Sunday, October 10, 2010

RESDA Fall Trial 2010

Yesterday was the final RESDA trial of the 2010 season, the traditional-course Fall Trial. Held at the Johnson Ranch in Mendocino County, and run on the ranch ewes, the Fall Trial is always a test of the best dog and handler teams in the RESDA style.

I got some pictures of some, but not all, of the dog and handler teams. They are in a Picasa album, here. The winner was Patti Sowell with her experienced Del, followed closely in second place (I believe only one point difference) by Darrell Duncan and Nell (a team which has won this trial before). Both had beautiful runs. The rest of the placings, which I won't try to quote from memory, will be posted on the RESDA website.

Creekbed behind the trial field
The day turned out to be sunny and beautiful, but was quite hot even by mid-morning, which was the undoing of Coal's Open run. He handled the ranch ewes well, which was a plus, but he got too hot so we retired at the pen. I decided it was best to save him for another day.

By afternoon while it was still hot, a bit of a breeze came up when we went to run the Pro-Novice dogs, making things a bit more tolerable. Rime was up first. We got five ewes instead of the Open three. I moved up quite a ways, leaving Rime behind the pen. He cast out nicely but when he got close to the sheep, was in for a huge surprise in that these big ewes did not just move neatly off of sight of a dog like he is used to with our dog-broke sheep. He looked at me and I urged him on around and he finally lifted them correctly and thoughtfully. This made my day! Those ewes taught him so much just in that one moment. The rest of his run was quiet and composed and we even penned. Needless to say I was quite pleased with the baby dog. Rime will turn two years old in early December and we still have a long way to go, but this was a very good experience for him. I am thankful that RESDA has a program for upcoming dogs as well as upcoming handlers.

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