Sunday, September 27, 2009

National Finals Double Lift

Well, Alasdair MacRae has done it again! This time he was first with his own Nap and reserve with Star. Star is the mother of our Donnie who got his official nursery photo today.
Donnie's win photo
Scott's run started well with an outrun to the left. When Maid started to come in, Scott yelled, "HEY!" and that worked well enough for a good redirect. She lifted and had a decent line on her fetch but the sheep squirted by the fetch panels and then ran off to the left of the field. Scott knew she was way off and would never be able to turn back from that side of the field (a difficult turn back even when things were going right) so he had no choice but to turn the sheep around and take them back to near the turn back post when he got the sheep settled, Maid turned back like a good thing. No problem on that outrun and then made her fetch panels. They made all their drive panels and then moved into the shedding ring. They had a nice shed and got the BEST SHED TROPHY!

A good first cut on the shed

A second cut

Scott and Maid let the last two sheep slip through and the shed was complete

After the shed Scott and Maid had a difficult pen with the sheep wanting to join their buddies. However they were successful and ended up in 10th place overall.
Try Pearse Ward's blog for details on other runs.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

National Finals - The Semis

The morning was the same as everyday, very cool (cold) in the morning and blazin' hot in the afternoon. Today was the "Tough enough to wear pink" day honoring the battle with cancer and we had several fundraisers including Alberta's own Wendy Schmaltz who raised over a $1000 and shaved her head.
We had a left hand drive with a marked shed - two uncollared - then a pen and then a single with a collar. Our judges were Lyle Lad and Kevin Evans from Wales. There were some really nice runs today. Haley Howard is probably a crowd favorite being very close to a local and her Ross and Bodie looked spectacular. Bodie, just a 3 year old, had the top score of the day. Alasdair and Star are always a favorite and he looked good with both her and Nap. Derek Fisher also looked nice with his bitch and had a fairly high score.
George Stambulic and his 4 yr old Kate handled the sheep well and got quite a respectable score of 141 but in the end it just wasn't enough to make the double lift.

George Stambulic and Kate on the third leg of the drive
His old dog, Gyp ran in the heat and George retired in the shedding ring so that she didn't get over heated.
Maid and Scott had a great run. Maid was on and listening well with an easy stop.

Maid on the fetch
She made all her panels and had a great first shed

Scott and Maid on the first shed
and just a tiny bobble on the pen. When it came to the single, Scott had over 2 minutes in the ring but he rushed the call in. You can't rush Maid in the shed. She can eat one. She came in like a scud missile and the sheep went up in the air and no shed was called. On his second attempt it was calmer and a success. Unfortunately, that shed was probably only worth 1 point and they got a 162 and landed in 15th place for the day still ok for the double lift tho.
I ran with Lad when it was quite hot. My goal at this finals was to get into the semis since I have never gotten that far before. I didn't actually think about what I had to do when I got there. I HATE doing a marked shed and I really didn't think I could do it so I thought I'd just try to get the experience. I sent Lad to the right again but this time he didn't go as wide. Of course, the king of the bad outruns got himself quickly lost in the unfamiliar territory of a correct outrun and I had to blow him out. He didn't take it wide enough and got way too center so I stopped him and told him to Look. He took that and then went nice and deep but pulled up short. I blew him over once but he wasn't convinced and I had to blow him again. Still, not much of a response so I let him walk on which wasn't too good and the sheep lifted off line and stayed that way for a little bit. I got them back on the line and made the fetch panels although a little wobbly. Lad was still handling them well but they were running. They ran down the drive line and we made the panels and had not too wide a turn and a decent crossdrive. We had been told in the handler's meeting that we could leave the post when they made the crossdrive panels but couldn't enter the ring until the sheep did. It totally slipped my mind and while I was admiring my 3rd leg, I walked into the ring too soon. Once there, I almost lost them outside the ring while Laddie ran to cover until I woke up and walked over to stop them. After that, we puzzled on the shed for a little while. We had over 7 minutes so I knew I had time. (I remembered to set the watch again!) I found it wasn't all that hard to move them and before I knew it, I had a nice opening and Laddie found it wise to come through.

Laddie and I getting the first part of the shed
On to the pen. That was easy and quick

An easy pen
and we were back in the ring again trying to saw off one collared ewe. I managed to get one at each end of the line of sheep. The girl on my right was walking away but I was set up to stop the girl on my left and hoped that I had chosen the right one and she didn't squirt ahead with her buddies. I waited her out for a second and everyone left but her because she was busy looking at Lad. I called him in and another miracle, he came in and we were done.

Laddie coming in on the single
Many things could have been fixed and we only earned a 141 but we were respectable ending up in 26th place, and learned alot and actually enjoyed playing with the shed. I might actually not worry the next time I make a semi finals. Yeah, right.
We didn't make the double lift but we achieved our goal of the semis and tomorrow I plan to sit back and enjoy the double lift and root on Scott and Maid who run 10th. If you want more of a play by play of other runs check out Diane Pagel's blog.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finals Day Two and Three

Sorry I didn't blog last night. We went to my favorite Black Bear Diner in Klamath. Discovered on the fateful 2001 trip with my best friend Melissa, I loved it and needed to go back for good luck.
OK. River and I were up early on the nursery field and I sent him to the left. He had a good outrun but when he got behind the sheep they took off to the right. The set out person is standing on the draw side with their dog uselessly to on the other side (I'm sure they have a good reason for that) so if the sheep want to run, they practically knock them over to get by. River was always right there but not quite fast enough to stop them and they split up way over to my right on the fence with one sheep running back to set out. Obviously, I had to retire.
I'm sure some of you have already heard that Maid had a rerun yesterday. Her first set left just as she was passing 3 o'clock on her outrun. They tore back to set out (which is quite a ways back from where they are being set) and Maid tore after them and got them stopped but they were way off line. She did, however, get them under control and start taking them to the fetch panels but the judges didn't have enough worth judging so they gave them a rerun. However, Maid never got her rerun sheep broke like she did the first set and the run was very very fast. When they got to the shedding ring they still had over 7 minutes! (13 minute course time) I'm thinking she needs to go to the Calgary Stampede next year! The shed was tense and I was afraid Maid might be hungry after all that running but she kept her mouth shut and got the shed and then got a pen. They got a 153 (two judges) and it looks like it will be a good shot for the semi's on Saturday.
We went to the nursery field right after that to watch Scott run Sleat. Scott sent her to the left and she crossed over on her outrun despite Scott's whistles to the contrary.

