I took Ricky down to Clinton, MO this weekend for a judge field trial, tough cattle, rain, snow, sleet, ugh...I will be surprised if I don't end up with the flu...
The first round of open had just shy of 23 dogs, only 2 handlers succeeded in getting the cattle to turn the handlers post. Ricky lost 5 points on his outrun and lift, but we could not complete the fetch, we were in good company. I was really wishing that I had brought Jake along, I would have liked to see if he could have gotten the work done, but Wayne needed him here to load sheep for the sale barn.
Next was our nursery run, as the cattle were being set I noted that one cow took the set out dog back to the holding pens twice, not a good sign. I sent Ricky on his way, things came together well even making the turn around the post. At that point the cow that gave the set out dog a hard time made a break, Ricky and myself had an argument over the handling of the cow and I ended up leaving the post to make my point to him taking a retire. As I left the field Larry Moore told me I should have stayed put, that it was working out and would have potentially turned into a winning nursery run, oh well, I think it ended up being the right thing to do and will paid off in the long run.
We ran our second open run next, it was the best run of the day for us, completeing the course which included loading a trailer. I think we were the third team of the day to get the cows on the trailer, as I recall, all through the 1st open, nursery and ranch there were no course completions.
We needed a 4th place finish to land in the top 20% in the 2nd open class (19 dogs)**, we ended up tied for 4th and I lost the tie breaker. I was 1 point away!!! Ouch! I can think of a lot of places around the course where I lost that one point.
**eta: after reviewing the results we needed to be 3rd, we had 2-3 weather related scratches, only 16 handlers went to the post. Also found out that when I left the post in my nursery run the judge considered it as after the cross drive, coulda, woulda, shoulda went ahead and penned, ended up 2nd in nursery without my drive and pen points...
This morning Ricky and myself made one last run in the Open class, it was nicest run of the weekend for both of us, I actually was able to remind myself to breath and relax. But, we ran short of time and timed out in the middle of loading our cattle into the trailer. Woulda, coulda, shoulda...we were in there right up until the trailer loading, so close but yet so far.
I'm pretty proud of my dog, we still have a lot of work to do but he held his own in some pretty tough conditions this weekend. On to plans for 2012 Cattledog Open & Nursery Finals.
Last Chance Cattledog Nursery Finals Qualifing
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