On the weekend I travelled down to Kendenup to compete in their 3 sheep event.
I entered Lara, Rio and Driftz in two events each. Such is three sheep trialing here in WA that each handler is limited to 6 runs in order to complete all the runs in the allotted three days.
Lara’s first run was not the best, she turn tailed a number of times, something she does as I think the pressure gets to her. Her second run was much better as she scored a 61 and penned, a first for both of us. I have penned before but never managed to get the gate shut in time. So I was really pleased with her.
Both Rio’s runs were ok, getting to the first obstacle each time. The sheep were young though and Rio’s problem is she covers them so well she tends to tie them up in knots and we dont make much progress. She is a very strong heading dog and it has been difficult getting her to work off balance. She is young yet and I think needs a bit more time. She lost concentration a few times, looking around at strange noises and even working to the judge at one point.
Drift was her usual revved up self, but we did get a cast and made it to the first obstacle in our first run. In her second she had the sheep on the fence and crossed as she tried to get them off. We have been crutching all week, moving large mobs and I required her to really push the sheep to get movement. So it is a bit hard for her to come back to three sheep trialing after that.
Having a great time at the trials was Jean Hydleman who won the improver event with Belmore George an experienced dog she bought from Murray Bell. They have a great partnership and Jean also made the open finals with him.
The sheep were quite good in the novice event and a bit trickier for the improver and open. Some of the weaker dogs had a bit of a battle to move them.
The weather has been fine so we managed to get all our dry (unmated ewes and weathers) sheep crutched. Due to the conditions this year they are large and strong and so the dogs had to really work. Caleb had his first go in the paddock behind a big mob of 800 dry ewes. They were big and slow moving and we had to shift them from one paddock to the next so there was not too much that could go wrong. He actually worked better than I though, showing some lovely calm work in between mad hooning around. He dosn’t always listen to me as his instinct is so strong to work. He will settle with time though. At one stage I though he had had enough so put him back on the bike, whereas he promptly leaped off the other side and raced back around the sheep. So I let him work on a little more before calling it a day.
Our lambing is going well. I regularly look around the ewes and lambs and always take a dog with me once they get to an age where they are a bit responsible. So it was Calebs turn last week. It can be a bit hard for a young dog, all those lambs and ewes running around, but it teaches the dog patience and also that not all sheep are to be worked. The dogs get to enjoy riding on the bike as well. When we are close to the mob I prefer to have the dog on the bike so as not to spook the ewes too much.
Unfortunately I will miss the next two trials as we get ready for our busiest time. Lamb marking, jetting, culling and then shearing.
The days are getting longer so hopefully I can also get some of these younger dogs trained a bit.
Hope to make to the last two trials in between all the farm work though. My Daughter Sam is going to enter the encourage run at Margaret River hopefully if she doesn’t chicken out. Lara will probably work ok for her.
I am permitted to walk with her though and help out. Should be fun.