Scott and Sleat just before the crossover!
After that she had a good fetch and drive away but typical to Sleat, she will tend to have a bad crossdrive if she has a crossover. It's just a young dog's indication that her mind isn't where it should be and sure enough, she took a wrong flank and messed it up. Scott got it back under control and got a pen to finish it off.

Scott and Sleat getting a pen
She only got a 65 and it looks like it won't be good enough to get her a second run.
Today I ran Lad 6th up. It was a great time to run because it has been cool at night, in the 40s but very hot during the day, getting up to 88F. It has also been very dusty here. It's like flour and it gets very bad during the day. There is also a couple of fires burning in Southern Oregon and they have made today very smokey. At the time Lad ran, the smoke was bad but not as dry in the cool morning. Lad went out to the right on his outrun and passed the normal place where the other dogs curled in, he went way out wide to my right and into the uncultivated native grass. I would have panicked, but Louanne's Isla did the same thing and although not ideal, I knew that there was a chance that the lay of the land would bring him in around 2 0'clock and it did. If he had passed that point he would have got behind a fence that wouldn't have allowed him to get back on the field. He came down to his sheep and I gave him one short blow away and then had him lift. No problem. In fact, Lad's whole run was no problem for him. He moved the sheep easily. Me on the other hand, I was a frazzled mess and got panel panic. I missed the drive away panels even tho the sheep were walking nicely towards it, they dashed around at the last minute. I did make the other panels and with Scott's advice about the shedding ring (don't use yourself much, make the dog do it or let it happen) and the luck that I remembered to set my watch, I knew I had enough time to get it done. The pen was pretty easy and the sheep went right in. I was proud of my boy but disappointed in my agitation around the course. However, the score was a 152 and might allow us to play again on Saturday's semi's.
Scott ran Donnie in the nursery after that and laid one down!

Donnie on the fetch in the smokey sunshine
So smooth and made every panel. He's in second place right now and will definitely do a second run on Friday (top 40% do a second run). The good thing is he is one point behind the leader and nursery is a cumulative win.

Scott and Donnie at the pen
Lucy ran when it was very hot out. The usually biddable red dog was kinda crazy today. She had plenty of heart but unwound her flanks alot and I had to watch her closely and not watch my sheep or lines. We did make all the panels but didn't have straight lines getting there. The shed was difficult and we lost them out of the ring once with a grip. We ran out of time on the pen. Lucy scored a 118- respectable but not a contender for the semi's.
Tuque. Short and sweet? She spotted something off to my left in an uncut alfalfa field (Scott thought it was a tractor) and would not be persuaded from a crossover. I never got her back to the sheep. Sorry David and Susan!
Scott runs Drift tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finals Day One

Klamath Falls, Oregon - Killer sheep! Really difficult. That would be the theme of the day. They remind me of Meeker sheep. It's not looking good for my stable of dogs but we will all go down fighting. The day started with Ian Zoerb and Gyp. Gyp pulled up short and then over did her flanks on the top with a difficult lift. Shortly after that she got crazy with the sheep and was DQ'd. Bev Lambert and Hemp had no trouble lifting or moving them but the lines were difficult to hold, especially after the turn after the post when the sheep tore off on the drive way up the field. The prettiest run of the day was Candy Kennedy and Moss (not to be confused with her old Moss). He went a little deep on the outrun and over ran a little but once on his sheep he made it look easy. He was the only one of the day who did. Alasdair and Nap had some trouble holding the lines along with everyone else. My good buddy Louanne Twa ran at a time that the sheep were getting harder to lift. Her little bitch has alot of eye and took a ton of time to lift which was unfortunate because once she got them moving and got the first part of the fetch back on line, the rest of her lines were really nice. She ran out of time at her shed so she only scored a 50 per judge.
Louanne Twa's Isla working hard on her fetch
Milton Scott and Ben ran shortly after Louanne and had similar trouble moving the sheep. He ended up behind a hill to the left where you could no longer see them. After trying to get them back unsuccessfully he was called off by the judges.
We were very proud of George Stambulic and Kate (a daughter of Scott's Pleat). She had a fetch that started way off to the left and ended up behind the same hill Milton's dog did but she was able to bring them back and then finished the rest of he run very well. Both judges gave him a 76 and he will likely make it to the semi's on Saturday.

George Stambulic and Kate holding the shed
Scott runs Maid at the same time that he is scheduled to run Sleat tomorrow morning so he will likely run Maid first and then run over to the nursery field to run Sleat. I run River at about the same time so I will try to send a camera over to the open field to catch Scott and Maid. Hopefully, she will have something good to show!
Check HERE for scores.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Klamath Falls Worries

Scott and I are now in Wyoming. We are getting a chance to get our dogs worked before the finals - something they desperately need after their sub par performances the last few weeks. We are hoping to find a field where we can work on outruns. The Klamath Falls National Finals committee is proud of their outruns. I haven't been to Klamath Falls since that fateful trial in 2001. If you've been around me even a small amount of time, you've probably heard me tell the story. I laugh now but at the time, when the wound was fresh, all I wanted to do was cry. I didn't have a camper to go hide out in then so I had to be brave and tough it out.
I was eight years younger, 20 pounds lighter and horribly wet behind the ears in herding.

