Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sonoma Marin Fair - 2013 "The Dog Days of Summer"

The Sonoma Marin Fair in Petaluma was a surprising success for us this year. The sheep were crossbred whitefaced ewes from the Hagemann Ranch near Bodega Bay. Someone mentioned they were Dorset-Corriedale but I don't know if that is correct. They certainly fit that description if that is right. They were definitely fun to work! It was an overcast, cool day, just perfect for working dogs and sheep.

Ryme and I had to go first in the running order. I knew that everyone was watching because they wanted to see how these sheep would move and work (RESDA has not used this flock this year for a trial--this was their first outing). My goal for Ryme was to gather the sheep even if I had to leave the post and retire, fetching them to the exhaust. This was Ryme's first time in RESDA Open at a Fair.  My plan was to leave the post immediately if he had trouble with anything at all. Entirely amazing was the fact that Ryme not only brought them to me but once we got them going they were "his sheep" and he controlled them without tension throughout the run...which turned out really pretty! We got all the obstacles on the first try, and smoothly, including chute and pen. What a shocker!

Ryme received 2nd place and Reserve Champion Sheepdog!!

Coal ran late in the order. By then the sheep were getting a bit cranky. Coal had one ewe who did not play well with the others. We did our best to keep three sheep together through the course. We made several good tries at the chute but finally moved on, and penned them. I was mostly happy with Coal's work. He had a bit too much eye on these sheep but it was not impossible to work with. We have not had much chance to practice in the last month or two. It's only recently that we've had a good place to train, again. Coal's work was good and he received 6th place!

Overall results can be found here on the RESDA website.

A pictorial slideshow of some of the event can be found here: Sonoma Marin Fair Slideshow.

Yeah! What a nice confidence booster for all of us. Thank you Sonoma Marin Fair and thank you to Adobe Animal Hospital in Petaluma, who sponsored Ryme's nice plaque, showing the theme for this year's fair, "The Dog Days of Summer".

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