Jamie and Lee Spring had us all up to their place on August 26th and 27th. They have such a beautiful place and as our judge Dianne Deal said it makes you want to go buy a gingam dress and play "Little House on the Prairie". I'm not sure how well that dress would serve a person while staring down the range ewes Jamie brings in for the trial though. They were yearling rambioullet ewes and were tough as they hadn't been worked by a dog much prior to this. They tested the dogs and it took a lot of work the first day to get them lifted off the top. This was definetly a DOG trial.
The course is on a hay field that runs uphill so it's a perfect shape for a trial field. It was a 12 minute course for the Open and it still ended up being a very long day the first day. We all went to the house for supper that night. It was great to relax and visit awhile after being out in the heat all day.
The second day the sheep got a little more manageable as they were figuring out the "rules" a little more. There were more scores the second day and we also got done earlier. This was a relief as we needed to travel the 2 1/2 hours SE to get to my place.
We ran at Mike and I's place on Saturday and Sunday (the 28th and 29th). The temps didn't cooperate anymore for here than they did up north. I'll admit it started getting to me a bit on Saturday afternoon but managed to rally up enough energy to finish on Sunday without being to big of a crab. Hopefully anyway. :-)
We ran on 2 ewes and 3 lambs for our trial. They'd been running in that pasture for a couple of weeks prior to the trial and knew where they were. It helps from a sheep production stand point because if there is a wreck and one gets singled off, they already know where they are so it's easier to get them back to the bunch. On the other hand, it makes them tough as they like to split and try to "divide and conquer".
The dog's adapted well though and most handled the sheep really well and there were quite a few good scores both days. The outrun was about 700 yds and the sheep had to cross two draws on the fetch. It really didn't seem to give anyone to much trouble and it was fun to watch the dogs handle the pressure coming out of the draws.
Both Jamie and I couldn't do these trials without the great support of our families as well as all the help from those running in the trial. We were both running around like chickens with our heads cut off most of the time so very few pictures got taken. Hopefully we can scare up a few though and share them with you soon!