On the way to Klamath 2001 with my pet dog, Chip. - photo by Melissa Lucas
Only one year before, my first border collie, Bob and I had entered our first novice trial. Now he was 30 months old and we were on our way to our first National Finals to run in the nursery class. Of course, I was completely ready for this. I felt it was only a matter of show that I even had to run in the nationals. Because, you see, I had already won an open trial with my young Bob. I believe I was the only one entered in the nursery that year who had a dog who was already an open trial winner. They should just give me the trophy and send all the other competitors home to keep training.
Reality, when it hit me, was painful. I believe all novices go through a period where they do well and feel they have nothing else to learn. It's only up from here. The reality is that there is a bit of beginners luck that seems to happen to most of us. That's often all it is. Luck. Unless you are my husband or Alasdair MacRae, who often joke that they only win because of luck but those who know them also know that there is quite a bit of talent and hard work that actually keeps them at the top.
So back to Klamath 2001... I was all cockiness until I saw the outrun. The Scottish judge declared it too far for nursery but you be your own judge. It measured out between 475 yrds and 500. Dear Bob had never gone more than 300. Yes, I was ill prepared. The open trial he had won was on his home field on his home sheep on a fenced cleared 300 yrd field. He never had to look for sheep. He never had to travel to sheep. yikes. I started to fear.

On the way to the post with Bob, notice my slumped shoulders - I was sure I was going to my doom - photo by Melissa Lucas
I believe they said that 60% of the nursery dogs didn't find their sheep that year, and, yes, Bob was one of them. What made it worse was that the sheep were difficult to set and weren't even in the same place all the time. Bob gave it his best. He ran out about 200yrds with good intentions but then he came in too early, and back then, a look back was not even in my vocabulary, let alone Bob's.

Bob on his outrun (red arrow)- notice you can see no sheep in this picture even though those are the fetch panels in front of me - photo by Melissa Lucas
I finally had to call him back so that Alasdair who was waiting in the blind behind me, could send his young dog and actually find sheep.
I declared this would never happen to me again, and with Bob, it didn't. Be careful what you wish for because I turned Bob into a dog that always knew where his sheep were to be found, but he often ran 10 times the distance he needed to get to them. But he always found his sheep after that so that was good, right? Hmmm.
So this monkey has been on my back for 8 years now. I always wanted to return with Bob but it never happened and now he is retired and 10 years old and not exactly my best open prospect. So I return with Lad. Lad and Bob are cousins. They are very similar but Lad was trained better if only because I've seen more than I had when I trained a young Bob. Unfortunately, Lad also has the bad outrunning gene. And back we go to Klamath, king of the outruns, and this time I'm in open. I have more tricks up my sleeve, but will they be enough? It's a little early for me to start stressing but when has that ever stopped me?
On the lighter side, Klamath was the first place I laid eyes on my future husband. For some reason I noticed him but despite encouragement from my friends, I never spoke to him. He had a very good trial that year and his Fly bitch was the reserve champion. He goes back with Maid this year, Fly's grand niece. They share alot of traits. I hope they prove to share an aptitude for Klamath.
Oh, and one more thing, Klamath Falls 2001 will always go down in my books as having the best handler's dinner ever. Pesto Chicken. It almost, almost healed my wounds that year.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Amanda Milliken and Ethel! Ethel had been reserve champion here before and Amanda was very pleased to win it with her old dog. Her run was very good. Her turn back required a couple of redirects to keep her from crossing but the rest of the run was clearly the best.
Our favorites, Faansie and Jill missed their first fetch gates and the crossdrive gates. He had a nice shed and got to the pen but the sheep escaped the mouth and ran back to join their friends in the sloughed flock before Jill could stop them.
Most others had difficulty in their shed except Ian Zoerb and Peg. Amanda won the best shed trophy but many felt that Ian should have won it. Not to take anything away from Amanda's shed, it was definitely a good one but Ian's had more flow and was prettier to watch. They both lost 2 points on the shed so it was a judges decision.
Scott and Drift won a beautiful woolen blanket donated by Routt County Woolens for the best drive in the first go around and Scott also won the hard luck award. Not sure which run that was for but we are guessing Maid's. It paid $150 so we are ok with that! He also was fourth in the second day go with Drift and took home a check for that.
So now we are off to Wyoming to do some training. We know what we need to work on and hope we can get it done before the finals in a week.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meeker Semi Finals

I had a request that I show a picture of the Meeker field so here it is.

The Meeker field
This was the only picture I got of Drift today. His outrun was good but the wind had shifted and the sheep had turned so his fetch resembled his first round fetch - way off to the right of the line. Finally the dog got frustrated and gripped off. That was that.
It's rough going today and it's only getting harder as the last few runs go. The nicest time to run at Meeker is late morning and those who drew up then didn't waste it.
It is out of 110 with a shed of any two un marked sheep, a pen and a single marked sheep.
Don't forget to check the scores here but Amanda battled hard this morning with Ethel and got an 84 but later on, Clive had difficulties moving them and got a DQ. I didn't see it but Scott was real impressed by Bud Boudreau's 10 year old Swale. He said she didn't move like a 10 year old when those sheep were running on her, she moved like a 4 year old. Libby Nieder's quiet run with Lyn was impressive and earned her a 79. Dennis Gellings and Jan ran in that really nice time of morning and used it well to get an 83. Alberta's Ian Zoerb and Peg ran a good one with an 83. She kept her sheep settled and it paid off. I have always liked Mike Meredith's Gus who gave it a good try but his enthusiasm perhaps got the sheep a little too excited and he only got a 63. Faansie Basson and Jill were their usual professional selves and got an 82. I think that is who Scott and I will be rooting for tomorrow. Faansie is battling a little cold but I'm sure he will rise above it. Linda Tesdahl has been running hot and her Ryan showed up to play today getting an 81. Mike Meredith's Gwen (Laddie's aunt) was pretty keyed up for a 10 year old and didn't have a great run despite getting her first shed but we like her anyway.
So there you are. Only a few more to run and it's pretty hard to get a good score now. Tomorrow will be some good watching.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Meeker Day Three

