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4th of July Stockdog and Conformation Trial - Cayucos, CA - 07/04/2005

This is always one of my favorite Stockdog trials to attend. First, it is on my home turf so I don’t have to drive anywhere (once I get to Cayucos that is!) and second, the conformation show is a lot of fun! This year, Marilee talked me into being the Trial Secretary for one of the Conformation shows – more on that later!

I only entered Cinder in this trial and she was entered in both the duck runs and all 4 of the sheep runs. Gale is in Open and she is NOT ready for it so I decided to save my money until we are both convinced Gale knows what driving is J

Briefly (and so it doesn’t look like I am bragging overmuch,) Cinder was AMAZING. We have never worked so consistently well as a team, despite my usual error of giving her the wrong flank on one run all the way to the first panel. She, brilliant dog that she is, ignored me – and once I had figured out what I was doing, I spent the rest of the run just telling her she was a good dog. No flanks, nothing – just “good girl” because I felt so terrible about confusing her that way. It wasn’t too bad of a mistake I guess because of all the 4 sheep runs we had, Cinder won every single one of the them (she got one score of 117 and the other three were 119’s!) and took High in Trial Sheep for every one of those runs. She also took 2nd and 3rd on ducks and went High Combined Other Breed for the whole weekend! What a dynamite dog! The best part of the weekend was when one of the judges came up and told me that Cin and I had improved greatly since the last time she saw us. Nice to know all the work and training (thank you Kathy Warren!) are paying off!

On to Conformation….I got suckered into entering Sizzle in the conformation ring. Kristin McNamara handles all my dogs for me and she was gracious enough to agree to run the puppy around the ring. A little background info here: Sizzle had to compete in the 2-4 month Puppy class since she was 2 days shy of 4 months old. There were two other puppies in the class and they were really puppies – somewhere around 10 weeks old – fluffy, adorable and conformation bred. And then there was Sizzle: all legs and obviously working bred. It was pretty entertaining to watch. First puppy entered the ring – all hair and bone – and trundled around perfectly. Second puppy entered and did the same. Then Sizzle entered the ring. No sedate trotting for my pup! She would trot a couple steps and then LEAP at Kristin for the food. When that didn’t work (she didn’t get fed) she started heeling Kristin around the ring. I could hear Kristin muttering “Don’t bite! Don’t bite!” all the way around. I just about fell over laughing! Needless to say, Sizzle got completely dumped BUT Kristin made it a fun experience for her and I am grateful for her expertise! Kristin handled Kali to an Altered Reserve Winners Bitch in a very large class! YAY Kristin!

Sunday we were back in the ring (or I should say Kristin and Kali were back in the ring.) The Open Black class had a really nice bitch in it and it was a complete nail biter – but Kali won and we were off to the Altered Winners Bitch class (which was a major.) Kristin worked her tuckus off, Kali showed wonderfully and Kali got her first major! Kristin had to go show stockdogs for Altered Winners so Kathy Bryan was generous enough to step in and she handled Kali to Altered Best of Winners! Thank you Kathy and Kristin!

The afternoon trial did not go as well. That cute black bitch I told you about earlier? Well, she beat Kali in the Open Black class and went on to get the major. But hey, Kali got one that weekend so life is good!

I came home with TONS of ribbons and two very successful and happy dogs. No wonder I love this trial so much!

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