Traveling and trialing
The NoCal trial circuit was a great success.
Suzy and John Applegate put on their first trial (Plymouth, CA) and it went very well. The trial field was challenging as were the sheep … but that’s the way it should be. What a great area to have a trial … beautiful rolling hills, green grass, scattered oak trees and ponds all around. We even had the enjoyment of 3 swans flying in to land on one of the ponds.
The hilly outrun was trickier than it looked – making some dogs cross and others go to wide. The fetch including crossing a stream and it took a “bit” of push to convince the sheep they REALLY did need to go. The post was positioned at the top of a hill and turning the sheep around it was difficult. Some sheep beat the dogs and got back into the exhaust (The second day they turned around a rock at the bottom of the hill instead of coming all the way up to the post). The drive was across another stream and “by then” the sheep were not that willing to comply – so again it took a little convincing by the dogs. Then on to the shed and pen (which the sheep didn’t seem to mind).
There was plenty of room to walk dogs and enjoy the scenery. That’s always a bonus when you are traveling with 6 dogs :@)
Here are the results:
Then on to Sandy Milberg’s trial (Santa Rosa, CA) that always runs like a precision clock. Great sheep, really good set out along with every other “detail” allowing the trial to go on without a hitch (which is the “norm” for that trial).
The first day had 50+ dogs running Nursery and/or PN. The sheep were VERY challenging for the young dogs but not unreasonable to handle.
The next day we were on to Open. Two trial fields are run concurrently (allowing 80+ dogs to run). The “Flat” field (that really isn’t flat) usually allows for more finesse and posts the highest scores – but this year seem to be the exception. There were some tremendous runs on the Hill field (which really IS a hill :@) and the scores “beat out” the flat field.