Well, I WAS very happy with my run with Hemp. Ecstatic in fact until I came off the field happily to wait with other handlers in the stands to hear my score. Bad idea, because the handlers piped up about what was wrong with it and then the score didn't reflect the run and now I'm embarrassed that I even went to the post.
My plan was to school Hemp because I knew he wasn't broke or polished enough for this but I had a feeling he could really handle these sheep. The runs have been more difficult today than any of the other days so I figured we'd just see what he could do. The highest score has been a 71 set by Bev Lambert and the second highest was a 61 set by Anne Mock.
I sent him to the left and he did the outrun almost perfect - he had just a little run over the top but corrected himself and lifted nicely. He kept control of those sheep and never let them run off to the right like so many others. He also prevented them from running down the field. We just missed our fetch panels and it was a fight to keep things under control but he flanked like he should and stopped when he should and never chased or harassed the sheep (there is a alot of that going on today) the post was tough with the spectators right there in the stands but we did ok and had a nice line to the panel when the sheep tore up the field. They got past the fetch panels and I knew the score would be no good now but I figured we were practicing right? So he got them stopped and brought them back on line and back to the panel where we turned them just short of the panel and missed them. I couldn't make another try because the sheep pulled so hard up the field that if I sent him on an away, he would be in the wrong place to make the turn without losing them up the field. His crossdrive wasn't bad and I think he was enjoying leaning on the sheep a little and not hearing a constant "TIME" yelled from me to slow him down. We missed the crossdrive panels by just a hair and went to the shedding ring. We had 2 minutes but the sheep were jumpy and Hemp isn't smooth enough on the shed so I took a shed that started out right but ended up on the butts of the sheep and went to the pen where we ran out of time.
Hemp handled the sheep so well that I was over the moon with him. I figured he wouldn't get a high enough score to advance but figured we'd just miss it and he looked good doing it.
However, when I went to the stands and said to my husband that I was proud of the dog, he immediately asked my why I blew the whistle wrong at the drive away panel that made the sheep run up the field. I don't remember blowing any whistle wrong. He said it made the dog take a wrong flank and I don't think the dog ever took a wrong flank but another handler chimed in that I got too excited in front of the crossdrive panels and that's why I missed those. I thought I'd had enough helpful criticism that I was not yet in the mood for (plummeting mood) so I went to check the score and found out that the judge quit judging when I was just short of the drive away panel and all Hemp got was a 37 for all his work. So this run will take a little recovery time for me and I thought things had actually gone so well. Sorry Hemp. I'll try to rise to your level next time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Just had dinner with the owner of the sheep who was setting when Drift was running. He said you couldn't hear ANYTHING when Drift lifted his sheep. Good to know his fetch wasn't disobedience but lack of sound.

Meeker Day Two

Much better news today! It looks like Drift will make it to the Semi Finals on Saturday. It certainly didn't look like that at first. Scott sent him to the right again. Lots of dogs are getting lost on that side (I'm sending Hemp left tomorrow) and the wind is blowing to the handlers face so the hearing is not good. Drift needed two redirects but it wasn't that bad. His lift started well and it looked like he'd have an online fetch but shortly after, he let the sheep keep pushing to the right. He was trying to cover the handler's left when he should be covering the handler's right.

Drift over covering to the left
There couldn't have been more than a point for that fetch. Yes, it was that bad. When he got to the post, it changed. The sheep were calm and Drift started listening really well.

Drift starting out on a great drive
The drive lines were beautiful. Not much would have been lost on the drive. He got to the shedding ring with a little over two minutes left. Drift gave a little too much ground on the shed and almost lost the sheep but the judge called it just in time.

Drift giving a little too much ground on the shed
They had a minute to pen and had to push on the sheep a little but they got penned with 10 seconds left on the clock!

Scott and Drift cutting it close at the pen
The score was a 67 which looks like it should go through.

Scott and Drift's sponsors for the Meeker Classic, - the children of Maradith and Rusty Wilkins
Bill Berhow and Pete are looking good and are leading right now with an 85. If you want the full results of the runs go here.
Hemp runs about 20th tomorrow and it's supposed to be cooler (fingers crossed). I'm really not expecting much since he's never seen sheep like these but I will take an example from Scott and keep trying even if it is a bad fetch.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meeker Day One

