I've been meaning to post a write up about a goat trial we went to at the end of September for awhile now. I may get it done today!
The Griffith Ranch down in Nebraska hosted a field trial that was points and time working Boer/Spanish cross goats. JoEllen and John Wiese manage the goats for Griffith's and put together the trial. They're such great people and bend over backwards to make this an outstanding event.
I love doing things out of the norm with my dogs to see how we do and what we need to work on. This was a perfect opporunity and fun to boot! It was two days and the first day the goats were about like what I imagine antelope are like to work. Wild as the wind! The fetch was only about 200 yds but keeping them all on the field at any distance was a huge challenge! The goal was to get all 5 goats brought through the fetch panels, around you for a left hand drive and then once they cleared the drive panels you were free to help at the rest of the obstacles.
Well, these goats aren't to sure about people as they run in a group of about 1200 out in cedar filled draws all their life. So I'm not sure how much help the "people" were at most of the obstacles. We had a maltese cross, then a pen where you were supposed to have your dog hold them in the open pen while you went around the other side to let them out. Ha! That wasn't happening. Then on to a horse trailer where the goal was to load them, have the dog hold them in the trailer while you went around to open the side door to let them out. Again, that wasn't happening the first day. Then on to a Y chute which wasn't that difficult and a finish with a shed. If you could get that far (no one did that day) the goats were pretty darn easy to get apart. Holding them together had been the challenge! BTW, the second day the goats changed dramatically and they were all fresh again. Not sure what changed in them but the difference was HUGE!
Zac was 3rd the first day and Uno won the PN both days. (WTG Uno!) The first day Jag did setout to get us started for about 2 straight hours in the heat on goats that were hell to hold. I didn't have a dog left when it came time to run. I ended up retiring him that day. The second day we had a dream run going and had it won going into the shedding ring. One nanny tried to jump over Jag and that was all she wrote. Big fat DQ!
I also decided to give Cash a go since I figured it was a smaller course. So, I ran him in nursery. The first day he started to come in tight on his outrun but took his blowout really well. He handled the goats well but was getting in over his head before it was over so I retired. The second day was much better. He worked so well. We didn't place but I think I was more happy about his run that day than anyone of my other dogs! He handles stock so well and trys SO hard to please me. A great combination. I can't wait to see how he handles this next season. I really need to put the finer mechanics on him now. :-)
Thanks again to JoEllen, John, their whole family and the Griffith's for giving us handlers such a great opportunity!