My friend, Bryan White, the "Cinderella" story of the finals. Bryan has only been herding some 5 years. He got Best Shed at the Blue Grass trial this year in Virginia. He made the semi finals and then competed to make one of the 17 finalists on this continent at the 2012 finals. That is a picture I took of Scoop bringing the sheep around the post. Now just how cool is that?
Friday night was the ABCA meeting (American Border Collie Ass.) After dinner and the meeting a Vet did a greawt talk on Border Collie Collapse. They are trying to find the genetic marker. Did you know that the Labrador breed has 35% exercise induced collapse in their breed? Whoa...I never knew that. The only thing 14 yr. old Xena has had is "cold water tail." That's a painful condition when after being in cold water they can't wag their tail for a few days. She had it twice. There is probably a genetic component to that, too.
Sat. night at the handler's dinner and Calcutta there was a Harvest moon right outside the VIP handler's tent where we had dinner and dancing and the auction.
Karen Mahoney did the honors of being the auctioneer for the Calcutta. The 17 finals draw their running order and then the dogs are auctioned off to the highest bidder. I'm not sure how it "exactly" works, but the if your dog comes in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd......money is coming your way. Scott Glen's Don went for $1300. Wowser. Shame he didn't place in the top 3 spots. They were betting he would. I bid awhile on Buzz, but was outbid by a friends. Good thing. He didn't make the top 3 spots either.
After dinner and the auction there was dancing. very fun indeed.
Someone said, "Here", and stuffed their crook in my hand. Could you hold my dog for a minute?"
I haven't a clue, but nice crook and nice collar!
Sunday was finals day. The color guard on horseback with the American flag and the Canadian flag. Both National anthems were sung and both by competitors in the double lift finals!
Here are the 17 finalists...the best of the best.
Bryan White at the post in the finals. he didn't have a suit coat so Jack Knox, a very famous handler, trainer and clinician loaned him his. What an honor! Scoop got out there for the first outrun, but this type of competition was over their heads. Bryan knew it and retired. Well done. Lots of the best of the best had to retire. The different colored grasses, irrigation lines and 90 degree heat was a big challenge for the dogs. Plus, the 2nd outrun and lift was some 700 yards with lots of blind swales. not many of the dogs made a clean turn back without crossing over on their outrun to find the sheep IF they found the sheep.
Scoop...lovely looking dog, if i do say so myself.
Everyone needs a little of this!
Scott Glen's June taking a break in a tub of water. Some of the sheep were hot and tired, too.
They were trying to decide if they should get a drink with the Border Collie in the tub?
An Awwww moment in the double lift. Scott Glen's young June takes a dip in the water tub before gathering her now 20 sheep to do the whole course. The sheep decided IF she could cool off that some of them would get a drink at the same time. It only lasted a moment before June jumped out and rounded them all up. But, it will be a moment that all who watched will remember!
When all was over I got back on the road to head home after having such a wonderful time. These are some of the lower Klamath wetlands. The skeeters there were horrible. We all had zillions of bites even with repellent. I would have liked to have had time to take more photos of this huge refuge. There were all sorts of birds out there!
Getting close to the California border. Shasta up close, still with snow. Nice thing about the camper van, I could pull off at a rest stop when I was tired, use my own bathroom, and pull the shades while getting a little shut eye before starting up again. I LOVE that. Now that it is all over, I'm a bit depressed. It was great fun seeing the best compete at that level! next year the finals will be in Virginia. That may be a bit far for me....We'll see!