Well, as fellow Albertan, Corey Perry stated last year, "I've been Meekered." Actually both Scott and I have been Meekered. The sheep were tough this morning. It was rough for most people getting them around but that's Meeker. We know that when we come here. I know, I know, what is the enjoyment of it? I guess it's 'cause Scott won it once so we come back for the abuse every year hoping to get another sniff of that. Meeker is difficult on and off the field. Everyone knows how the sheep are tough but have you ever tried parking a camper on the side of a hill? It's a bit precarious up here with one side of the trailer up on blocks and the other side as low as we can get it. Add to the fact that we are having electrical problems in the camper that so far, even a local electrician hasn't been able to figure out. Our usual electrical hero won't be available until we get to the finals in another couple of weeks!
Ok, on to the disaster of our runs. Bev Lambert started the day with Mirk. I didn't catch it but with a score of 54, you can imagine it must have been difficult. Tommy retired with Ben and Sonia Craig, although getting a low score of 49, managed to push them all the way to the pen but not in. Bill Berhow raised the bar with Mike and got a 71 but didn't have a pen. The sheep moved well off of Mike. Scott sent Maid to the right and she needed a couple of redirects. Her sheep left like gangbusters -typical of the sheep here- pulling hard to the set out to the right. Maid didn't wait any longer and grabbed a running single by the leg. Scott didn't wait to be called off and walked off after Maid had brought the rest of the flock down the field. Mike Meredith ran 10 year old Gwen (A littermate to Lad's mom - I need to hang on the coat tails again) and got the sheep all the way around and in the pen with a 63 for a score.
Then Lad was up. After Soldier Hollow, I didn't think much was going to change with him here. These western range sheep are just too difficult for him. I sent him to the left and needed a few redirects. He lifted them and they ran to my right. I flanked and flanked him and eventually, he caught them and stopped them. I tried to get them on line and we were within reaching distance of the fetch panels but didn't get it done. Shortly after, when we were back on the line, Lad stalled out again and then gripped them. So far, the judge, Don Helsely from Idaho, is not calling grips. The sheep split into a million pieces then and ran back up the field. I whistled for all I had and got Lad back up that field to stop them. They moved a little better and I thought I'd let that fetch line go and just keep them moving to get to my feet. Lad started to race them around and I encouraged him, knowing that it was not a good run and maybe I'd just get a course done to get some confidence in Lad and myself. I knew it was risky and the sheep might not tolerate it and that's what came to pass. As we were racing up the drive line, one sheep took off in the opposite direction while the rest ran up the field. I got the run away ewe back towards the now running flock but she left again and hid behind a rock just to my left. I knew we were done and I'd just be wasting the dog and judges time to continue so I retired.
Before I left to do the laundry, Larry Burch was in the lead with a 74.
Getting warmer. I'll get the top ten for the day when it's over.
I believe Scott runs Drift tomorrow and Hemp and I run on friday.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Soldier Hollow Double Lift

The day was in the low eighties but with a strong wind in your face most of the day. The show was a hit with the crowd. Thousands of people came to see Tommy Wilson and Sly win the day. Conservative (very conservative) estimates over the 4 days are that over 25,000 people went through the gates! The biggest crowd ever in the Soldier Hollow history.
So many dogs had difficulty on the first outrun to the right. Jarin Knive's dog Maico, and Jo Anne Zoerb's dogs never found them and had to retire. With the wind, it was hard for the dogs to hear. Maid needed redirects to get to her first set and then started her turn back nicely. Scott tried a swallow tail turn back but she didn't quite get it. One more turn back and off she went. From the beginning of her second lift, you could see that she had a couple of sheep that were going to be trouble. Two tried to go back up the hill to set out. Scott tried to wait on her to lift and felt that maybe he should have had her walk up with more authority and they wouldn't have leaned on her so much.

Maid trying to control her second fetch
She had a nice second fetch until the sheep ducked around the fetch panels. When Scott sent her to gather her first lot, she tried to keep them separated. She came between the two groups and they ended up way to our right. When he convinced her to put them together, they had to go all the way around him and the post.

Maid takes her sheep around the post
The drive started correctly but just before the panels, the troublesome ewe hung back and then tore off to the right to get to the exhaust. Maid had enough and ate one. DQ
Tommy's run didn't have much wrong with it.

Tommy accepts his award for first place from judge Herbert Holmes
The fetches were a little off and it was a little high on the crossdrive but the rest was really good. Faansie did well with his two and ended up with Jill in second and Don in third.

The awards ceremony

Double Lift
1. Tommy Wilson and Sly
2. Faansie Basson and Jill
3. Faansie Basson and Don
4. Bill Berhow and Pete
5. Suzie Applegate and Lynn
6. Amanda Milliken and Clive

Sunday, September 6, 2009


1. Jaren Knive and Maico 92
2. Bill Berhow and Pete 92
3. Dennis Gellins and Jan 90
4. Alberto Stern and Tweed 83
5. Suzie Applegate and Buzz 82
Bill Berhow is already qualified so Maid get's the last spot!

Soldier Hollow Day Three - Update

Well, Maid is hanging in there.

Maid's sheep running on the fetch
We didn't think her score of 77 would still be in there and technically, it isn't in for day money but she's still a possibility for the double lift. HOWEVER, even tho there are only a few dogs to go, they are almost all tough. So it's a nail biter right now. Other than coming in short on her outrun, there wasn't much more Maid could do. She had heavy sheep when it was hot and she was patient with them and more to the point, Scott was patient with her.

Maid and Scott turning the post
If he had rushed her, she would have gripped them.
Maid slowly convincing the sheep to move forward
Her lines were good but slow and she had a great shed but no pen. The sheep never left the mouth of the pen but they just wouldn't go in.
Drift crossed over again but Scott got him to the sheep. After that, he started working well but it just got too much for him on the crossdrive and he gripped off.
Before I go on, I must say how happy I am with Hemp. He came to play today. Unfortunately, we ran out of sound. Scott said he was blown away by his outrun. I left him alone and didn't redirect him (I so wanted to when he disappeared but I stayed quiet) . He came in perfectly at the top and lifted nice. I didn't have to get on him much for pace on the fetch even tho most sheep were running down the fetch at that time of day. Nice turn around the post, but I felt the wind come up. Uh oh, still going ok, and listening really well. Made the drive away and then the wind got bad and Hemp heard nothing. He took a wrong flank and headed them. I got him back around but he was only hearing pieces. I tried to avoid coming back through the panels and I did but he got confused. When he finally got them moving in the right direction, he'd had enough and gripped them behind a tree. We didn't get called off but the sheep scattered. I put them back together, way off the line but they were frazzeled now and scattered again. This time I had a feeling that if I had Hemp chase down the runners he'd eat one badly and with thousands of people watching, I thought I'd retire since I had no points left anyway. Despite that, I'm real excited about him. He's only been in open since the end of April and he's really coming together. Remind me I said that after Meeker chews me up and spits me out in a couple of days!
I'll try to go see what's going on back on the field and get the final info up. Super big FREE dinner tonight at a big hotel. I love Soldier Hollow!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Soldier Hollow Day Two - Qualifiers

