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Amanda: Soldier Hollow, Day 1

The first day at Soldier Hollow is a quiet one. Only several hundred spectators. Handlers getting their feet on the ground, resting from the long commutes. The sheep were tall, racey and naive. They make great study for dog handlers as they expose so much about the dogs. Every wrong move. Every scaredy cat eventually is exposed on sheep like these. Every missing confidence. Many caved at the end of their runs with altitude wrecking their stamina. The heat in the afternoon, while not as as blistering as it can be, was harsh, compared to the chill of he early mornings.

Dorey’s fetch was good but argumentative with her sheep after a gratifying outrun. Timing killed the driveaway panel with sheep bolting up the drive and missing narrowly to the outside. I might have been OK with that, but not with the two minutes required to return the shed sheep to the ring for the march to the pen, where I couldn’t finish. She was seventh or eighth, not among the five guaranteed a spot on the final day. Her next run is Sunday morning–onward.

Louanne Twa, a last minute entry on a cancellation, rose up to the top for winning the day with 83 points. Her dog was forward and free, a skillful sheep manager and all round good looking representative for the Canadian flag.

We barbecued some King salmon and got some sleep.

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