Sheepdog News

Amanda: Soldier Hollow, Double Lift

Barbara Ray started the ay with a disappointing run with Maverick. It boded badly for the rest of us as the sheep were sluggish and difficult all the way around. She finished without a shed and pen. So early for the eating indifferent sheep, everyone watching thought the sheep would only get worse as the day wore on. Dorey, two dogs later, got around well. I should have been more selective of collared sheep at the shed. I had one that brought me real trouble to the pen and at the pen. I could not pull it off. In the afternoon, Ron Enzeroth did finish with his dependable Mick to tie Dorey’s score. Quite an accomplishment to run well in the suffocating heat, and it was. Coming the sizzling weather made Dennis Gelling’s winning run the more remarkable, ten points ahead of Ron and me.

I was a miner for gold and I’m getting old.

The awards ceremony is a big show at Soldier Hollow, summoning up the olympic past of the venue. The Salt Lake Pipe Band was spectacular, marching down the brown grass, sage brush hillside in full kilt, with bright bits on drums and pipes, sparkling, and the music commanding the hillside. Vista vista and vista. They piped all the medal winners bringing moment.


The Canadian National Anthem was played for Dennis Gelling’s and Tess’s win, but I got a charge from it too.

We drove to Vernal, Utah, using the daylight remaining, overnighted and drove on to Meeker this morning. Over one of the hills, this brig red sun appeared, there must be a fire west, to cause such has, but it was very pretty.


Amanda: Soldier Hollow, Day One

Everyone congregated for the much anticipated handlers meeting at Soldier Hollow. Same old same old. The remarkable temperature differences between morning and afternoon load the running order—nearly freezing in the morning and ninety in the afternoon. Coupled with the altitude, a very challenging trial.

The sheep were thoroughbreds–long legged fit, racing machines. Big efficient strides. Radar on for the uninspiring dog. They have a story to tell about every dog they encounter. Such a joy to run on range finewools.

Bev, Barbara, and I drove to the Zermatt, a transplanted Swiss Hotel in Midway, for pastries, well worth a drive. The Swiss would have been proud of the croissants, Danish ,and sweets for later in the day, Utah notwithstanding.

Chewing the fat with Barbara Ray

Chewing the fat with Barbara Ray

The first two runners of the day led the running–Bill Berhow with his veteran, Coal, and followed in order and points by Angie Coker-Sells and Soot–a clean flanking, efficient bitch, no nonsense. Afterwards, the running was difficult, with retires and grips to DQ abounding. In their first appearance at Soldier Hollow, Mary Minor and Feist had a great start, which wound down to a grip in the last portion of the cross drive. Barbara Ray had a respectable run around with Stella to clock out in the ring. The running was wonderfully informative, so intriguing to watch.

Mary Minor and Feist turning the post.

Mary Minor and Feist turning the post.

Howell ran well around the course, only to have his handler lose her mind in the shedding ring–sheep out of the ring. I had two full minutes to pen and could not manage it, not after bungling the shed so successfully, putting the sheep on edge. Still his score held up to lead the day.

BevLive: Belgian Open, Day 2

Things went a bit better for us today. I’m still missing second drive gates with alarming frequency but my dogs are performing better. Now I just need to step up a bit more.

Derek had a really good go on field 2 scoring 109. I haven’t broken 100 yet but I’ve hit a couple of second drive gates so I’m happy.

We’re running the end of this to a standard so they can try and finish by 5:00. They aren’t going to make it as I’m writing at 4:00 and this field at least has at least 15 runners to go. I know very few of them and so am never sure where we are in the order.

I think Derek and Scott are in contention for the double lift but the computation is incredibly complex and we won’t really know until they publish the results.

sheep at the Belgian Open

sheep at the Belgian Open

I’m leaving as soon as I run Nan to drive to my hotel at the World Trial venue. We don’t need to be there until tomorrow afternoon but I’d as soon get there now as drive it tomorrow.

World Trial hotel room

World Trial hotel room

outside the World Trial hotel

outside the World Trial hotel

BevLive: the Finals begin

Sheep arriving in Carbondale

Sheep arriving in Carbondale

Very limited internet here. Mostly while I’m walking dogs I need to keep an eye out for magic spots of connectivity.

Yesterday was the day to arrive and get level. We’re all parked together, a bit away from the many many other campers, which is nice. Had the handler’s meeting and the compulsive drive-walking yesterday at 5:00. Then Kak and Mich had appetizers and pizza for us all. Really nice to be warm with friends as it got cold and windy and even spit some rain.

8:00 start with the Open today. Nursery starts tomorrow. I don’t run today so I’ll go cheer my friends on.

Early Colorado morning

Early Colorado morning

Amanda: down day

Who knows why a day’s trialling is so exhausting, but it was.

Everyone was in the recuperation gear. The drive from Soldier Hollow was uneventful. A mangy coyote interrupted a vista. The cafe was right in Vernal. The dogs enjoyed their customary swim party at the Kenny Reservoir, which looked extra precious stone like, azure blue against the stark barren cliffs that form its edge. Meeker was bright and promising. Full of people wanting stories of Soldier Hollow, but looking forward to this field of dreams.

The black powder season has begun here for elk. Bonus for the dogs. They adore elk legs, which can be ours for the pick up at the processing centers. Happy dogs.

