Last of my blog. Most of our party had a successful day, myself, not so much.
Ran early and Joe wasn’t so good. Oh well, another trial down the road. Mich, Barbara and Amanda all had a good day, getting through to the final.
The sheep were good, not running too much although there was some fighting, especially with poor Stella’s run. She was a star, handling a very aggressive ewe with real aplomb and more than earning her big score.
Another trip drawing to a close for me nothing left now but a long drive home. Thanks for reading this blog.
Another beautiful Colorado day. Not much wind but plenty of sunshine. Good running on the Open field.
The nursery sheep were quite a bit heavier I thought than in the preliminary round. It was hard to get a flow. Every time the dog wasn’t six inches away from them they stopped and sometimes when the dog was very close they stopped anyway.
My dog didn’t mind the heavy, but all the necessary stopping and flanking exceeded her training and we ended up ringing them at the second drive. Joni had no problem, with Ben winning easily I think. There have been very few scores posted. We never really knew who had what score on the nursery field as they were never posted there. We’re still waiting the final result as I write.
Back from looking at the new course. They moved the setout over and back another 75 yards. The drive us further away and reversed. Pretty straight forward except the drive is in a low spot for the last half so going to be very difficult to see and judge the panel.
I drew up 12th with Joe. Hoping for the best.
Joni did win the nursery. Charles Williams was second with a lovely little bitch named Lyn. I was 16th with Lee and very proud of her. She performed well above her degree of training. Next year we’ll hopefully do better.
I’ve been delinquent. I’m sorry. The only internet is on the hill up above Barbara’s camper and last night was cold and windy with thunderstorms. I opted to hole up in my camper and not add to this blog.
It’s been good running mornings with wind in the afternoons. The wind coupled with difficult yearling sheep made for low scores. It appears that a 120 or lower will make the cut for the top 40 and Saturday’s semi-final.
Mich, Barbara and I all ran today which has been the best day of running I think. There wasn’t any wind to speak of until after noon and that was more at our backs than in previous days. The field is very flat with a few spots with not great acoustics, add any wind and hard sheep and many dogs can’t hear anything.
Mich got a 120 and Barbara and Maverick aced it with a gorgeous run and a 172, high score thus far. Joe and I struggled to get a 127. We could have done better, but a ewe broke at the pen and Joe opted to keep the 4 we had instead of flanking. I was fairly annoyed until I saw Allen Mill’s great bitch, Sis, get in the same mess after a stellar run and end up with a grip and no score. Ouch. It was a beautiful go not needing a pen.
One of the many tables at Amanda and Howell’s celebratory dinner. They won going away with a nearly flawless run. Howell took charge of the sheep and never accepted anything but perfect obedience from them. It was excellent.
Barbara ran well also but had a little trouble with Stella’s turnback. Derek was second with another really good go.
It was an excellent final with the sheep being very sheddable, resulting in many completed runs, unusual for Meeker.
I have one more practice on the morning and then we are all off to Carbondale for the finals.
Thursday was a down day for me. Went to the practice field on the morning to work all the dogs very briefly. Half an hour spread over three dogs goes very fast. Spent the rest of the day watching the runs and reading.
The running was either much better or there were much better handlers running. Many, many scores over the 60 point cutoff. Amanda especially got on very well, winning the day with Dorey.
Today turned out to be very tough running, with only one score in the 80s and one in the 70s. The worse day yet. Happily for me, running late in the day Joe proved up to the work and had a really good late afternoon run, winning the trial. Happy day for me.
Had a lovely handler’s banquet hosted by the Meeker committee. It was Mexican and delicious. After the trial they did the running order for tomorrow. Amanda is up early with Howell. The remainder of our dogs run after lunch. Wish us luck. 30 dogs will run with marked sheds and 12 dogs getting into the final
First day of running was tough. The sheep were happy to run in just about any direction. Some dogs struggled with the outrun, but mostly it was difficult sheep that destroyed hopes.
It took about a 60 to make the top eight cut for automatic inclusion in the semifinal. Shauna Gourley set an early high bar with an 80 that wasn’t met all day. Terry Warner got a 77 midday and at the end of the day Ron Burkey and his nursery dog, Rocky, scored a 74.
I had no luck with Nan, running a dismal 50. We missed every obstacle in a spectacular show of incompetence on both our parts. Oh well, tomorrow’s another day, I hope.
Is anyone actually reading this besides Heather??
(Editor’s Note: Does that really matter? Who is more important than I?)
Today was the big arrival day at Meeker. When I got here last night the parking area looked full, and another 30-40 rigs arrived today. We’re seriously packed in here now.
Not much happening. Did laundry. Had a nice long dog walk in the morning. Mary Minor and I went over and worked on the practice sheep. They mostly ran all the time except when they were standing next to the exhaust gate. I’m not sure anyone learned anything. I got to give my nursery dog, Lee, the first work since we left Dennis’s over a week ago. That alone seemed worthwhile. These trips are very hard on the young dogs. I’m going to try and get her over there a few more times this week.
The trial field looks great, a lot of grass. The infield from behind the fetch gates in is mowed and green. The rest is tall yellow grass. Will make spotting the sheep hard.
I run Nan tomorrow. Amanda and Barbara are also both running. They’re before me so I get to see what they do. Always good to get the take of some skilled handlers before attacking the course, especially one as tough as this one.
Didn’t have quite the day I’d hoped in the finals. Both dogs handled their outruns and turnbacks well, but Joe and I couldn’t manage to hold our she sheep and so never finished. Nan had a fighter in her first group and managed to completely lose her head on the fetches. Not like her and unfortunate, but that’s life.
I missed Amanda and Dorey’s triumphant run as I left during the lunch break and drove to Meeker. It’s about a 5 1/2 hour drive best done in either daylight or the dark because of all the deer and elk. I opted for daylight.
It’s a lively crispy morning here and we have a day to rest and do laundry and get ready to try and make another final. At least at Meeker there is room for many small successes, unlike Soldier Hollow. Meeker pays day money and pays all the finalists a fair share of the purse. I think that makes the trial much more enjoyable for everyone lucky enough to get in. It seems as if it’s getting as hard to get into trials as it is to win them
The quality of this day was fully revealed to me at its conclusion, when I had a really good run with Nan to qualify her for the final. It’s tough waiting until the end of the day to run, but it gave me an opportunity to watch many strategies on the course and make my own plans. Happily, it worked out.
Amanda ran early in the day and had a great run but no pen. Barbara ran in the mid-afternoon and did great, managing a perfect pen for an 85. Scott and Don won the day with 91. Ron Enzeroth and Mick had a good go they didn’t need, since they were already in, coming second. Nan was third. Dennis Gellings and Tess were the fifth team to qualify.
We’re all dinner now at the Zermatt. The running starts at 8:00 tomorrow. I can hardly wait. Good times.
Disappointing day for me and a few other people. Nan was up first and was great. Alas, she had a sheep that wanted to fight and kept attacking her. In spite of this we managed to get everything but only scored a 72 for 7th place. Nan was sure good. I’m really proud of her.
Amanda had more luck with Howell drawing a reasonable group and doing a good job with them.
Ran Joe at the end of the day and the best we could manage was a 74 for 5th place.
So that’s Amanda and me, each in with one. We will get another chance to get our second dogs in tomorrow. Amanda runs in the morning and I run near the end.