My Open Ranch (Pro Novice in the West) dog this year is 3 year old Mike.
Mikey is a son of Scott's Don (2013 USBCHA National Champion) who is a son of three time USBCHA National Champion, Star. Mikey's greyhound like body type and speed are attributes clearly passed on from Grandmother Star, and not from his shorter legged father, Don.
Mikey's grandmother, Starat the Plumb Lucky Trial in MO
Mike's mother is Wendy Schmaltz's Gin (2010 All Around Stockdog), a granddaughter of Scott's Dan. Mike is out of the first breeding of Don and Gin and his full sister from the second cross is Scott's Alice, who won the 2013 USBCHA Nursery Championships before she was two years old. Other notable dogs in that same cross are Wendy's Kye, Louanne Twa's Gus and Jeanne Boudrieau's Flint who is being run by Scott in the nursery classes this year - and, of course, our 4 month old Anne is the last to be born of those two dogs.
Magic Mike working this Spring at Alta-Pete Farm
Mike is 4 months too old for this year's nurseries and missed his nursery year last year due to injury. When he was one year old, Mike was running in a field while we were traveling, and hit a stake in the ground, rupturing his cruciate ligament (knee). Because Scott had seen Mike work enough as a youngster, and x-rays showed his hips to be good, we thought it was worth the time and money to fix his knee. Unfortunately, the first surgery didn't work because every time he was taken off the antibiotics, he developed a high fever. It was determined that he was having an allergic reaction to the bands holding his knee together and a second surgery was done two months after the first. This one worked and Mikey spent last Winter rehabilitating and couldn't get enough training in to run in a trial. He was originally Scott's dog, but I did all his nursing and rehab. Scott was concerned that Mike might not hold up to his rigorous training schedule, but felt he was a good enough dog that he didn't want to let him go out of our kennel, so he gave him to me. (and very grateful I am!) This past Summer, Mikey battled a groin injury - (common after this type of surgery) to further slow his training, but it seems to be under control right now. He often rocks the weight off that leg when standing, especially when he is tired, but when he's working sheep, you wouldn't know he'd been injured and he's the fastest dog in our kennel. How well he will hold up to the larger open courses will be determined next year.
Mikey is a very talented dog who is way above my pay grade and I hope I can do him justice this year. I'm a slower trainer than Scott so my new dogs will be going to their first trials very green broke but Mike is an honest and stylish dog with alot of talent and I'm sure we will improve as we get our trial experience. Mike's first trial will be at Lee Lumb's Stirling Acres in 2 weeks in the Pro Novice (Open Ranch in the East) class.