While I was off sulking in my camper, Scott said that Suzy Applegate ran a beautiful run that was a joy to run (unless she was going to bump you out of the finals!). She had no pen and still got a 84.
There is some debate as to who is ahead between Faansie and Amanda but the qualifying for the double lift is the same.
Day Two Qualifiers
1. Bev Lambert and Mirk
2. Tommy Wilson and Sly
3. Faansie Baason and Don
4. Amanda Milliken and Clive
5. Suzy Applegate and Buzz

Soldier Hollow Day One

Well the Glen camp is not doing well today - nor are the human members very happy. Scott and Drift ran while it was still cool but Drift spotted something off to Scott's right and didn't believe his redirects on the outrun. He crossed over and got lost so Scott called him off.
It got muggy right before Lad's run. He had a nice start to his outrun but I gave him a safety redirect midway out. Then he slowed down at the top so I gave him two blow overs. He had a great lift and a wonderful line on the fetch getting them through the panels. Shortly before the turn around the post the sheep started getting heavier and not moving. I talked Lad into moving them but after we turned the post I could see he wasn't liking them at all and was trying to grip. I stopped him from doing the first one but as the walk up the drive line got harder, he got grumpier. He gripped once and the judge let it go but when he gripped again, he was called off. I get lots of people telling me how much they like Lad but I'm afraid this weekend (and likely next) I am not on the Laddie bandwagon. To top it off, my support team of Lisa and Louanne aren't here to remind me that this isn't life or death and I should enjoy my sport instead of stressing and crying over it. I guess the only thing I can tell myself is that this is why I run two different styles of dogs. These sheep don't suit Lad, but on the whole, Hemp is the perfect dog for them. He likes the heavies because it gives him permission to lean into them without having the sheep race down the lines.
On the good side, Faansie is in second place again with his young Don dog who is a Dan (father of Pleat) grandson. We gotta ride on whatever coat tails we can find right now. Bev is in the lead with Mirk and Amanda and Clive are second with 8 more dogs to run.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Soldier Hollow Day One

September 4-7, 2009 Midway, Utah: If you click on the link to the right of the page, you can go to the web page and get all the scores. The day started nice and cool but by midday it was blazing hot. Lad was first to the post. He saw the sheep and started nice on his outrun to the left but disappeared in one of the dips. I started to think I should be seeing him again, when I realized he was crossing over. I redirected him but never really got him to commit to the outrun. He needed a couple more redirects to get him over the top and he lifted nicely. Shortly after that it all went to pot. He let his sheep split and they ran to my right. He made a couple of half hearted attempts to stop them but didn't work hard enough and 2 got away back to set out. I was not happy with Lad. Many people made excuses for him and said the sheep were set too much to the right but the bottom line is he should have covered. It was a nice and cool time to run and he wasted it.
Hemp ran about noon, and it was hot. I wet him down and tried to keep his mind cool before I sent them. I don't think he knew where the sheep were before he left but I gave him one redirect shortly after I sent him. He disappeared where Laddie did and I thought "this isn't going to happen again". I whistled him down, even tho I couldn't see him, and then redirected him to the left. I saw nothing for a few seconds but then I saw him come out of the dip on a nice bend. He finished his outrun nicely and started his lift. The fetch was on and off the line, we made the panels and came down the field. He sliced his flank on the turn around the post and we lost one ewe off by herself while the other 4 ran up the drive line. I knew Hemp wouldn't go for the single correctly so I sent him to stop the 4 and waited for the single to catch up. Then we started on the drive line. He did a nice job with that even through the "Bermuda Triangle" - the area from halfway up the drive to midway through the crossdrive. That is where the sheep get tricky and the dogs don't hear. Hemp made those panels and we tried to make up some time on the crossdrive but we got a little low and I caught the sheep just before they were going to pass the panels low. Hemp and I had to work a little to understand what we both wanted but made the crossdrive panels. He put them on a nice third leg of the drive and got them to the shedding ring. I thought I needed to help him make the sheep stand still but they kept running. Scott told me I shouldn't have gotten so involved with the sheep and I will remember that on the next run. I guess I was causing the running. I took a cheap shed on the butts of the sheep (Scott gave me a wrist slapping for that one) and headed to the pen, which I didn't make - there were only about 6 pens today. We got a 60 for our efforts. Good for that time of day but not good enough for the finals qualification (top 5 each day go to the finals)
If it was possible, it was even hotter when Maid ran. We thought she'd probably get cranky and eat a sheep but she was actually pretty good. She needed a couple redirects on her outrun but lifted really quietly and started them on a good line. Everything was going great and she was right ready to make the fetch panels when Scott flanked her and hit her with a hard down. I'm sure you can figure out what happened next! She did a nice turn back and started back up the hill for her other set of sheep.

Maid on her way to the fetch panels, shortly before the turnback!
Scott got her stopped and back on the sheep shortly but they missed the panel. They moved on to the post and the drive away which went nicely.

Maid makes her drive away panels
The crossdrive got messy tho. She kept all her sheep on line but they split into 3 leaders and 2 laggers. The two groups got separated by almost 20 yards at one point but Maid never came between the two groups and once she got the leaders stopped she went back and moved the slow ones along. She had a nice shed but no pen and got a 67.

