If you asked me yesterday if I wanted to have a show stopping run with Cap in Open I, would have said ‘yes’,,,today, not so much!
After 5 DQ/RT in a row on the open field they were running far ahead of schedule. Obviously unpredictable, this is generally a good thing. The Bluegrass is a brilliant trial and painstaking care is taken to try to run the simultaneous fields without conflict. To have many runs go as quickly as they did was very unusual. Uncharacteristically they also happened to be well behind on the novice field. This coincidence was most unfortunate for me as I was literally on the OR field running Nell just before my open run. Thankfully Carla King noticed and shouted for me to get over to Open as I was on in 2 dogs (thank you Carla and Mary Thompson who graciously exhausted the run I was meant to in OR)!
I made it in plenty of time though without the benefit of seeing how the sheep were running (albeit with many DQ’s shortly before me I had a clue yet, to add confusion Vergil scored a 91 with Brooke the run I arrived!). I was able to watch all of Vikki Kidd’s run and it was very good scoring an 89 and making it look easy. I thought certainly that must be a good sign!
Cap spotted the sheep and began what looked to be good outrun but stopped a bit short (a theme for most every dog sent left),,, lift & fetch not so bad, around the post (which has been the beginning of the end for many runs) was fluid, the drive away reasonable until complete miscalculation on my part caused missed drive away, but only just. The cross drive & 3rd leg were on and I had 4 & ½ minutes or so once I entered the ring.
I remember the sheep started to run just a bit, but as the shed is any sheep, I thought, ‘this is coming’,,,what actually came was a bolt of lightning so fierce both I & the largest speckled yearling jumped 3 inches off the ground! Vergil said he was amazed Cap was completely oblivious to the commotion, staying intent on the sheep.
Fortunately, Alasdair was oblivious to Cap and the sheep, shouting for me to get off the field as he later told me he could smell burning!
I was a bit stunned as likely were Rusty, the judge, clerk as well as the few passer-byes who ducted into shelter with us. We were there for over an hour. Kudos and thanks to Vikki Kidd who stayed under exhaust the entire delay to keep my sheep from drifting too far up or down the field. Thank you to Dee Petnzer for her shout out for the sheep to be kept!
Although I had 3 ½ minutes when they started the clock again, after grazing and being held together away from the others for an additional hour the sheep were not as quick to shed and I ran out of time at the pen scoring a 71.Hopefully, I put will be able to put together a good enough run in the next round to play on Sunday. At the very least hoping I can put together a less exciting run!
Expectedly after the down pour the sheep were much improved and stayed exceptionally tolerant for most of the remainder of the day.
This morning Alasdair had a very solid run with Li scoring 80 in the Open. They were several 80's and I believe an overall better day than yesterday. I apologize for not having more pictures (will keep trying) or a better update of open runs,,,with all going on I missed quite a bit. All scores on www.dogtrialentry.com
I ran Nell who did not so bad in OR scoring a 72 with no pen and more importantly standing up well and looking quite positive on the sheep.She tied for first in the nursery and while they asked me to bring her over for a run off at the end of the night, later decided to do it on OLF. Congratulations to Ron Enzeroth & Mick for the Nursery win.
Delighted Nell is doing so well on her first trip away from home. Also thrilled for Alasdair with Skye who finished just one point behind Ron & I and received their first qualifying leg.
The last few runs in open were meant to be tricky and ultimately the fog prevented the finish. Will complete in the morning as soon as weather permits.
Finally, thank you especially to Dee Penetzer who recognized such an unusual day should only only be concluded with a delicious red from Alexander Valley!
Dee & Queen