Away with the light blankets, in with the duvet. Near freezing at night, but hot in the afternoon.


BevLive: the calm before the storm

This was what they used to call a “make and mend day” in the navy. We did nothing. Visited with friends, had a great lunch with friends. Sat around with friends. Nice to see friends.

Lovely dinner at Sundance about which I have nothing more to say. Running begins in the morning more news then.

Went with Amanda, Barbara Ray, he Haynes, and Brian Cash for dinner at the Sundance resort. Very fancy for a bunch of dog trialers

Went with Amanda, Barbara Ray, he Haynes, and Brian Cash for dinner at the Sundance resort. Very fancy for a bunch of dog trialers

And the winners are . . .

Diana Antlitz (comment #13)

Darlene Hastings (comment #40)

Random numbers from 1 to 110 generated courtesy of Diana and Darlene, please email me at to claim your DVD box set. Congratulations, and thanks for playing, everyone. Hope you enjoyed watching the Finals this weekend!

Win a DVD Box Set of the 2011 National Sheepdog Finals

And now for something completely different, we’re going to try a blog giveaway to promote the Finals web cast. This giveaway was inspired by a similar one implement by Jenna Woginrich at her always-entertaining Cold Antler Farm blog. Jenna is a NEBCA member and owner of a young border collie sired by last year’s Finals winner Riggs. She’s training him to be a sheepdog, and I’m sure they’ll be a successful team soon!

And now, to the meat of the post. We’re giving away two complete DVD box sets of this year’s Finals–that includes every Open run, the preliminary rounds through the double-lift Finals. Everyone can enter a total of four times, by doing four different things to promote the web cast. Here’s how it will work:

* Leave a comment to this blog post saying what you’re most looking forward to seeing in the web cast–that will be Entry #1

* Post a link to this instructional video explaining how to sign up for the streaming video to your Facebook wall (some of you have done this already–you don’t need to do it again) and come back and leave a comment telling me how many friends you have that will see it. That will be Entry #2.

* Write a short entry on your own blog linking to the instructional video and come back and leave a comment with a link to that blog entry. That will be Entry #3.

* Print out this poster and hang it up somewhere in your community (a vet’s office, feed store, etc.), and then come back and leave a comment telling me where you hung it. That will be Entry #4.

Not everyone will be able to enter four times, since not everyone has a blog or a Facebook page, but I wanted to give you all the options to throw your hats into the ring multiple times. The contest will run up until the end of the Finals. At that time. I’ll generate two random numbers from 1 to the number of comments we’ve gotten, and the two numbers corresponding to the comment numbers will win a DVD box set.

Good luck, everyone!

Amanda: Pictures

Amanda’s albums:

BevLive: L & M SDT, Day One

Another scorcher. We think it topped 100 degrees today. Sure felt it anyway.Not much wind, just hot and bright. We are on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation here. Turns out pieces of the reservation belong to non Indians to whom it's been sold over the years. Hence Mike and Laura Hicks' ranch in the middle of the reservation.

Glorious field. Must be 1500 yards long at least. We are standing at the highest point at one end and sending our dogs almost 700 yards over several hills for five sheep, two ewes and three lambs. Some of the old ewes were tough–they would just walk away from the group and ignore the dogs. The course was straightforward but because the ground on the right was so big and rough everyone sent left on the outrun.

L&M trial field

We started with open at 6:00 to try and run as many as we could ahead of the worst of the heatMy dogs went from bad to good. Mirk was marginal, flanking too wide and not pressing his sheep to my liking. Nel ran too big again and when I attempted to call her off the set out, where she ended up, she came back to me. No score, no biscuit. "Bad Dog!" Bud and Delta had a very good run toward the end when it was very hot scoring 90 and winning the trial. Hemp and I ran just after him and also had a good go. Hemp kept a lot of pressure on the sheep so there wasn't any splitting. He was a good boy and got second with a 85. Dennis Edwards was third with 81.

The ProNovice was a bit of a rerun of the open, with Bud winning and Mickey Welsh second. Mickey came from Oklahoma and Kay from Texas to escape the heat. Oops.

Meg ran like an express train and I left the post at the first drive gate to get after her. Too many trials in a row and no chance to school her. I have been letting her run stronger and stronger in order to hopefully win and she has finally gotten completely out of hand. The correction paid off as she was much more responsive in the nursery and had a very good run, beaten by Bud and Tine's even better go. I'm very pleased that she is lifting her sheep very calmly with plenty of authority. We get into trouble when she doesn't think they are moving fast enough and really starts trying to chase. She has a lot of chase in her. Once she starts chasing I have a very hard time getting her stopped and things go downhill from there. We have been working some very tough sheep and so I have been letting her carry on a bit. A bit too much maybe.

Laura had us all up to the house for dinner and some Blue Grass music. Turns out her dad is quite a talented musician.

Mike and the water truck left shortly after noon to go fight a wild fire. Laura said he would probably be gone all night. The fire danger here is "extreme"; everything is as dry as tinder. I don't smell any smoke so they must have gotten to the fire in time.

It's finally cooling off now so we are all hidden away in our campers resting. Nothing like 12 hours of dog trialing in 100 degree weather to wear one out.


Correction to yesterday, Kay Stephens won the PN Dennis was second.