Downriver Farms Herding trial results
On Victoria Day Weekend, we headed to Hope, B.C. to do our first 2013 CKC trials with Drummer and Hunter.
It was truly a learning experience. We have practiced little parts of the whole puzzle but I really lacked trialing experience when it came to the Herding Started Arena work and I had almost no idea what to expect in the Started Stockdog work. So I made some handling errors that cost me a run in some cases and a score that would have been in the High 90's! And I called my run (retired the dog from the course) in two cases because it was a no win situation for sheep or dog.
However, that said, having three days of trialing and three attempts at passing with both dogs, we did quite well. No sheep were harmed and neither of my dogs were out of control at any time. They both handled the sheep calmly. And they got better with each run, too. I think both of them rocked!
Drummer qualified once in the Arena work with a score of 95.5 to tie the High in Class Score out of ten dogs trialing at the Started Level.
Hunter qualified in the Arena work with a score of 82.5 and a Second Place out of 10 dogs with only two dogs qualifying, his first attempt at this sort of thing.
In the Stockdog Started work, Drummer qualified twice, with a score of 89 (5/15) and 87 (4/15) dogs trialing.
Hunter qualified once with a score of 79 1/2 (10/15) dogs participating.
The stockdog courses involved chores that a person would use a dog as a helper to accomplish on a sheep ranch. They involved working in two arenas, a round pen, and sorting pens. Some of the work, my dogs had no clue about, but they did their best. Hunter lost points in the sorting pens because he just couldn't stand to sit idly by and let me sort sheep into the pens by myself. I would have to stop what I was doing and take him back to his position. He improved each day and I was glad of that.
Here is an example of one of the Started Stockdog courses. Take 7 sheep (three of which will be marked) from the take-pen. Bring them through a fenceline chute across a 220 foot arena and put them all into the round pen with three other sheep (which are marked) Leave the three marked sheep you brought to the pen in the round pen, and take the three marked sheep that were in the pen when you arrived, along with the four unmarked sheep and put them into the other larger arena. Take them through a fence-line panel and then through a freestanding set of panels, do a figure 8 with them, leave them there, take you dog 60 feet away and send him to gather the sheep (presuming the damn things are still there), bring all seven of the sheep through a pen into the first arena, take them through a free-standing pen and do an 's' turn to put them all into a foot-bath holding chute, have the dog hold them in the chute until you open the gate at the far end to let them out. Shut the gate (-4 pts. if you forgot) and then re-pen the sheep in the exhaust pen. Whew!!!!
Came home much more educated with a list of stuff I need to practice with my dogs and thrilled with the work they managed.
Another plus was that the diesel pulled the new trailer as though it wasn't there and everything in the trailer worked wonderfully.
We are set for the show season, I'd say.
Wish us luck!!!!
Posted by Judi at Monday, May 27, 2013