The weather has cooled off entirely. Much of today was overcast with the odd sprinkling moisture (that’s how rain is measured in the desert). The dog running was fascinating, the sheep big show girls, without asking so many pointed questions as showing flat disdain for the dogs. It made it fun.
Dorey was the earliest high roller, with an adorable go around the course. With five full minutes at the pen, I could not put them in. Who knows how far you could have gone with Lavon Calzacorta at the trigger. What grips would have been tolerated? I tried every trick in the book, short of calling on Dorey to really shift them, and they never budged. She held an 82 without the pen, which turned out to be just enough to carry her into the final. Barbara Ray laid one down with Stella that scored her finalist status, and Bev delivered with Nan, scoring a ninety. Howell had qualified the day before but ran real well anyway, scoring an 88. The running was thrilling to execute, with good timing and canine authority rewarded at every turn. They sheep were devilish at the pen.
Allen Mills, of Texas, had one of the most memorable runs in the preliminaries. Sis, at ten years old, has had a brilliant career and now a long one to boot. She picks every sweet spot at the end of flanks and gives a perfect amount of ground to leave sheep relaxed within her turns. What a wonderful partner she has been for Allen, and I look forward to watching her at the next two trials. She didn’t quite pen, which cost her a spot on the final day.
Tomorrow the double lift Finals.