Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fun in the Sun AHBA Trial - the Course

The course started for the jackpot handlers with a blind gather of five sheep. Once they completed that portion they brought their five sheep into the main field, and added ten more sheep from a take pen. Handlers not doing the jackpot trial started with the ten sheep in the take pen.

I love the perspective of this photo through the field fencing.
 One of the harder parts of the course was a two-minute "graze". (One minute for the level 2 and level 1 dogs.) It was surprisingly difficult.
Watchful, during the graze.
 The part that separated the trial runs in most cases, however, was the sort through the race. Below is a photo of the only handler (that I remember) who made use of the drop gate in the sorting system. She made it look easy! For level 3 and jackpot handlers, five ribboned sheep were sorted back into the pen area and ten sheep without ribbons were released into the main field, to continue the course.

Awesome job!
As the day got warmer, the graze got more difficult. The sheep wanted to cluster under the two trees bordering the graze area...but the area under the trees was out of bounds for the graze. Points off.

Handler moving sheep away from those pesky trees!
 The last element of the course (which also included some other exercises not shown, including a drive, another gather, a y-chute - the decorated one shown before- and so forth) was a traditional free standing pen. I love this shot of penning at the end of a long ranch course!

Teamwork!
Ryme and I were allowed to run this course (level 3 - not jackpot) on Sunday when I was not judging. I ran Ryme noncompete. I love this aspect of AHBA - where judges can run noncompete. Ryme and I really need the mileage in a trial situation and this was an awesome place to start racking up those miles. I was caught surprised by a couple of things that obviously I need to work on. I have not done many chutes with Ryme and especially a chute that is solid boards where the sheep come out. We had set up a really nice chute but when the sheep popped out the end, Ryme also popped up to stop them! So I will have to work on doing chutes so that he knows he should let them flow out, and continue without turning them back through the chute. Homework.

Next post about this trial will show some of the awards and happy people!

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