Sheepdog News

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.