Monday, April 26, 2010

Dunnigan Hills USBCHA trial, April 24-25, 2010

Coal and I ran in the Dunnigan Hills spring trial this past Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was sunny and while it was cool in the morning, it got hot in the afternoon. Sunday provided us with the famous Zamora Wind that can be relentless...again it was sunny and while I left before noon, I am guessing that it got hot again. The course was long and the sheep very even. The time allotment seemed short! Despite this, many teams got 'round the course.

On Saturday, Coal ran late, #43. So it was hot when we went to the post. Thankfully he did not seem too affected by the heat. He did a decent outrun and lift; we barely missed the fetch panels and continued on for a respectable drive. He turned the sheep right through the first set of gates with a really nice tight turn and line. At the second set of gates I had probably set them up too low and we skimmed the gates just barely on the low side. Not too bad though. We continued straight to the pen for zero points off that exercise and I was thrilled to get the score of 65++ points (out of possible 90)! What a way to start off in Open!

On Sunday we ran in the morning and it was much cooler but very windy. The wind blew my hat right off as the run started. I thought it probably blew away but didn't take my focus off the little black dog. He did a better outrun but the sheep took off to the north and he had to go back around the hill to collect them. We were able to put them back on line well before the fetch panels but not before eating up a lot of time. The fetch was straight as a string after that. We had some trouble turning the post as the sheep were reluctant to step over a darn hat that was lying there. Arghghgh! The drive was nearly perfect; we nailed both gates and had good lines. I was so disappointed to hear "time" called right before the drive was completed. What a bummer. We had used up too much time fixing the runaway sheep at the top, apparently, and getting them back on line before the fetch gates.

Anyway I am very happy with Coal's work and he seemed happy and fit. He still ended up with 41 points for Sunday, even with no drive or pen points. The trial was very fun as usual. Thanks to Leslie and Bill, judge Bill Orr, and all the many helpers for making it happen. Pro-Novice and Nursery continues today.

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