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This Sheep’s For Ewe Stockdog Trial Jumps for Ewe Agility Trial Cayucos, CA
May 27- 29, 2006

This is probably my favorite trial EVER. Both trials are very low-key, super friendly and the weather is always perfect. On Saturday, May 27, there was a sanctioned Stockdog trial (on sheep only) and then in the afternoon – agility with sheep! Cinder was good girlie and won the Advanced sheep class (even though I kept messing her up on the cross drive – I MUST work on that!) Then the fun began. The fun sheep/agility trial was divided into three classes – Novice, Open and Advanced. The Novice folks worked strictly in the arena and had four obstacles to do: make the sheep jump over a bench, go over/under a table, climb an A-Frame ramp (low) with a foot bath at the end, and then hold the sheep on a dog mat. You got bonus points if your dog jumped the bench, got in the water for the foot bath and got on the table (without the handler touching the dog!) You also got bonus points if you (not the dog) were able to pull wool.

 

The Open dogs had all the same obstacles but more were added: you had to take the sheep outside the arena where there were three additional obstacles: a bridge the sheep had to go over, a trailer you had to load the sheep into and, last but not least, 8 trees you had to “weave” with the sheep and your dog. Advanced dogs had all these obstacles plus one more: you had to be able to call your dog off the sheep and go work the GEESE (which are bigger than Cinder!) You had to move the geese in and out of their field. Advanced and Open dogs had only 10 minutes to accomplish all these chores.

Cinder and I had a BLAST. Cin was so excited when we started that she was squeaking – which is a wee bit unnerving Needless to say, Cinder did EVERYTHING perfect – except she would NOT jump the bench (she kept going under it) and refused to get in the water. I FINALLY managed to get her on the table (she wouldn’t do it last year) but losing those two extra bonus points did us in. We ran the weave poles and there is a great picture of her keeping those sheep tucked directly into me and I never had to say a word. Cin was flawless but, as I mentioned above, we lost to a bitchin’ Aussie named Sarge (loved and owned by Sue Graham.) I must say, Sarge did everything and more that Cin did and well deserved the win!
Onto the agility trial. This will (mostly) be brief because I don’t remember a whole heck of a lot of the trial. I entered every dog I own (literally) to support the trial.

On Sunday, I had Gale, Kali, Patches and Cinder in Elite Standard and Elite Gamblers (1 run of Gamblers, 2 Standards) and in Novice Standard and Gamblers, I had Kane, Bess and Chance entered. So…what’s that? 21 runs??? And the entries were fairly small – we figured out that I was about 20-25% of the entry which meant I was running a dog ALL the time. Gamblers was a total washout for me and all my dogs – not one Q. Although I must say, Cinder earned 10 more points in the opening than the dog who won the class – she was smoking! Standards went much better – Kali picked up a 5 point Q, Cinder Q’d in both Standards (with 1st places,) Patches picked up a full Q and a 5 pointer (with a 1st and 3rd) so Elite went quite well for me.

Then it was time for the “baby dogs” in Novice. Kane picked up a full Q and a 5 point Q (both with 2nd’s.) Good doggie Kane! Kane is just starting to show – with minimal training I might add. He was awesome – stuck all his contacts and kept all his bars up. Then it was Chance’s turn. Nancy and I were both worried about ASCA courses and Chance because when he gets going, he tends to flatten out and knock bars. And boy, does he get going! But he was WONDERFUL – stuck all his contacts, hit all his weaves and ended up with a full Q (and 1st place) and a 5 point Q (3rd place!) Yay Chancie!!! We won’t even talk about Bess – she was not happy out in the ring and this show finalized my decision to not show her again. She likes (kind of) to practice, but showing stresses her out too much.

And it’s not like I don’t have enough dogs to run! Monday was three rounds of Jumpers and I had entered Oso. I was more excited about running Oso (he’s been retired for about 3 years now) than any of my other dogs. He was my first agility partner and I still miss running him. Much to my dismay, he came up lame on the first round of jumpers and he did not run for the rest of the day. It was quite depressing: he kept pulling me towards the agility ring all day and looking at the equipment. I guess the old guy really IS too old now.
Onto more fun stuff. My Elite dogs did GREAT in Jumpers: Kali picked up a couple legs (with placements,) Patches ran clean every time and took 2nd every time, Cinder ran clean twice (for two blues) and Gale ran clean all three runs (1 2nd and two 3rd‘s!) YAY BEASTIES!

Nancy and I had entered her young dog, Maddie (Windsongs Sky’s the Limit) just in Jumpers to see what would happen. Nancy has worked with Maddie on jumping but Ms. Maddie and I (or “Princess” as I call her) have worked together only a couple times. She was LOVELY – screamed around the courses and ran clean twice (I sent her off course into a tunnel on her first run or she would have been clean all three runs!) She ended up with a 1st place and I think a 3rd and earned her first title ever: JS-N. YAY!!! Kane also managed to get around clean twice and earn his JS-N (with a 2nd and a 4th) and so did Chancie!!! (With a blue and a red – I think.) So, my three baby dogs all earned their JS-N this weekend and I am so proud of all of them!
I must say however, that the highlight (for me) was that Kane and Chance (with another dog) all tied for High In Trial Novice dog! I NEVER expected anything like that out of Kane!

I think he is going to be tons of fun to run – if I ever train him <VBG.> So – a HIT tie is broken by YPS (yards per second: in other words, which dog ran the fastest.) CHANCE WON!!!!! I thought Nancy was going to split her face she was grinning so hard! YAY CHANCIE!!! All in all, the best weekend! I can hardly wait for next Memorial Day!

 

 
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