Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sonoma Wine Country Sheepdog Trial 2009

Friday March 20th Coal ran in the Sonoma Wine Country Sheepdog Trial right here in Santa Rosa. He was entered in Nursery (two runs) and one of those runs also counted toward the Pro-Novice trial. The sheep were from the same flock that was run at Zamora--white faced range ewes--and they were just as challenging (to say the least) here in Santa Rosa as they were last month.

Few dogs got scores, but while we timed out on the drive both times, Coal showed consistency and got a score in both of his runs. He ended up 5th overall in the prizes for the Nursery (combined scores) and 10th in the Pro-Novice. So we were lucky to win a few goodies (bottles of Sonoma County wine, and some dog biscuits) and two lovely rosettes for our efforts. I'm sure the dogs will appreciate the biscuits more than the wine!

Overall I'm very proud of Coal for his efforts: he never let the sheep get away, or split, or otherwise get the best of him. Considering he has never been professionally trained, and that we never get to practice on this type of sheep, and also that we are competing against the best handlers in the country, we did not fare too badly. Also, an added bonus is that Rime is getting tons of socialization from all of the spectators and handlers.

The rest of the weekend we will be helping out with putting on this wonderful and highly-regarded west coast trial.

ETA: Scores have been posted here:

Photos by Amanda Milliken are here:

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