The journey- an evening trip to the coast, with added drama of a tawny frogmouth attempting kamikaze manouvre into R’s window. Of course I stopped to retrieve it from the road, accidentally dropped it on its head getting it into the car, apparently finishing the poor thing off. So I wrapped the little corpse up in a cloth nappy, stashed it on the passenger seat, and was a bit surprised to find it perching on the gearstick as we came into Donnybrook. It was delivered to the vet at Margs the next day.
Late night arrival, the only available caravan spot was directly beside the arena. Convenient for those early morning runs!
Margaret River- always wonderful! Lush forest and farmland (perhaps drier than usual, but much greener than home), beaches, wineries and groovy little artisan cheese/chocolate/icecream/beer vendors around every corner, the full gamut of amusing people, from dreadlocked, barefoot, occarina-adorned hippies to the best of the Perth Western Suburbs, going all rural in Country Road and AWD Mercs.
The trial- the usual ground, short cast ideal for baby dogs, nice fit Corriedale sheep who alternately stood up to dogs or ran fine athletic laps around the obstacles, beautiful weather. Unofficial trial, just two classes, with the new quirk that Novice handlers could ask an experienced handler to assist them around the course (as in the usual Encourage class).
|Jean Hydleman & Swagman Frankie at the pen|
Lots of baby dogs having a good crack, as usual. Jean Hydleman’s Swagman Frankie and Karyn Buller’s young Kumbark Monty both made it to the pen in good form, Hayden Harries’ Mac’s Magic made it look easy in the Open, Mike Scott had excellent runs with both Tig and her daughter Torbay Badger, penning for the top score in the Novice. Judy Jones and Pixie somehow hypnotised their sheep and just trotted them around in something like half the course time, for a seemingly unbeatable 93, but they were pipped at the post by Peter Gorman and El Shamah Ellie.
|Karyn Buller & Kumbark Monty|
R’s dogs- Esme debuted in Novice- crossed on the cast, but picked the sheep up nicely and took them off. Fingers crossed for next time! Trim worked really nicely, think they retired at the bridge. Tom tried, was working okay, had some tricky sheep and didn’t handle it well, so lost one over the fence early on. Bonnie had a cross in the Novice but was going okay in the Open, retired at/after the race I think. Tess was over the top and not listening in the Open, he retired at the bridge.
My dogs- bit of a debacle, really.
Fly isn’t used to working for me, so doesn’t understand that my ‘steady’ means ‘as you were’, not slow down, etc etc. She worked okay for the first part of both runs, but then got waaay too fired up and trashed the runs. We retired both times I think, at the bridge in Open. At least she cast well both times.
Bill was a total nutter in the Novice. Sheep tried to stand up to him, he resorted to the ‘psychotic dog” act to convince them to take him seriously. It didn’t work. Two, possibly three sheep exited over the back fence. In classic Bilby fashion, he worked like a dream in the Open, but we had one tricky sheep at the bridge and retired there.
|Great big Bilbynutter|
I’d only entered Bill and Fly originally, because Queani was looking up the duff, but she’d been doing a fair bit of farm work recently, so I had a last minute change of heart and phoned up and entered her.
Obviously I left my brain at home with the late night trip to the trial, because when we arrived and she was entered in two events, it didn’t register that there was no Improver and she actually wasn’t eligible for the Novice class. In my defense, no-one else registered either until I’d run her, with a really nice run to pen for a 78, at a time of day when there weren’t many good scores. So then of course that score was invalid, and I felt like a total and utter twit and just about died from embarrassment.
To make it worse, I had to withdraw her from the Open too. Well, I didn’t have to- I was strongly encouraged by the very nice club/trial officials to run her in the Open- apparently more than one rather experienced trialler has made the same mistake and they’ve never forfeited their Open runs. But even if it was an honest mistake with no Novice score, I decided to scratch her from the Open to pre-empt the inevitable isolated whinge about me having an extra run. And as it turned out, that was a good move. So even if it didn’t count for anything, I really enjoyed working Queani, and it was nice to have one solid penning run over the weekend.
|1)||Peter Doherty (assisted by Ken Atherton)||Ramulam Jude||collie||84- decided on Open score|
|2)||Mike Scott||Tig (imp UK)||collie||84|
|3)||Tony Boyle||Boylee Tobie||collie||81 |
|Ramulam Jude (Ramulam Gus x Olboa Merle)|
|Mike Scott with Badger at the race- no shots of her mother Tig, sorry!|
|Tony Boyle & Boylee Tobie (Boylee Wal x Boylee Creamy)|
|1)||Peter Gorman||El Shamah Ellie||collie||94|
|2)||Judy Jones||Glenview Pixie||collie||93|
|3)||Ken Atherton||Olboa Merle||NZHDxcollie||88|
Judges’ Award for Best Novice Worker in Open- Judy Jones
|Peter Gorman, winner of the Open, with new Mayanup Club President Hayden Harries|
|Bellview Obie (Bernie)|
And the kids?
Ginger Biscuit was a little bit underwhelmed by the prospect of yet another weekend at a dogtrial…
But she soon cheered up when she discovered that a trialing legend would be making an appearance! She even got an autograph (or possibly she gave him her autograph, in jam, down his jumper, I’m not sure…)
Passed out from sheer excitement!
Farmboy really does love sheepdog trials.
He loves the weekends with mum and dad, the caravan, the extra adult attention, the caravan…
Getting away to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air and the time and inclination to stop and smell the daisies, and the caravan…
And the dogs- he loves them too. Well, Bill, anyway.