Porterville USBCHA brought torrential downpours. And, per usual the sheep weren't a disappointment. You can't find "meaner" sheep than the range ewes used at Deer Creek and the Fall Driving trial. This weekend used yearling range lambs. Over 1/3 of the open class on both Sat. and Sunday retired. All of the nursery retired.
The large range lambs all faced towards your dog on the lift. The lambs weren't mean like the ewes that have just lambed used for the spring Deer Creek trial. They were just "stupid." They had never been worked by dogs and seemed to be curious as to what these 4 legged creatures were trying to do. They always looked surprised when they received a nip to the nose. Lots of times they would "ball up" like bait fish. If you're a fisherman you know what I mean. It was interesting to watch. On occasion they would steam roll over your dog or give them a head butt, but not too often. They just stood there and looked at your dog. Many of the dogs were quite perplexed as to how to move them. Most were seasoned open dogs. Lots of coaxing and pleading for the dogs to "walk-up" could be heard. I'm sure I was one of the rare few that was yelling, "TIME," "You take your TIME." If you know Kilt, you'll understand. LOL
The footing was hell...a deep plowed field. Not exactly good for Kilt's toe, but she was happy as a pig in mud about working these sheep. We were 9th place both Sat. and Sun. and would do (oh so much better) if Suzanne would improve on her handling skills. The set out crew came by and paid me (us) a big compliment. They said the sheep knew Kilt was all business before she even turned in on her lift. Kilt had 0 off her lift on Sat. and 1 off on Sunday. Many (most) dogs retired on the lift....if not on the lift, they stalled on the fetch or the drive. We timed out at the pen on Sat, but finished the pen on Sunday. For as little as we trial in the "big league" I was PROUD of my Kiltster.
P.S. Proud of Mike and Sport who received a 3rd place on Sunday :0) Whoo Hoo Sporty.
It poured all night Sunday. Yoko and I were on the field for the 6 am handler's meeting this morning. Due to the rains and the deep sludge of the field they canceled the first pro-novice class. They said it would be too injurious to the dogs and they knew the sheep wouldn't want to move in it. They were going to wait until later in the morning to see if they could run one pro-novice class. It wasn't worth me staying with Yoko. She is lightning fast and I had visions of her hurting herself, so we came home early. Sigh. Better luck next time.
I always try to go (listen) to my gut feelings. But, I sure was looking forward to seeing how the PN dogs handled these lambs.
Anyways..., I made my maiden voyage with my new 16 'trailer and it was PURRRRfect. Trouble (JRT) came along as the mascot and we all had a mighty fine time. :0)