Monday, June 4, 2012

7 Oaks Trial 2012

It's hard to follow Dry Lake. But, the calendar marches on, and Saturday found us up early to help set up the course for the RESDA trial at the nearby beautiful 7 Oaks Ranch. It was a traditional RESDA fetch course in a nice sized newly-mown grassy field surrounded by lovely oaks. The weather was not as warm as predicted and a nice breeze kept things tolerable.

The sheep were challenging range ewes trailered in from Mendocino County. The older ewes were pretty tractable, really, but the younger ones were quite difficult. It depended on how many and which of each type you got in your set, how your run proceeded. My dogs and I did not perform particularly well as far as scores go. Other handlers were much more successful. Still, I learned a lot about what I need to know to move forward. My dogs tried hard so we can't ask much more than that. Coal ran early in the RESDA open class, and the sheep were fresh and unforgiving. We timed out with the three ewes poised perfectly in the mouth of the chute to go through. Ryme ran in the RESDA "pro-novice" and he drew up three of the younger ewes, which did not go well for him. We retired and exhausted them from the field with help from another handler and dog.

Many folks put in a lot of hard work to make this trial happen, before, during, and after. The day of the trial was a long one and ended eleven hours later. Along with a few other club stalwarts, I helped with loading the sheep back on the trailer to go home. I think the highlight of my day was watching the sheep's owner handle the ewes with the respect, finesse and ease that comes from growing up around livestock.

Photos of the placements are here.

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