Old Chatham Sheep Herding Company OPEN trial
Posted 27 April 2008 - 05:49 PM
Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:28 PM
This was truly a GREAT trial. The sheep were undogged Fresians from the dairy. They were run on a hay field. The gather was 400 yards, with a swath of woods on your away side, and a few trees on your come by. This trial tested every facet of a dog's ability- starting on the gather. Those who sent right sometimes ate it because the dog didn't find the sheep. Those who sent left same thing. Those who's dogs did find sheep had to use every bit of their stock sense to get the sheep lifted, and staying together and heading toward the fetch panels. If you got your fetch panels, you were fortunate. As you came toward the post, the sheep didn't always blithely turn the post- no- remember, they don't know that field. It took good cover and speed at times, to prevent a haul butt to the exhaust which was close. Then, the drives. By then the sheep handled well by the dogs generally settled in- some not so much. Some dogs were met with resistance, as in the ewe wasn't going that way- leading to tense moments. After the drive you had the shed (today, but Fri was the pen first). These sheep were not dogged, so forceful full of presence dogs jiggered them up. They were not interested in shedding, unless you settled them back down- tick tock tick tock. Then, onto the pen. Not one single group ran for the pen- some ran toward, and went around, some ran toward the handler. Some (most) nicely walked up and stood there. Dogs who were succesful were calm, settled, and flanked well- but even some of those just didn't get a pen. Some people had outstanding runs. Amanda and I think it was Clive took a NINETY FIVE. At one point we had a run wherein the sheep would NOT turn the post- they were just plain worried about something. The run became a retire. The exhaust person sent her dog. Dog tried very hard to get them in the exhaust chute. NO way. I went out to help. Nope, no go. Judge came to help- still no. Then, the dog who retired, was sent out, that made it, let's see- two dogs, 4 people. We finally got them in, but I have to say I had visions of grabbing electronet and corraling their butts. The field was lush green, the weather good, the food excellent- everyone helped, it was just plain great. Those of you who missed this, missed one of the best trials of the season, hands down.
Great reporting for those of us not there! Where is this trial located?
Posted 28 April 2008 - 10:17 AM
Posted 28 April 2008 - 11:21 PM
Old Chatam is upstate New York. Just a hair south and east of Albany. Joan
Posted 29 April 2008 - 08:31 AM
Posted 29 April 2008 - 08:47 AM
It was really very good. With the 400 yard gather on these sheep, the lift into the fetch was all the dog. Not sure if dogs could hear whistles that well. It was real work for the dog to keep them all together- I know- I videoed a few of them. When the fetch panels were hit, it was a good achievement. These sheep had one draw- back to the holding pens, and some dogs lost it there. These were not light, not heavy, just "real sheep" as the judge, Bob Stephens put it. Sheep had great grass to eat each night/morning, and they faired well. Mucho Kudos to Warren and Maria for an extraordinary sheepdog trial experience.
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