For me it has been like old home week - reconnecting with friends from my California past. (hey, Sarah and Michelle!)
Yesterday was the first day of running and I think we all realized that it wasn't going to be that easy. It's not that the sheep are belligerent or heavy. Its just that they aren't going to run around the course in a straight line for you and the judges in the open (Alasdair MacRae and Michael Gallager) are going to make you work for a good score.
Yesterday the top score was a 150 by Erin O'brien layed down by her at the end of the day. I missed it but I hear it was a beautiful run. The other two big scores were a tied 148 with Amanda Milliken and Roz and Don Helsely and Ash.
This morning, Scott ran June and she didn't disappoint. Her outrun was a tad big and the sheep were quite a ways off the set out spot by the time she got there. She didn't help her lift when she came in short but Scott put her over and all went well after that. The sheep can be touchy at the panels and Scott had to do a couple of quick flanks to make sure he got the fetch gates but June's speed came in handy.
|June holds her line to make the fetch panels|
|Scott and June turn the sheep around the post|
|The first shed|
|Scott and June work the pen|
Miss Bliss had her run on the nursery field today. The field is deceptive in that it seems like it should be pretty easy because it's not that big but it is actually difficult! It has a slight hill
|Bliss lifting off of the hill on the nursery field|
|Bliss on the crossdrive|
|Bliss works for her pen|
From a personal point of view, I was rooting for Ron Enzeroth and his young Pete dog who is a half brother of my Ford (from Tom Forrester's Pete). They ended the day in 4th!
Laddie and I run in open tomorrow, 4th up in the morning. It's a very good time to run. I really hope I can keep from wasting it.
Scott and Wynn run tomorrow in nursery and Donnie will finish up the open on Friday afternoon.
The best place to catch the scores is on the USBCHA page here: http://sheepdogfinals.org/wordpress1/
They are also on facebook with scores and info about the runs: http://www.facebook.com/pages/2012-National-Sheepdog-Finals/244138255659667
and Diane Pagel is giving short summaries of the runs on her blog: http://deltabluez.blogspot.com/