Monday, September 3, 2012

Soldier Hollow - Day Three

Scott and Don ran early yesterday and knew it was a do or die situation.  This was their last chance to get into the double lift.  Donnie didn't disappoint.  The sheep were happy and cool in the early morning as a fog rolled over the tops of the hills.  Donnie kept them that way.  They didn't mind him as he gently moved them around the course, put them through the panels and walked them on the lines.  In the shedding ring, there was only a little bit of shuffling before they opened a hole up for him to walk through and hold them apart.  When they got to the pen, they tried to make a couple of breaks for it but Donnie caught them and pushed them back in to the mouth for Scott to scoop in.  It was a beautiful run and earned them a 95 to top the day and get into the double lift.
June ran a little later in the day. It looked like she had learned her lesson about how to get up the hill and started out on a nice outrun.  However, as she got to the top, she went a little deep and spotted the set out pen and got stuck up there.  Scott had to call her back and call it a day.  His only comment was, "How was she going to be any help rustling sheep if she only brought me the 5?  She was helping me by bringing the whole flock."
Lori Cunningham ran Matt in the early afternoon too.  Matt had been a little perplexed the day before by these western sheep that were different than anything he had ever seen.  Yesterday, Lori kept him moving and didn't let him get careful and even though the run didn't end up placing, Matt looked much better.  It was of particular interest to me because his little brother, Ford, is my next dog and I was wanting to see if that line of dogs was going to be able to handle these sheep.  Matt showed that with a little practice, there was nothing to worry about.
Last, in the afternoon, when it was hot, I ran Laddie.  I can't tell you how proud I was of our run and yet just as disappointed.  Lad went out a little wide on the outrun which made me think he was not happy about getting to his sheep but that was a premature thought.  When he got up there, I gave him one flank to the comebye and a lift whistle and he brought them right on down the line and through the panels.  A nice turn around the post and we both checked our patience and took it easy moving the sheep up the dangerous drive away line, keeping the sheep from dashing off to the nearby exhaust.  The wind picked up as we went through the panel so I leaned into it and blew for all I was worth to help him make the turn and start on the crossdrive.  I hollered his name twice to loosen up his inside flank and keep the sheep on the line and before I knew it we were in front of the next panel.  A little wrestling with the sheep and we got them through, back on the third leg of the drive and into the shedding ring.  I had 5 minutes to finish and I panicked.  It was a run that was going to put me in the finals.  Probably challenge Scott for first if I finished clean and I had never run such a nice run.  But that was where it ended.  In my haste to finish the shed, I pushed on the sheep.  One girl was trying to get to the exhaust and I ended up losing her and she promptly jumped the fence with her buddies following. 
But good boy, Laddie. 
Bad girl, Jenny. 
On to the finals...
Scott and Donnie watch the fog roll in on the top of the hill as the prepare for their outrun
Scott and Don turn the post
Don holds his shed
The pen
Lori Cunningham's Matt
Matt on the drive away

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