Maid on her way to the shedding ring
Still not good enough for the finals.
Our good friend Faansie Basson and his nice Jill were in the lead most of the day with an 83 until the very last run when he was tied by Linda Tesdahl and Jaff who took the lead based on outwork. A few other notables: Amanda Milliken gripped at the pen. Bev Lambert and Hemp stalled on the drive. Jo Anne Zoerb and Brynn looked good and got the pen and a place in the finals. Red Oliver's dog gripped and rode a sheep at the top and Norm Close and Gwen got a pen with a 70.
Scott runs Drift late tomorrow and I will try again with Lad in the late afternoon.
Day One Finals Qualifiers:
1. Linda Tesdahl and Jaff 83
2. Faansie Basson and Jill 83
3. Bill Berhow and Pete 78
4. Ron Burkey and Hank 76
5. Jo Anne Zoerb and Brynn 76

Thursday, September 3, 2009


We left Alberta last night at 9PM. We usually do this trip in one day but then we arrive after dark at Soldier Hollow. This year we planned to get a few hours done a day earlier. With yesterday's heat, we ended up waiting until it started to cool before we left. We drove for 3 hours and then decided to sleep until morning. Alot of handlers park at Walmart when they travel. I understand the convenience of being near a highway and being fairly well lit and safe, plus room for a big camper, but we expect a little more. We like a view too.

Puppies June, Nan and Sass enjoy the view while taking a break from the truck
We avoid cities with our large camper and truck full of dogs so we often find that the dark road we parked on the night before surprises us with beautiful scenery in the morning. A brief run for the dogs and then we hit the road again.

Beautiful Montana roads

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Soldier Hollow

On Friday we will be at my favorite trial in Heber City, Utah. Soldier Hollow isn't a USBCHA sanctioned trial but it is worth going if you get an invite. I didn't do anything worth getting an invitation for this year but Scott and Pleat won it last year so I get an "honorary invite". Which basically means that they let me run one dog because my spouse earned their way in. I don't care, I just think this trial is really fun. A bonus this year, they had a late cancellation and are going to let me run two dogs! I was dying to try Hemp on this field so now I get to. Scott will be running Maid and Drift. Maid was here last year so hopefully she will improve upon her performance.
If you've never been, check out this video and maybe you'll decide to take a little vacation to Utah this labor day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Canadian Championships - Double Lift

Today was like all the past few days. Cold enough to wear long johns in the morning but getting hot around 10AM. They started with the opening ceremonies with all of the handlers parading out on the field.

Handler parade - Scott is in the light blue shirt 4th from the left
A young boy sang the Canadian National Anthem and the set out riders came down the field with the Canadian and Western Canadian flags.

Head set out rider, Chris Schmaltz leads the Canadian flag parade
I snapped a picture of the Reserve Nursery traveling trophy because I won it two years ago and never got it. It was broken and once it was fixed it was never mailed to me. I don't win alot and it was a special award that I would have liked to have for the year and had my name engraved on it. I appreciate that someone did get my name on the trophy but I was disappointed that it didn't say, "Jennifer Glen" or even "Jenny Glen " but it said, "Jen Glen".

My name and Laddie's name on the Canadian Reserve Nursery trophy
Oh, well. As someone pointed out, at least I did well enough to get it there.
I wish I had got a picture of Don and his Champion Nursery Trophy but we didn't expect to leave before it was over. Hopefully someone will bring it to us or be kind enough to put his name on it.

Drift's run wasn't bad. He went out to the right on his first outrun and had no trouble finding his sheep. He did over run again and had to be directed over. Scott fought him a little on the dog leg fetch but made the panels and set up to do the turn back. He had to ask him a couple of times, but he didn't cross over and got back to his second set on the left. Once again they fought on the diagonal fetch but made the panels and joined the two sets of sheep.

Drift with the second set of sheep
The drive was once again beautiful and controlled but the sheep were heavy. They made all their panels and then started on the shed. Scott had a nice first cut but had difficulty getting a flow going. They got down to one sheep and just couldn't get it cut out even though Scott leaves his sloughed sheep pretty close to make a nice draw.

Scott and Drift working on the shed
It was disappointing to not finish but it was a good practice for Drift to try his turn back on a new field. I didn't see any more runs after that since we had to get home but I did get the final scores...

Canadian/Western Canadian Championships
1. Dennis Gellings and Jan 126
2. Peter Gonnet and Jill 108
3. Amanda Milliken and Clive 105 (Canadian Only)
4. Bev Lambert and Mirk 103
5. Bev Lambert and Hemp 99
6. George Stambulic and Kate 92
7. Ian Zoerb and Gyp 92
8. Scott Glen and Drift 87
9. Nancy Stephens and Ike 76
10. Norm Sommer and Jock 74 (Western Canadian only)
11.Vickie Close and Gale 57 (Canadian only)
Vicki Kidd and Merle DQ (Canadian only)
Grant Musgrove and Sam RT
Judy Finseth and Maude DQ (Western Canadian only)

Canadian/ Western Canadian Champion
Dennis Gellings and Jan
Canadian/ Western Canadian Reserve Champion
Peter Gonnet and Jill

Canadians Round Two - Update

I know you are asking where the updates went! Unfortunately, we had a farm emergency so things have gone haywire. We got a call yesterday that our sheep were out. Scott left the trial immediately and drove the 3 1/2 hours home to find our sheep 8 miles away, across a highway and brought them home where he was confronted by the 3 stray dogs who had attacked them in our barnyard. After dealing with the situation, he came back to the trial this morning (Sunday) ran his dog and we left early to try and find the 7 sheep that are still missing. Needless to say, I don't have placings yet but I can rough some stuff out for you.
Let's start with Drift. He had a great run yesterday (round 2) . He over ran dramatically at the top but after that he got it together and smoothly took the sheep around the course. Once again the sheep were difficult to pen and his time ran out. However, with the good run he had the day before, he still got in to the double lift.
Lad ran at the end of the day in the cool.

