controls his shed
  After that, it was a fairly easy pen and they ended up with a score of 162!  It was the highest score of the trial at the time but as this afternoon goes on, a couple more have topped him with Amanda Milliken in the lead right now.  No matter, they are more than well into the semi finals.
Bliss was also nice and smooth today.  There were runs before hers and after hers where the dogs had the sheep just running around the course,
Bliss makes a nice turn around the post
 but Bliss walked them the whole way around and made both her fetch and drive away panels.
Bliss makes her drive away panels
  They had a great crossdrive going but right before the panels, the sheep had a burst of speed up the hill and missed them high.  They moved on and had a good pen.
Bliss and Scott at the pen
  Their score was a 140.5 and that placed them in 11th overall!  Good job, little Bliss!
It was pretty hot when Wynn ran his last nursery run and in the words of one handler, "there had been much carnage" by the time his turn came.  He actually ran very well but his set had wandered quite a bit off the drop point by the time he got there.  Unfortunately, that meant that Wynn's first contact with his sheep was him having to run like hell and get into their faces  to turn them to try and make the fetch panels.  He missed by just a little bit but by then, his sheep were running and Wynn was having to work hard to just contain them.
Wynn gives everything he has to catch his running sheep
It was a wide turn around the post and then on to a very quick drive with the panels made.  Halfway across the crossdrive, things settled down but Scott missed that panel again on the high side when the sheep fooled him and took a quick jump up the hill right in front of the gate.  It didn't take long for them to pen with Wynn enthusiastically trying to help Scott get them in.
Wynn and Scott at the pen
They got a 135.5 and that finished up 12th overall!  Wynn will be leaving us when the finals are over and going home to his owner, Diane Pagel.  I will miss him very much.  Diane imported him from Wales and had him sent directly to our kennel when he was 8 months old and Scott and I have been mummy and daddy ever since.  I know Diane will love him.  He's a good boy.
There have been some complaints on the finals facebook page that information is hard to find so I'll post some places to find it again.  I'm sorry that people are wanting more when there is so much out there to read about what is going on!  I haven't had any trouble finding information when I am away from the fields in the camper and I want an update.  I would suggest looking for the scores here: then move on to the descriptions of the open runs here: and if you want to read about the nursery runs, go here:
The facebook page for the nationals has some information but since they are posting so quickly on the finals website, they decided to just let that be the place to get the scores.
There is only WiFi in the open tent and everyone posting information is a volunteer so please be patient and they will get the info out as soon as they can.
Top 40 to the semis tomorrow.  Starts at 7AM - information here on the live webcast: