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Sue R

It's all in the family

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Julie and Laura - How about a synopsis of the Nursery classes at Breezy Hill, featuring the Twistlets - Phoebe, Pip, and Nick?

 

If I can't get to a trial, I sure like to hear about it and live vicariously, especially when it's friends and their youngsters.

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Sue - They're still at the trial! :rolleyes: I can give an abbreviated report though. Laura and Nick went out and won their first ever (for either of them) runs in PN and Nursery! She's done such a great job with him and i'm so proud. :D Phoebe was 2nd in Nursery and Pip had an unhappy group of sheep so retired. It sounded like they were having a good time.

 

Also, my good buddy Joan Stout-Knight had her first ever Open run and she and Brooke had what sounded like a nice run and decent score. I'm over-the-moon thrilled for Joan - she's been working at this a very long time!

 

I'm sure Julie and Laura will fill in the details and report on today.

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I *knew* Laura and Nick were going to do great! I'm so happy to hear the news. Congrats to Phoebe and Julie, too. Can't wait to hear how today goes...

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It certainly is all in the family! :D **WARNING: Shameless bragging to ensue. Sorry, but this post is also long, since I'll give some details about the runs.

 

Laura and Nick were definitely the stars of the weekend. They turned in another stellar performance in P/N this morning to tie for first place, which means they had to run off for the win. Unfortunately, the combination of some rather squirrelly sheep (let's just say they hadn't had it easy in the N/N class) that included a barb and Laura's nerves from having been caught unawares and having to run back to her van to get Nick for the run off, they ended up placing second for the day (they still did a great job with the sheep they had). But the real topper was that they were overall P/N champions for the weekend! They did an awesome job, and Laura should be very proud of herself and her pup (and I imagine she is).

 

Mary Luper ran her young dog Roxy in N/N. They retired on Saturday, but placed 6th (with a completed run) on Sunday. Mary also ran Ben in P/N both days. They timed out at the pen on Saturday and didn't have a placing run, but on Sunday she placed 6th.

 

In other family news, cousin Larky placed second both days in her open ranch debut to clinch the overall open ranch championship for the weekend. One wrong flank (I gave the correct flank; Lark took the wrong one) on Roy's sheep on the drive away on the open field can be fatal, and today it cost us the win, but Larky did a great job of catching runaway sheep on the crossdrive, getting them back under control, and successfully negotiating the chute and the pen (and anyone who knows Roy's sheep knows that pens are not easy to come by). Tony Luper and Blurr were third in ranch on Saturday and retired on Sunday. I think there were only four scores today out of 12 or 13 dogs, if that gives you any idea about how pissy the sheep had become (the open dogs didn't fare much better, with lots of retires)....

 

I'll explain how the sheep work on this course to give you an idea what it's like. If you're standing out the post, the exhaust is behind you and to your right in an old barn. Off to the right in front of the barn area are two ponds. At the far corner of the field, also to the handler's right is the set out area. The field is set up for a left hand drive. Normally the sheep aren't too bad to fetch up the field, but once you turn the post to make the left-hand drive, the sheep lean really hard to the right, so that you're forced to keep your dog way over to the right as well to try to make the panels. As soon as the sheep hit those panels, whether they make or miss, they generally high tail it for the set out. In the meantime, the dog, who was all the way over on the right, has to do a huge, fast flank to the left (so as not to cross the course) to catch the sheep and get them back online for the cross drive. The sheep will lull you into thinking they're on line on the cross drive (when they're not running 90 miles an hour) and often will jog to the left or right at the last second, causing a miss high or low. It's crucial that the dog once again do a fast left flank because once the sheep make or miss that panel, their inclination is to bolt across the ditch that runs behind that set of panels and then swing around onto the other side of the ponds. On bad runs, it's not unusual for sheep to go in the pond. They can be gotten back across the dam between the two ponds, but it's not for the faint of heart and takes a steady dog. So coming up the side of the field on the handler's side of the pond from the cross drive panels, the sheep have to be brought through a chute--if they pass the plane that passes through the exit of the chute, you've missed the obstacle and have to move on to the pen. The pen is the last thing to be done on the ranch course. For open, since we were running four sheep, the handler-dog team also had to do a split, taking the last two sheep on the head. Given the penning problems that were the downfall of many teams, there weren't many opportunities to attempt a shed in the open class.

 

You've got the results of yesterday's nursery, but I'll give you the details. Pip went first, and they were holding the sheep on grain. He did a lovely outrun, but the sheep had their heads down on grain, facing away from him as he came up for the lift, and then when they realized he was there, it was like popcorn sheep--splitting in multiple directions at a dead run. They then bolted for the setout, and the chaos that ensured there left him a little rattled. I ran down the field to help him and we got the sheep off the setout and I had him drive them back up the field to the exhaust, so we were at least able to turn it into a positive experience.

 

Laura and Nick ran second and he had a beautiful outrun, lift, and fetch. The drive was a bit rough (not Nick's fault--the sheep were just tough to get around the course in general), and I can't remember which panels she made or missed, but they got their pen for a final score of 71.

 

Phoebe ran last and also had a nice OLF. I don't remember what drive panels we made or missed (maybe Laura does) and we also got our pen for a score of 68 and second place.

 

(Note: Since there were just three nursery dogs, the scores and placings don't count for anything--you need five to have an official sanctioned class, but Roy and Debbie were kind enough to let us go ahead and run a nursery course just to get mileage on a bigger course for the youngsters.)

 

Today's nursery runs were sort of the opposite of yesterday's Phoebe ran first, and her outrun started out nicely, but she came in flat on top and pushed the sheep off sideways toward the set out (oh no! They didn't need any encouragement to go in that direction!), but then she covered nicely, and managed to get them back on line. It went downhill from there because Miss Pheebs was like a freight train with no brakes. Lie down had somehow completely escaped her vocabulary. I was able to keep it under control (barely) to get the drive away, and she even took that hard flank to catch them on the escape and make the turn for the cross drive. At that point, she was pushing the heck out of them and ignoring me completely. We missed the cross drive panels low (in other words, toward the pond), at which point, one of the sheep split off and went up on the edge of the pond. At that point I decided to cut my losses and leave the post and make an impression on Miss Freight Train before we had to fish sheep out of the pond. And that was basically the end of our run (well, if you don't count Phoebe railroading them on up to the exhaust, ignoring me the entire way....).

 

Laura had planned to send Nick right (although sending right makes sense on this field to cover the draw to the set out, a ditch on that side of the field means that handlers don't often send that way, and usually there's no harm in that, but for some reason, especially today, the sheep were quite determined to bolt back to the set out, which made sending right a more viable option), but at the last moment decided to send him left as she had done the day before. Nick also ran out nice but came in flat and pushed the sheep off toward the set out. Unfortunately, they outran him to the set out, and Laura left the post to run down the field and go help him out. When she got there, he scooped the sheep off the set out very nicely and they wore them back up the field. Afterward the judge told her she had done the exact right thing to make sure that he maintained his confidence.

 

Then came Pip. I thought about sending him right, but was concerned with all that went on at the set out yesterday that he might be drawn there, but then figured, "What the heck? The worst that could happen is that we lose our sheep, and we've already done that once, so it couldn't really hurt." I certainly didn't have to worry about him stumbling over the ditch, because he ran pretty tight most of the way out, finally kicking out and around as he passed the plane of the fetch panels. He had a nice easy lift and brought them fairly on line. (In the past he's been inclined to stay behind and push rather than being willing to correct the line, so I was very pleased that he took his flanks and we got them online for a good part of the fetch.) We made the drive away, and I think we just missed the cross drive panels. [ETA: Duh on the chute comment--we didn't do the chute in nursery.] We got our pen, for a final score of 74. So he managed to redeem himself after Saturday's fiasco.

 

In the open class on Saturday, Susan Rhoades won with Rock-It and a score of 96 (out of 110). Tom Forrester and Pete were second with a 95. Tony Luper and Maid were 3rd with a 87. Twist and I were 4th with an 83. I can't remember who was 5th, and Kat and I were 6th with an 80. Twist had a really nice run on Saturday, but we ate up a ton of time at the pen, and when I finally got them in, I had about 6 inches to go getting the gate shut when time was called, so I didn't get my pen points. :rolleyes:

 

Today, Twist, running second from the end, laid down a gorgeous run, including a silent gather until the sheep had made it past the fetch panels, losing 2 points on the fetch when they got a bit offline after making the fetch panels and 1 on the drive, for a score of 107 out of 110 to win the class. Katty Rat didn't have quite that good luck, and we missed the chute entirely, got the pen, but couldn't even get the sheep to settle to attempt to shed. Kay Sander, who ran last, also had a lovely run (ETA: this was with Quest, Twist's mom, so we were still keeping it all in the family), but she had one independent thinker at the pen that ate up her time. She placed 2nd with an 88. Susan Rhoades and Bill were 3rd, Kat and I were 4th, Tom F. and Pete were 5th (he had an awesome run but had the sheep from hell at the pen, and it cost him as he timed out there). ETA: My memory has kicked back in and Dan King and Jig placed 6th. So Twist ended up as overall open champion, with Tom and Pete in reserve.

 

I'm sure Laura will come along and give her impressions of the trial as well.

 

J.

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It certainly is all in the family! :D **WARNING: Shameless bragging to ensue. Sorry, but this post is also long, since I'll give some details about the runs.

 

Laura and Nick were definitely the stars of the weekend. They turned in another stellar performance in P/N this morning to tie for first place, which means they had to run off for the win. Unfortunately, the combination of some rather squirrelly sheep (let's just say they hadn't had it easy in the N/N class) that included a barb and Laura's nerves from having been caught unawares and having to run back to her van to get Nick for the run off, they ended up placing second for the day (they still did a great job with the sheep they had). But the real topper was that they were overall P/N champions for the weekend! They did an awesome job, and Laura should be very proud of herself and her pup (and I imagine she is).

 

Mary Luper ran her young dog Roxy in N/N. They retired on Saturday, but placed 6th (with a completed run) on Sunday. Mary also ran Ben in P/N both days. They timed out at the pen on Saturday and didn't have a placing run, but on Sunday she placed 6th.

 

In other family news, cousin Larky placed second both days in her open ranch debut to clinch the overall open ranch championship for the weekend. One wrong flank (I gave the correct flank; Lark took the wrong one) on Roy's sheep on the drive away on the open field can be fatal, and today it cost us the win, but Larky did a great job of catching runaway sheep on the crossdrive, getting them back under control, and successfully negotiating the chute and the pen (and anyone who knows Roy's sheep knows that pens are not easy to come by). Tony Luper and Blurr were third in ranch on Saturday and retired on Sunday. I think there were only four scores today out of 12 or 13 dogs, if that gives you any idea about how pissy the sheep had become (the open dogs didn't fare much better, with lots of retires)....

 

I'll explain how the sheep work on this course to give you an idea what it's like. If you're standing out the post, the exhaust is behind you and to your right in an old barn. Off to the right in front of the barn area are two ponds. At the far corner of the field, also to the handler's right is the set out area. The field is set up for a left hand drive. Normally the sheep aren't too bad to fetch up the field, but once you turn the post to make the left-hand drive, the sheep lean really hard to the right, so that you're forced to keep your dog way over to the right as well to try to make the panels. As soon as the sheep hit those panels, whether they make or miss, they generally high tail it for the set out. In the meantime, the dog, who was all the way over on the right, has to do a huge, fast flank to the left (so as not to cross the course) to catch the sheep and get them back online for the cross drive. The sheep will lull you into thinking they're on line on the cross drive (when they're not running 90 miles an hour) and often will jog to the left or right at the last second, causing a miss high or low. It's crucial that the dog once again do a fast left flank because once the sheep make or miss that panel, their inclination is to bolt across the ditch that runs behind that set of panels and then swing around onto the other side of the ponds. On bad runs, it's not unusual for sheep to go in the pond. They can be gotten back across the dam between the two ponds, but it's not for the faint of heart and takes a steady dog. So coming up the side of the field on the handler's side of the pond from the cross drive panels, the sheep have to be brought through a chute--if they pass the plane that passes through the exit of the chute, you've missed the obstacle and have to move on to the pen. The pen is the last thing to be done on the ranch course. For open, since we were running for sheep, the handler-dog team also had to do a split, taking the last two sheep on the head. Given the penning problems that were the downfall of many teams, there weren't many opportunities to attempt a shed in the open class.

 

You've got the results of yesterday's nursery, but I'll give you the details. Pip went first, and they were holding the sheep on grain. He did a lovely outrun, but the sheep had their heads down on grain, facing away from him as he came up for the lift, and then when they realized he was there, it was like popcorn sheep--splitting in multiple directions at a dead run. They then bolted for the setout, and the chaos that ensured there left him a little rattled. I ran down the field to help him and we got the sheep off the setout and I had him drive them back up the field to the exhaust, so we were at least able to turn it into a positive experience.

 

Laura and Nick ran second and he had a beautiful outrun, lift, and fetch. The drive was a bit rough (not Nick's fault--the sheep were just tough to get around the course in general), and I can't remember which panels she made or missed, but they got their chute and pen for a final score of 71.

 

Phoebe ran last and also had a nice OLF. I don't remember what drive panels we made or missed (maybe Laura does) and we also got our chute and pen for a score of 68 and second place.

 

(Note: Since there were just three nursery dogs, the scores and placings don't count for anything--you need five to have an official sanctioned class, but Roy and Debbie were kind enough to let us go ahead and run a nursery course just to get mileage on a bigger course for the youngsters.)

 

Today's nursery runs were sort of the opposite of yesterday's Phoebe ran first, and her outrun started out nicely, but she came in flat on top and pushed the sheep off sideways toward the set out (oh no! They didn't need any encouragement to go in that direction!), but then she covered nicely, and managed to get them back on line. It went downhill from there because Miss Pheebs was like a freight train with no brakes. Lie down had somehow completely escaped her vocabulary. I was able to keep it under control (barely) to get the drive away, and she even took that hard flank to catch them on the escape and make the turn for the cross drive. At that point, she was pushing the heck out of them and ignoring me completely. We missed the cross drive panels low (in other words, toward the pond), at which point, one of the sheep split off and went up on the edge of the pond. At that point I decided to cut my losses and leave the post and make an impression on Miss Freight Train before we had to fish sheep out of the pond. And that was basically the end of our run (well, if you don't count Phoebe railroading them on up to the exhaust, ignoring me the entire way....).

 

Laura had planned to send Nick right (although sending right makes sense on this field to cover the draw to the set out, a ditch on that side of the field means that handlers don't often send that way, and usually there's no harm in that, but for some reason, especially today, the sheep were quite determined to bolt back to the set out, which made sending right a more viable option), but at the last moment decided to send him left as she had done the day before. Nick also ran out nice but came in flat and pushed the sheep off toward the set out. Unfortunately, they outran him to the set out, and Laura left the post to run down the field and go help him out. When she got there, he scooped the sheep off the set out very nicely and they wore them back up the field. Afterward the judge told her she had done the exact right thing to make sure that he maintained his confidence.

 

Then came Pip. I thought about sending him right, but was concerned with all that went on at the set out yesterday that he might be drawn there, but then figured, "What the heck? The worst that could happen is that we lose our sheep, and we've already done that once, so it couldn't really hurt." I certainly didn't have to worry about him stumbling over the ditch, because he ran pretty tight most of the way out, finally kicking out and around as he passed the plane of the fetch panels. He had a nice easy lift and brought them fairly on line. (In the past he's been inclined to stay behind and push rather than being willing to correct the line, so I was very pleased that he took his flanks and we got them online for a good part of the fetch.) We made the drive away, and I think we just missed the cross drive panels. I don't remember if we made or missed the chute, but I think we made it, and then we got our pen, for a final score of 74. So he managed to redeem himself after Saturday's fiasco.

 

In the open class on Saturday, Susan Rhoades won with Rock-It and a score of 96 (out of 110). Tom Forrester and Pete were second with a 95. Tony Luper and Maid were 3rd with a 87. Twist and I were 4th with an 83. I can't remember who was 5th, and Kat and I were 6th with an 80. Twist had a really nice run on Saturday, but we ate up a ton of time at the pen, and when I finally got them in, I had about 6 inches to go getting the gate shut when time was called, so I didn't get my pen points. :rolleyes:

 

Today, Twist, running second from the end, laid down a gorgeous run, including a silent gather until the sheep had made it past the fetch panels, losing 2 points on the fetch when they got a bit offline after making the fetch panels and 1 on the drive, for a score of 107 out of 110 to win the class. Katty Rat didn't have quite that good luck, and we missed the chute entirely, got the pen, but couldn't even get the sheep to settle to attempt to shed. Kay Sander, who ran last, also had a lovely run, but she had one independent thinker at the pen that ate up her time. She placed 2nd with an 88. Susan Rhoades and Bill were 3rd, Kat and I were 4th, Tom F. and Pete were 5th (he had an awesome run but had the sheep from hell at the pen, and it cost him as he timed out there). I don't remember who was 6th (or if there even was a 6th place dog). So Twist ended up as overall open champion, with Tom and Pete in reserve.

 

I'm sure Laura will come along and give her impressions of the trial as well.

 

J.

[/quot

 

 

Julie,

 

Congratulations on your good goes and all your dog's relatives as well. Sounds like a very good wekend.

 

Carolyn

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How terrific for all the Poudrier Pups, and especially Laura and Nick! And, thank you for all the details. It was almost as good as being there (maybe you remember, Julie, that Roy and Debbie's is where I first met you, several years ago on a hot summer's weekend).

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Thanks for the recap, Julie! It was almost like being there. :rolleyes: Congratulations to everyone on a super weekend, especially Nick and Laura!

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Wow, terrific descriptions of the runs and the course, Julie! I could picture everything.

Congratulations to everyone on having such a great weekend!

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How terrific for all the Poudrier Pups, and especially Laura and Nick! And, thank you for all the details. It was almost as good as being there (maybe you remember, Julie, that Roy and Debbie's is where I first met you, several years ago on a hot summer's weekend).

Yep, and I think I offended you pretty much right off the bat with my strong opinions! :rolleyes:

 

J.

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Wow, terrific descriptions of the runs and the course, Julie! I could picture everything.

Congratulations to everyone on having such a great weekend!

For a more full description I should have noted that open, nursery, and ranch are run on the big field, which is the course I described. N/N and P/N are run in a small field with "novice" sheep to give the beginner dogs a fighting chance. Otherwise, it might get pretty ugly in the lower classes (well, uglier than it was in many instances).

 

On the novice field, there is a strong draw to the exhaust which is at the bottom of the field and on the same side as the set out. The sheep are kept in their "packets" because Roy knows them well and knows that they will work reasonably in their individual groups as long as the dog isn't doing something stupid. The novice sheep aren't "gimme" sheep by any means, but they are more tolerant of less-than-obedient dogs. On that field the drive/wear is a right hand one with a turn to the outside (away from the field/draw) and back to the pen. The outrun and drive/wear are pretty short, but the dog has to be able to cover the draw to the exhaust on both the outrun and the fetch and the small size of the field makes for more pressure. The sheep will at least stay with the handler for N/N if the dog is behaving itself and not running at them.

 

What I thought was the nicest thing about Nick (and Laura) was that he was able to do very nicely on the novice field and then go out on the big field (a huge step up in size for the outrun and drive) with the open trial sheep and still handle them well.

 

 

J.

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Yep, and I think I offended you pretty much right off the bat with my strong opinions! :rolleyes:

 

J.

 

Offended me, no. Upset me, yes, but you were being honest. You've always given me good advice, whether or not I wanted to hear it and I have a lot to thank you for.

 

Strong, honest, well-based opinions don't always land gently but should be appreciated in the long term. I wish I'd followed your advice from the first. I'd be further along if I had, and I've been grateful for any advice you've given me that I have followed, as it has turned out to be good advice.

 

A true friend is honest, even when it hurts.

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Thanks y'all! It was a fun weekend, and I was more or less a zombie yesterday. I don't think I could possibly tell it any better - it was a little whirl-wind-like for me, so I'm glad Julie was able to lay it out so nicely. Congrats to Julie on some AWESOME runs with all of her dogs. Her Open run on Sunday with Twist was a real thing of beauty. I had chill bumps watching it.

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Nice description of the trial. Sounds like everyone did well. Good for y'all! I also really like the name Twistlets. Very cool.. Riddle's were the Riddlepups,

 

A

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I also really like the name Twistlets. Very cool.. Riddle's were the Riddlepups,

 

A

It's a take-off on the Peglets (Mark Billadeau's Peg's pups). So, kudos to Mark, not me!

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