Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stirling Acres Trial - Open and Nursery

OK, now that I actually have the name of the trial right (it's IN Coldstream, but AT Stirling Acres), we can talk about the open trial!  Scott and I both decided to send our dogs to the right today into the water.  Donnie was the first of ours to go and charged out well to the right, when he hit the water, his little legs pumped through it and shooed off the geese bathing there.   Not bothered at all, he went to the top, had a good lift and a good fetch.  His drive away was was good but on the crossdrive, even though he was direct and moving them nicely, they split into two and two.  Donnie did an incredible job of working the front two to get through the panel and then getting the back two.  Back and forth, back and forth and only lost 7 on his drive.  Obviously, the shed was easy (although it was one of the few) and then a good pen.  Even with the difficult drive, Donnie placed 4th today.
Because of Donnie's nice geese clearing, Laddie had it easier but he went right into the water and pretty much had to swim/slog through it so that when he got to the top he was exhausted (remember he's out of shape because he was injured all winter).  He felt like an old dog moving around the course.  He needed one blow over the top to get a little deeper - he was a little lost in the water, and he took it nicely and had a good fetch.  A little bobble on the drive away and one of the few really good crossdrives (most people were very low). Unfortunately, I guessed too low on the 3rd leg and lost some points there. In the shedding ring, the tricky sheep got the best of me and I didn't set it up right, getting two missed attempts before getting it and then doing an easy pen. He was 13th place.
June went out to the right and didn't really get bogged down in the moat, but I don't think those nice lesson sheep had ever seen anything with her energy before and they took off like a shot! 
June on the fetch
Her fetch and drive were good despite them but she was hesitant to come in on Scott's running shed and had two missed attempts before getting it done and then putting them in the pen. Still, she finished in 7th place.
I decided to send Hemp left since I didn't need to aggravate his winter injury in the water, and I needed him to save energy since he is in worse shape than Laddie.  He did well on the outrun and lift but surprised me on the fetch by not being straight on his own.  I was hoping he would fix it on his own, since asking him to flank on these touchy sheep was dangerous.  I waited too long for him to fix it and we missed the fetch panels.  Shortly after, we got it nicely under control and had a nice drive with another really good crossdrive.  I had the sheep a little better figured out in the shed,
I call Hemp in on the shed
and of course, Hemp is better at coming in anyway, and he had nothing off with a perfect pen. He placed 16th.
Next was the nursery.  They brought the outrun back in to the pro novice set out and moved in the crossdrive panels but left the long drive away.
Skippy had a great outrun and lift but on the fetch it was becoming obvious that his sheep were going to try to split up like they did with Don.  It got bad on the crossdrive and Skippy didn't understand how to fix it so Scott retired so he could help him.
Skip turns the post
 Ben was next and had a nice outrun but was a little worried about the set out person so Scott retired to help him, but he had a very nice fetch after that.  He'll get some more training with a set out person next week so hopefully his next few trials will go better.
Erin was good at the top but in trying to be good, she was often far off her sheep and concerned about them.  Scott retired with her to help her build her confidence.
Ford and I were next.  All in all, he wasn't bad but he had some mistakes that need work.  He had a good outrun to the left, and came in on a nice lift, but as expected, he was charging them a little too fast so I chewed him out to settle him down and flanked him too late to make the panels.  Once he was at my feet, he had a good drive away with a little bobble in front of the panels but still made them and had a nice turn and start on the crossdrive.  I tried to open his inside flank by asking him to that'll do towards me, but I was in the wrong position, and it caused him to spin instead and after making the crossdrive panels, he took a wrong flank and had to make a very big  turn once I set him straight.  He did a nice job with his pen.  I ran him a little scared today and I vow to settle down and run him bravely tomorrow.
Alice was the star of our kennel and even though the first leg was so obviously already won by Carol Nelson and Tiki, Alice was second best and got second place, getting her first leg towards the nationals!
Alice on the fetch
 Her littermate, Louanne's Gus also looked very good and it's just a matter of time before his confidence is up enough to get his own final's legs.

Open I (44 dogs)
1. Jennifer Macdonell and Deisel 93 (won in a run off)
2. Lee Lumb and Nan 93
3. Carol Nelson and Taff 91
4. Scott Glen and Don 89
5. Chris Hanson and Teak 87
6. Carol Nelson and Zip 87
7. Scott Glen and June 86
8. Lynne Schweb and Dex 86
9. Lee Lumb and Cass 86
10. Thad Buckler and Nick 82

Nursery I (13 dogs)
1. Carol Nelson and Tiki
2. Scott Glen and Alice

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