August 19th 09.
The Mayanup annual three sheep trials were held at a new venue this year, due to the unavailability of sheep at the Mayanup grounds, where the trails have been held for many years. Ken and Jenny Atherton kindly allowed a trial ground to be built on their place.
Quite a picturesque site actually, but the right side of the ground had a contour bank in front of the fence and behind the fence was a dam.
This is where the sheep ran to, along the bank and on the fence, making it incredibly difficult to move them back the other way.
Many sheep, even after being worked calmly down the ground simply bolted for the fence out of the blue, to either leap over it or run into it and cause the dog cross behind it,
The scores tell the tale. There were 64 entries in both the novice and the improver event, and in each event only nineteen dogs managed a score. In the open there were 33 entries and 21 scores.. Over the whole weekend only three handlers penned, Marianne Rogers and Christies Coco, Jenny Nolan with Grassvally Ella and Germaine Seymour and Somerville Lucy.
Due to large entries in trials, Mayanup committee were trying out a new concept of not allowing any novice dog to compete in the open event. However this simply caused a huge increase in the number of novice entries so I doubt it this idea will be used again.
The weather was appalling on Fri and Sat, strong winds, heavy rain and hail. Sun was somewhat better although still quite cold.
I was pleased with my dogs mainly.
Driftz was unlucky, did a nice cast both times, but in the novice, while I was walking back down the ground the sheep made a break for the fence and she crossed trying to retrieve them. In her Improver run she encountered one unworkable sheep. Twice it raced off and managed to head it back but the third time it did a Usane Bolt and headed for the fence at such a speed she had no hope of heading it, and as it hit the fence she crossed behind it. It got its head firmly stuck due to the force it hit. I resisted the urge to give it a kick as I released it.
Rio's first run was one of her worst, and completely uncharacteristic. She started clockwise on her cast but I recalled her and sent her the other way where she hit them like a thunderbolt, would not stop and chased one down the fence and crossed. It was a bit hard to belive as she is usually a reliable casting dog. She is however in season so this could account for her strange behaviour.
Her next run was a lot better. I let her go clockwise and she did a nice cast and we managed the first obstacle and a fairly reasonable score.
Angel was impressive. Unfortunately her novice run was in the middle of heavy rain and when we got to the first obstacle the sheep would not turn into the rain to look into the race so there was no way we were going to get them through. We still managed a respectable score, and she tried her best.
Her next run was the best of the day for me. Her cast lift and draw was great if a little off line. She walked them fairly calmly through the first obstacle but found the second too difficult and ran out of time. Her score was one point away from a placing.. She has come a long way since her first few trials which were less than impressive.
Ivan Solomon was the most successful trailer, with a first and second in both the novice and improver.
Although a difficult trial it provided excellent entertainment and great work from some talented dogs.
For full placings, checkout Sam Weavers Blog here.
This is what happened to a lot of the competitors. Frank Sutherland and Rocky Chick try to get it back together.
And again Chick tries her best.
The orange Abominable Snowman. (alias Richard Mcguire) and Frank Sutherland with Balto's mother Rocky Bear, dressed for the weather. Richard Judged all day Sat in appalling conditions. It wasn't much fun for the judges.
My Driftz's full sister Christies Tammy, still going strong at eleven years old with owner Ray Sutherland. Ray is in his eighties and one of the oldest competitors on the trial ground. Poor Ray recently had a gas bottle fall on him, hence the walking stick.
Also with some artificial aids. Hayden Harries recovering from a car accident with Mac's magic.
Can't keep good men (or woman) off the trial ground it seems.
Jane Dorrel's eastern states import Stocklight Tayla. From the Tully Williams line of dogs.
Sam Weaver's Mac's Pinky. Boylee Bill x Ivanhoe Sally)
Ivan Solomon's Perangery Danny (Perangary Jill x Boylee Doug) Trialing under the rainbow.