Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RESDA Beebe-Johnson Memorial Trial 2011

This past Saturday, RESDA held the annual Beebe-Johnson Memorial Trial. This trial honors two of the families who were and are stalwart supporters and handlers in the RESDA program over these many years. Normally this trial is held at the Boonville (Mendocino County) fairgrounds but this year the fairgrounds' large grassy arena was not available due to reseeding. So the trial was held at the actual Johnson family ranch.

A compliation of photos from the day can be viewed here.

I was really happy with how my boys worked. Coal ran in the open and had a nearly perfect run - unusual for us - except that we did not get our pen. It was just not meant to be and I have stuff to work on to try to improve this part of our performance. The RESDA pen is unique in that the handler stands still without any assistance to the dog to help pen the sheep. It truly must be all the dog's work and none of the handler except for voice or whistle commands. In fact at all the traditional RESDA obstacles the handler stands still with no crook, and with no arm movements. So if you and your dog "cross over" from time to time from USBCHA trialling to RESDA and back again I have to think it might be confusing for a dog to have you help at the pen sometimes, and sometimes not. I don't think that is the root of Coal's problem but it is pertinent to know. Here we are pictured working on the pen that we did not get:

Billy & Coal at the pen
Photo by T. Tucker
Lack of a pen aside, I was really pleased with Coal's outrun, lift and fetch. I'll get to review it on the video from Powell's K9 Productions, yet to come.

Rime ran in the RESDA pro-novice class. I helped him on the outrun by leaving him back on a stay and walking out. I think we are still at this stage for unfamiliar places so that I can assure Rime will have a cool head and a good run. He needs the mileage right now more than he needs "testing". I was really pleased with how he performed and stayed cool and calm even though one of the five ewes was testing him throughout. This would have been a prime opportunity for Rime to blow up, but he did not. We even penned. Next time I should try the chute (optional in pro-novice) if things are going this well again.

We also had a birthday celebration after lunch. Sunday was somebody's birthday who happens to be my big brother. Here we are showing off a cake and some napkins that say, "What's One More Candle?". It was a fun day for a picnic in the country, that happened to include a dog trial.

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