Friday, May 3, 2013

RESDA Trial at Slaven Ranch

April 20th we went to a RESDA trial at the Slaven Ranch near Zamora, CA.
The wind was blowing mightily, like it often does at Zamora, but the wind did not stop any of us from having a good time. In fact the wind was so forceful that it drove many of us inside our vehicles to watch the trial instead of sitting out in the sun in our lawn chairs that we had brought along.

The sheep were real, fine wool Targhee type adult ewes from the Slaven ranch. They were not easy to work but not impossible. The dogs had to handle them carefully and appropriately but they were very workable. They were certainly not dog-broke!

The sheep were set out with two stock handlers with their dogs, and if needed another handler with an ATV,  from a holding pen that was set up in the center of the very large pasture. It was a challenge for the working dogs to see where they needed to pick up their sheep and pull the sheep off of that setout pen and the stock handlers. It was a puzzle to be worked out for sure but not an unreasonable one, and certainly the situation mimicked what happens in real life, much of the time.

Coal ran in the Open RESDA and placed third. I was very pleased with him as he ran well as I know he can do. After our shaky runs in USBCHA this past spring I was really pleased to see Coal run out well and handle the fine wool ewes just as nice as could be. There were no problems with his run other than that we did not get chute nor pen (most teams didn't). For this trial we fetched the first panel and then drove the second panel. That course arrangement is not done often in RESDA but is sometimes done in the larger fields and pastures. We did not make that second panel but we had an OK line to it and the draw back to setout was very strong so I was pleased just to keep our sheep together to attempt that panel and move on to the chute. I think we stayed too long at the chute (in RESDA you must make two solid attempts at the y-chute and then you can move on, if you have made the two panels). That left us with too little time to pen but hindsight is also always 20-20! Coal was happy; I was happy!

Ryme ran in the RESDA Pro-Novice. The outrun was shortened somewhat and in Pro-Novice you do not have to attempt the chute at all. You can try the chute for practice if you want, but that eats into your (shortened) time allowance, as well. The RESDA Pro-Novice really is a training class, and you can do what you need to do to help your dog if you want to. Points will be deducted for handler movement but you can move about, and make it a good experience for your dog. I felt pretty confident about Ryme this time so I stayed behind the pen which is the "post" for RESDA, this time and handled it as if I were running in the Open. Ryme was good all the way around, and we were awarded with first place. Wow, a blue ribbon for Ryme! It was very cool, after all the time and miles put in with Ryme, and me doubting whether he would ever be able to trial in any venue.

Here is Ryme with his blue ribbon!

Full results for this trial are available here:

Slaven Trial Results, April 20, 2013

Thank yous to RESDA, the Slaven family who worked hard to put on this trial, Bill Slaven who judged, and Claire and Kathy who did the setout. It is all very much appreciated!

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