Monday, February 16, 2009


It was a cold, cold weekend! At least the sun was out Friday, though the wind was blowing and it was humid so the wind seemed to sneak right through any layers you might have had on. Chesney and I had a late run in the run order so we had lots of waiting, which meant lots of watching. Watching means learning and with the handlers and dogs on the run order for Pro/Nov and Nursery was unbelievable. I was running against 38 handlers that are well known open handlers.

Don Helsley's Blue

Our run went well after waiting for so long and for running on sheep that were being re-run. They were taking any inch the dogs would give. They would break and split, turn and run every chance they got. I sent Chesney to the left on his outrun because the draw was very heavy to that side of the field. I wanted to give him any chance he had to be successful on these difficult sheep. He got behind them at the top in the proper place to counter act the draw. I steadied him and he brought them in fairly well. Around the post they went, he covered them so well. Then we started pushing them on to the drive. He was doing a nice job trying to push them straight but the only problem was he was so far off to the side because of the draw, however he was moving just a little too fast and turned them into the course. I flanked him back around to set them straight and we got into a flip flopping drive. One of the lambs split off to the exhaust, but Chesney brought him back very nicely. He is really very good at working a single. We got them started driving again but the same one singles back off and Chesney went again to get it. At this point I had retired our run because things were a little too far off to make any chance of recovery.

Everyone that was watching was telling me to call my dog off the single he was working, since he was working the single right up against a small fence that several other lambs went over earlier in the day and I think they were worried this one would do the same. Well I didn't call Chesney off because he was working it nicely and not gripping or causing the ewe to panic. Some lady jumped over the fence to try to move it, when none of the sheep that day had any regards for the people like the did the dogs... So that was a little pointless. Then some guy tried to grab Chesney from the other side of the fence! I was pissed. Don't ever touch my dog while he is working a single. That split second of him worrying about the person trying to grab him could have gotten him rammed by the ewe! So fine since everyone had better ideas of how to move sheep, and none of them included letting a sheepdog that was in control of it move it. Sooo.... I called Chesney off and guess what??? The lamb went right over the fence! HA! Stupid people.
My mommy doesn't get very many working pictures of me since it's too hard for her to work me and take pictures. Does anyone want to come take working pictures of me?

Oh well I was pleased with the work I got from Chesney and it was a really great two days watching some good runs and some not so good runs!


Bordershot said...

Great pictures. Particularly the second one. I love these posture. His concentrated eyes.
Wonderful report. I agree with you - its really great watching working Borders :o)
Greatings from Germany

Cathy said...

Great blog! I love the photos you take of Chesney, especially the photos with the sheep. Cathy

Anonymous said...

When at a dog trial and folks who have likely been trialling for lots longer than you are telling you to call your dog off, wouldn't it be wise to at least consider that their reasoning may be sound? Isn't it possible that you may have something to learn? From my experience, if your dog has created, or allowed a single on a trial field, something has gone pretty significantly wrong with the way your dog is working the sheep, or the way you are handling the dog, or both. To blame it on anything else is simply naieve.

Danielle said...

I'm sorry, instead of posting anonymously on a blog, maybe you could buck up and leave your name. I personally learned a lot that day (you wouldn't know because you don't know me), thanks for wondering. However, I didn't learn the reasoning behind a dog that is fully able to move a single, calling them off only to have people trying to move the ewe. They we're (like I said in my blog) singling every chance they got. And once they were re-run the inexperienced dogs were having a little more trouble. The problem I saw, (I don't know if you, whoever you are, was there to witness it) was that when the dog was called off all went to hell instead of the dog holding the pressure. And for you to comment on a topic about a person and dog you do not know... Well there really isn't much backing behind it.

Keep your comments to what you know and leave what you don't know alone.