Thursday, September 27, 2012

National Finals First Round (day 3)

This morning was nice and cool just like the last few days.  I was happy since I was running Laddie 4th up in the morning.  Scott ran June at that time the morning the day before and it turned out well. (the hearing seems to run out in the afternoon).  Scott gave me strict advice not to flank too fast on these sheep and not let Laddie bring them too fast.   I was sure I was going to be ill walking to the post, especially when I was hoping to send Laddie to the right and he wouldn't look down the field.  He had seen the sheep down the field before our run but when we got to the post he was sure the sheep were hiding in the barn to the right of the field.  Nothing I could do would convince him otherwise.  I put him on my left and he spotted them just fine.  I didn't want to send left though so I put him back on my right and he wanted to go to the barn again.  So.  There was nothing for it and I sent him to the left.  It turned out to probably be a good idea because the sheep were often running off that way anyway.  He started his lift and I could see there was something funky going on up there but wasn't really sure because I couldn't see that far.  It looked like one sheep was just going to finish her breakfast and not move on with the others.  He had some sort of talk with them up there (and thank goodness he didn't get angry) and they moved on.  They were a little off line on the fetch but straightened out and made the panels. We had a nice turn around the post, if not a tad wide and started off on a straight and calm drive away.  So many people had cut that panel short so I made sure I was very deep before I turned Lad on the crossdrive.  Only, I wasn't deep through the panels.  I wasn't through the panels at all, and turned them short.  I decided not to dwell on it and moved onto the crossdrive.  Scott had warned me not to make too many adjustments on that line so we kept it to a minimum and fortunately, the sheep were helpful in making the panels.  We had a good 3rd leg and moved into the shedding ring.  I took a deep breath and prepared for the fact that I was likely not going to get it called.  The judges did not want too much man and Laddie needs help that way.  I made a big gap for him, stood still and called him in.  He came right in and turned on his sheep!  I walked up behind him to keep him engaged until the judges called it good and we went on to the pen.  It didn't take us long to get the pen but before I closed the gate, they popped back out again.
Laddie and I make one of our several attempts at the pen - photo by Diane Pagel
 They did that 3 times before I ran in, with less than a half a minute left, and got the gate closed.  We scored a 141 and should be good to make the semis!
Wynn ran in nursery in the afternoon.  Scott sent him to the left and he went wide but didn't get stuck on the set out pens.  He went by them like a good dog and came in deep behind his sheep.  He didn't stop on his lift as Scott asked, but he didn't rush them either.  They had a nice line on the fetch and made the panels. 
Wynn makes his fetch panels
The sheep liked Wynn much better than they did Bliss and were waiting on him. The turn was good and it was a great drive away line to and through the panels.
Scott and Wynn turn the post
 The sheep started to pull to the set out as they went through the gates and Scott flanked him to turn onto the crossdrive. It would have been a good turn but Wynn got a little worried about the pull and over covered, causing the sheep to go back through the panels.  They moved onto the crossdrive line and made the panels well.  They had a good line to the pen but when they got to there, Wynn got jumpy and started to push on the sheep.
Wynn and Scott at the pen
There were a couple of times where he tried to grip but Scott got him stopped before there was any misdeeds.  Unfortunately, they ran out of time before they got the pen and scored a 128.5.
Both Wynn and Bliss will make the second round of the nursery tomorrow but unfortunately, it is a combined score to win and with the leader, Lyle Lad, sitting with a 163 on one dog and a 158 on the other, the best they can do is try to improve their placings.
Donnie drew up in the afternoon tomorrow.  Today that was a very bad place to be and many a very good handler ended up with a DQ or RT because there was no hearing.  We are hoping that the same doesn't happen tomorrow.

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