Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dunnigan Hills Sheepdog Trial, April 25-26, 2009

Or, Coal goes back to Zamora and we get a confidence builder!

Saturday April 25, Coal and I ran in Nursery at the Dunnigan Hills sheepdog trial in Zamora, CA. Coal and the other Nursery dogs had a chance at two runs. The Pro-Novice dogs also had a run, with a second run if their handlers wished. It was a fun and relaxed, no-frills trial. The course was beautiful on the rolling hills which are still green for now, and dotted with tiny purple and other colors of flowers. The weather cooperated beautifully with cool mornings and warm afternoons that were not too awfully windy nor too hot. The Zamora weather gods and goddesses are not normally so kind!

The sheep had taken their anti-penning pills, however, and everyone had trouble penning, especially in the morning runs. The scores showed that the lack of pens took a toll.

Coal had a beautiful first run but unfortunately, we too could not pen before the clock ran out. I'm sure we could've accomplished the pen eventually because we had the sheep under control, but that darn timer went off and we were through. We ended up with 61 points which was very good and just finishing the course was a relief. His points off were as follows:
Outrun: 2
Lift: 0
Fetch: 4
Drive: 13
Pen: 10 (time was called)

Nursery run #1 results were as follows:
Ray Coapman & Jill: 66
Ann Mock & Zac: 64
Bill Berhow & Gwen: 63
Billy & Coal: 61
I was really proud of this showing by Coal but also regretful that we did not get our pen points.

In our second run Coal's outrun was not confident so we paid the price there on points for a total of 52. The rest of the run was pretty good though.

Coal's second run points off were:
Outrun: 18 (not a crossover, just more of a keyhole than a pear!)
Lift: 2
Fetch: 6
Drive: 12
Pen: 0!!!
Oh if only we'd gotten that pen with zero points off in our first run!

Run #2 Results were:
Bill Berhow & Gwen: a blazing 85!
Ray Coapman & Jill: 69
Dave Murray & Kate: 60+
Ann Mock & Zac: 60
Billy & Coal: 52

On Sunday April 26, we were offered non-compete runs in Open at the end of the trial. The course for Open was of course longer than for Nursery/Pro-Novice, and included three sets of drive panels instead of two, for a four-legged drive on the hills. In addition, a single was required following the pen. Coal and I ran very last in the order. His beautiful outrun was back and we had a good go, got the sheep penned, and attempted the single when the clock ran out, for a total score of 64.
His points off (scored but non-competitive) were:
Outrun: 3
Lift: 0
Fetch: 4
Drive: 17
Pen: 2
Single: 10 (time was called)

Thanks to all who helped and made this trial possible!

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