Lad and I walking to the post- photo by Sara Novak
I decided to send him to the left which was a very difficult outrun but he was still trying to find the imaginary sheep off to my right that made him go wide on his previous outrun. He cast out well and up the hill but perhaps a little wide. He disappeared from my sight and finally, after a few nail biting moments, he reappeared at the top a little short and looking lost. I flanked him over and he was gone again. I just guessed at when he was in the right place and hit him with a steady which brought him over the hill in almost the right place. He had a nice lift and a great fetch and was racing to turn the post when he tripped over some irregularity in the field and took a hard tumble. He hit so hard, I wasn't sure if he would be sound when he stood up again but he jumped right up. I told him "GOOD BOY!" and got him back on track. Most of the time, when a dog takes a hard tumble like that, they don't come back to finish their run well but not Lad. He worked his heart out on his drive and made all his panels.

Lad giving it everything he had- photo by Sara Novak
As he brought them to the pen, I was determined that the sheep would not get the better of me again. We got them in the mouth and I crouched down to keep them from running through me. It was a tense couple of minutes but we got them in. A perfect, full point pen.

Lad and I at the pen - photo by Sara Novak
We had just about a minute left and rushed into the shedding ring. I saw one risky chance at a shed and I took it. Lad is a bad shedder and usually I need a hole the size of a bus before I call him in but this time he came in and held his sheep and the crowd cheered. The score was lower than I expected (74) and didn't reflect the heart he put into his run. Both he and Hemp missed the double lift cut off by one point.

Canadian/Western Canadian Championships Double Lift Running Order
1. Bev Lambert and Hemp
2. Vickie Kidd and Merle (Canadians only)
3. Nancy Stephens and Ike
4. Scott and Drift
5. Norm Sommer and Jock (Western Canadian only)
6. Vickie Close and Gale (Canadians only)
7. Amanda Milliken and Clive (Canadians only)
8. Ian Zoerb and Gyp
9. George Stambulic and Kate
10. Grant Musgrove and Sam
11. Judy Finseth and Maude (Western Canadian only)
12. Bev Lambert and Mirk
13. Dennis Gellings and Jan
14. Peter Gonnet and Jill

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Canadian Open Second Round- First Update

Scott and Maid ran their second course around 6PM last night. It was starting to be cool and the sheep were getting better but Maid didn't luck out with her set. She got a high headed running Suffolk that just wouldn't slow down. The run got crazy and she missed all of her panels with the exception of two ewes who went through the drive panels. She actually did get the pen (which is now a different pen - it's more solid to make the sheep more comfortable, but smaller which won't, so time will tell if it is an improvement - so far it's not) but on her shed she gripped off.
Hemp and I ran our second round at about 8PM. It was nice and cool and the shadows were gone so I could see real well. They set our sheep high on the hill. Higher than they have been setting them and they did lose them twice on his outrun but he took his redirect and had a nice lift. He was pretty straight down the fetch line with a little bobble at the panels. Our drive was nice and we made all our panels. Hemp is really trying to work with me and although his stop was off, he was still controllable and even made the crossdrive panels by using a little "intelligent disobedience" taking a different flank than I asked. Turned out he was right. The same thing happened at the pen. We lost the sheep around and around and I asked him to go one way which wasn't working and he took it upon himself to go the other way and he got them stopped in the mouth. I had to get down low to keep those sheep from busting through the rope - many a handler is sporting a rope burn because the sheep ran through the rope. (can I say how proud I am of him getting the idea how to pen when 2 weeks ago we had never penned in our entire trialing career?!) We got them in and then ran to the shedding ring with about a minute left. I couldn't take as fast a shed as last time and probably lost a point or two setting it up but Hemp came in beautifully and had an eye to eye stop on one ewe before the judge called it. I was thrilled with that because he's never had one look at him like that before and I know that this past winter, he would have let that girl go. Wish I had a picture! Anyway, his score was a 74 which is much improved from his last one but it won't be enough to get us in the double lift on Sunday. Hopefully, we'll have Scott and Drift to root on. They run late today along with Lad and I.
Grant Musgrove (Hemp and Maid's breeder) just laid down a 90 this morning with his 11 year old Sam!

Canadian Open First Round Results

Full results can be found here
Open Round One (71 dogs):
1.Bev Lambert and Hemp
2. Scott Glen and Drift
3. Amanda Milliken and Clive
4. Ian Zoerb and Gyp
5. Bev Lambert and Mirk
6. Nancy Stephens and Ike
7. Peter Gonnet and Jill
8. Gayle Cochlan and Meg
9. Norm Sommer and Jock
10. Stormy Winters and Roy

Friday, August 28, 2009

Canadian Open First Round - Update 2

Scott and Drift were out in the coolness this morning when the light was beautiful and the sheep were still happy.

Drift on the fetch
He had a great outrun but had some difficulty on his lift. The sheep had decided they were going to walk back up the hill and they didn't care if there was a dog or not. I'm not sure if Drift made contact with them but he had to jump at them for a grip to get them moving. After that the ewe was broke and walked around the course docile as a, well, as a lamb.

Drift and Scott turning the post
They made all their panels and got the pen and a nice shed. His final score was an 83 and at this point he is in the lead with Amanda Milliken and Clive in second place with an 80.

Drift is in the lead!
Laddie didn't have a good run. It started with his outrun. He must have spotted something off to my right and got wider and wider until he decided he was lost. It took multiple redirects and lots of time to get him to the sheep. He had a good lift and was good around the course but we didn't get the pen. Wouldn't you know it, we ran out of time just as they were going in.
We will start the second round in a couple of hours. Maid will run for sure and Hemp will be on the bubble. Either way, he'll get to run in the cool again. I will get the top 10 first round posted later tonight.