Amanda: Soldier Hollow, Day Two
No one here got up that early, lingering over a perfect cup of Nicaraguan coffee. I had drawn up at mid day. These extreme trials in the west cannot be discussed without the temperature weighing in. The cold mornings, that tempt the neophyte to turn on the furnace, silly, because the day became the furnace itself–so hot, well before noon.
Scott Glen laid one down early in the day, scoring 90–8:00 am to be precise, the first run of the day, Everything that came afterwards was difficult, sheep challenging dogs, dqs, retires. Angie Coker-Sells ran a 79. Ron Enzeroth did too.
Sometimes, in a sheepdog career, someone says something that meets all the work done to date, that gratifies all aspirations, all goals, all focus for the last thirty years. Such was the case today. Tommy Wilson marched across the back of the lower grandstands to where I waited to exhaust my group. I saw him. He marched purposefully. He came to me with arms outstretched. A hug. He said he had watched Dorey’s run from the VIP Centre and loved it. That I had let her go like a sheep, with the sheep. That I had no stops and starts. That she had taken care of the sheep but most of all that I had let her. I tried to tell him what a high compliment that meant to me. What an honour his comments had been. I don’t know if he knew. Don’t know if he understood. These are emotional moments in sheepdog trialling. Where a respected peer cites admiration for work. Work to which I have applied myself to longer than I can recall. Dorey didn’t catch Scot Glen and Alice but she ran a respectable 86 at high noon, finishing second on the day.
Later in the evening we went to the Tree Room at Sundance. The wine was Kosta Browne, the food was great and the company better.