Cayucos Fall Classic Stockdog Trial
August 28 - 29, 2008
I decided to enter Sizzle in Started across the board on cattle, sheep and ducks for this trial to see what would happen J She has had extremely limited experience on cattle (not sure what in heck to do with them) and none on ducks. She has played around with geese some (there is a reason I call them “foul”) but never ducks. I crossed my fingers knowing that the stock is always fantastic at this trial, and just entered her in everything.
I had been at stockdog camp the five days prior to the trial and Sizzle had gotten a taste of cows but wasn’t brave enough to go to head: she would just follow them around. At least she wouldn’t get run over that way! I was quite nervous before our first run on Saturday (which was cattle) and it felt like a litter of kittens was chasing a whole bunch of butterflies in my belly. Sizzle was wonderful! She not only followed the cattle with more confidence than she had shown all week, she actually thought about going to head a couple times! Yay Bizzle!
Her first time trialing on cattle
Our next run was sheep and she was SUPER hot to trot after all that confidence building from the cattle. And let me say, Sizzle has never needed confidence on sheep J She was so excited I had to down her a lot (I mean A LOT) more than I usually do: I needed to not let her get trial savvy. Right now, she has a fabulous stop and I would really (really, really) like to keep it. So our first sheep run, while decent, was more a lesson in obedience than anything else. Our last run on Saturday was the ducks. Ick. She started out completely ignoring them: every time I would flank her she would look around like “What am I working? Where are the sheep/cows?” Finally, after the ducks had drifted through the first panel, she went “Heeeyyy, there’s something moving out here” and went to work. I knew the judge was a harsh one so I was not expecting a Q out of that run but I was pleased that she had actually looked at the ducks.
Awards on Saturday night were a pleasant surprise. Sizzle had Q’d with a 4th on sheep, Q’d with a 3rd on cattle, and Q’d with a FIRST on ducks! Wow! No other Started dog qualified on the ducks and Sizzle barely did but still, good girlie.
Her Started title run on cows
I was a lot less nervous on Sunday because my only goals for the trial were to get one Q in each class. Expecting more wouldn’t have been fair for my baby dog. Once again, our first run was cattle and as they let the stock out, I thought “Oh no – it’s that high-headed red one.” We managed to get them through the first panel and then that red one high-tailed it back to the re-pen gate. Sizzle actually thought about stopping her (and barked!) but still wasn’t brave enough yet. We went and collected the solo cow, took her back to the other 3 waiting patiently at the 2nd panel (good cows!!) and finished our run. When I watched it on tape I was thrilled that she had made an attempt to stop that cow but was also disappointed because I didn’t feel it was a qualifying run. Oh well. Our sheep run was FABULOUS. The obedience from the previous day had totally paid off. The sheep were hysterical (as they are wont to be on day 2 of a trial where lots of the dogs are running them ragged) but Sizzle had a lovely controlled run and I walked out thrilled with her performance. Our final run of the trial were the infamous ducks. She still wasn’t that interested in them and, as with the cattle run, while I was happy she was trying to cooperate with me, I didn’t think it was as good a run as the previous day.
1st place finish and Started title on Sheep
Sunday night awards were a very pleasant surpsise. Not only did Sizzle qualify on ducks and cattle, she took 3rd in both classes. And SHE WON SHEEP!!!!! Yay Bizzle brain! I was so proud I was bursting and not really paying attention to anything after that (in my little haze of joy.) I was sitting there thinking “Wow, she finished all her started titles in one trial! With placements in EVERY class. Wow.” Through the self-congratulory haze I heard people calling “Kristi! Kristi!!” I looked around and the judges were holding large dog mats (like what you put down under x-pens) saying “Congratulations!” with big smiles on their faces. Sizzle had won the High-Combined Started Dog award! WOO-HOO!!!! What a terrific weekend and what a terrific dog