I think Joe could have tried a little harder on our split but he claimed not to understand which group I wanted him to turn on ending our chances at making the final. Still we did better than I had anticipated and I’ve had a good time.
I was running the wrong kind of dogs for these sheep. I’ve had dogs that would have suited them very well. If I again have that kind of dog I might even be tempted to make this trip once more.
The running in the semis got off to s really strong start with s perfect run my Serge Vanderbilt sweep and progressed generally downward on a slow trajectory of deteriorating sheep. There were some great runs all day to remind people it could still be done. I was especially impressed by Michael Gallagher’s young dog who had a great go. Will be a strong final tomorrow.
Went to the gala this evening for some of the best food thus far this trip.
It’s late, so this will be short. You’ve all no doubt seen the highlights as the day progressed. The only one to get through was Derek. Amanda had an ok morning run with a missed panel, but there were too many runs with nothing missed for it to hold up.
Nan and I had an independent sort of ewe that out-foxed us and we had not much. Did get the second panel, which was nice after our Belgian trip. Nan ran well, but not our day. Joe tries tomorrow. Amanda and Monty and Ron and Sky as well. Ron had a very good trip around with Shadow but a poor shed and no single.
All and all the US team didn’t shine, but we all had respectable runs and good excuses.
Rainy morning picked up considerably when Amanda texted to say she wanted to go the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. I picked her up at her hotel and we made the 45K joint in about an hour. Traffic was very slow in the city and by the time we got parked and to the Museum we had over an hour wait in the not inconsiderable rain.
I waited in line while Amanda did a little light shopping which happily included rijksmuseum tickets. So we spent a few hours looking at some of the greatest art in the western world. Then we drove across the city center to the old part of Amsterdam to a famous chicory shop and lunch.
After I dropped Amanda back at her room I was back to my hotel to drop off a few purchases and pick up my dogs for the handler parade through Hoodsweg. It was really nice. The village sidewalks were full of people clapping and wishing us well. It was a 2 mike walk and then a good part of an hour standing for speeches followed by a half mile walk back to our cars. So we were glad to get dinner at field 1.
The day finished st 8:00 with the brief handler’s meeting on field 2 where Ron, Amanda and I all run tomorrow. The running starts st 7:00 so by the time you all get up our dates will be sealed. The field is big, very green, perfectly trimmed and flat as a pancake. The sheep looked fit and happy and not dissimilar to what we’ve been running although less multicolored.
First day of the Belgian Open was very pleasant upper 70s turning to a bit of rain in the afternoon. The trial is being run on three fields with the handlers divided into three cohorts. My cohort ran on field 3 in the morning and field 2 in the afternoon.
Again alas rerun sheep changed significantly as they were run. By the end of the day they were bolting around the post to the exhaust and in a few unfortunate cases right off the field. This didn’t prevent Scott and Derek in my group from running well. Poor handling in regards to the second drive gate ruined those of my runs that weren’t already trashed by Joe’s not listening on the fetch. I had two okay runs and two bad ones. Getting rid of the bad mojo before the big event I hope.
Faansie and Elmaria arrived and added to a very pleasant group with whom to spend the day. Unfortunately the way the fields were arranged all over town we got to see very little running, just our own group. Tomorrow more of the same then on to the World.
Dogs ran great. Joe had a particularly good go on the small field. Not normally his forte. Alas neither was good enough for the double lift. Nan ended up twelfth. Scott is the only one of us to get in.
Not much to report as I left to drive to my next B&B then spent two hours trying to explain Trump and the American electoral process to my hosts. Was a struggle since I haven’t figured the Trump thing out myself. Happily we moved on to a far ranging discussion of European politics and gardening.
Drive out to the new fields. Bigger than the previous trial, happily. Now at dinner with friends not discussing politics.
Long day. Hot again although not as humid, hot or windy as yesterday. It has cooled off now and we’re all wearing our beautiful new handler jackets that Heather Haynes arranged for the US team.
Ran Nan early this morning on the small field. The draw is everything there as a bad sheep can ruin a great effort as we demonstrated. Nan was great her one sheep not so much and we ended with 85. She redeemed herself later in the big field scoring 92. Joe ran great as well getting a 94. So they are both remote possibles for the double lift as is Joe Haynes and Pepper. We get our final runs in the morning.
Serge Vanderbilt Sweep and Jaran Knive have dominated along with Nigel Watkins. The US team has managed not to embarrass ourselves and we’re getting quite the warm up.
I got to see James McGee and Silver in a bad sheep at the pen on field 1. A lamentable common occurrence, very impressive heading just enough to turn the ewe and never a misstep. They are deservedly leading the pack.
Tomorrow we all get one more run and the head to Belgium for an evening handlers meeting.
Editor’s Note: Bev will be also posting on Facebook, but we’re duplicating the posts here for those who want to read them this way.
First day of competition at the Dutch Open. The sheep are mixed bag of some kind of red and white breeds. They are smallish and light boned and moderately active. There aren’t a lot of them. They needed to rerun them at least three times and maybe four, we aren’t finished yet. They improved with the rerunning in spite of the increasing heat. It was about 90 by mid-afternoon and fairly windy. The humidity is pretty extreme even for a Connecticut girl.
The two fields are separated by a canal and their respective seating areas. Field one is a less then 200 yard outrun. Field two is quite a bit bigger I think in excess of 300 yards.
The sheep dictated some of the low scores as the occasional group could be quite difficult especially at the pen. Mostly the same problems we see everywhere, missed gates and poor outrunning.
Derek had a good morning run marred by a bad pen that cost him the shed. Scott and Joe Haynes both had trouble on field 1. Joe redeemed himself on field 2 with Pepper, scoring 86, currently 5th with only 60 dogs to go. Scott had a good go with Alice on field 1 getting 82. Derek had a good field 1 run as well gaining
My Joe ran well but didn’t please the judge so much, scoring a respectable 78. Nan was more to the judge’s taste earning 87 both on field 2.
Every dog runs twice on each field. The dog’s three best scores are combined and the top ten compete in a double lift final Sunday. There are plenty of scores in the nineties especially on field 1 the smaller field. I’ve run both dogs on field 2 and ran Joe last on field 1 where he was an idiot. Scott and Now Haynes had good runs on field 2 to finish out the running.
None of us brought chairs, obviously, and find ourselves standing more than we want. A shopping trip is certainly in our futures. As hot and muggy as today has been the forecast is for a week of rain. Nice for the dogs buts going to be wearing for the handlers and horrible for the rental car.
Day is done we are back at our really good restaurant to rework our performances.
Gene Sheninger had some trouble finding reliable Internet access in Wales, but he's back and has sent in more of his interesting journal of his experiences running his dogs at the World Trial. Stay tuned for more, including his report of the double lift and some general observations about traveling to and from the U.K. with dogs!
Gene Sheninger has sent me an interesting journal of his experiences to date in Wales; as most of you know, he's a member of the U.S. Team, due to start competing with his two dogs on Thursday. The journal is really interesting reading–check it out here. I'll post updates as I receive them.