Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mount Vernon Highland Games

So, last weekend Scott and I trialed at the Mount Vernon Highland Games. What a blast! It was an arena trial (smaller) set inside a baseball field. The course consisted of panels and a pen and then each run was a different configuration of figure 8's and loops.

On Saturday I had some serious issues though. The rules of the trial is that you can't move onto the next obstacle until you've gotten at least one sheep through the prior obstacle. You have 4.5 minutes to complete the entire course. Lines don't matter (unlike in USBCHA trials).

So Saturday, I was totally nervous and freaked out by the fact that I'd never run my known-to-grip dog in an arena trial before. Basically, if your dog gripped the sheep at all, you were instantly disqualified. So I was foremost concerned with keeping Scott off the tails of the sheep.

I managed to do that, but ended up getting so caught up in the event - there were 200 or so people watching - that I did an obstacle wrong but didn't realize I had. So, I kept going and actually did okay on the following obstacles, but because I missed obstacle 4 out of 7, I never got any points for the obstacles I did after obstacle 4. All in all, there are 28 points available and I only got 9 points on Saturday. So stupid of me!!

On Sunday, I felt a lot less nervous as I knew I could trust my dog and handle him far enough off the sheep to not put him in a predicament of having to bite them. Again, we have 4.5 minutes to complete the 7 obstacles. 28 points total.

Miraculously, we did the first two obstacles in record time. I missed one sheep when turning the post though (minus 1 point there), then got all sheep around the next obstacles and I penned all four sheep quickly! I did the run in a little over three minutes and got 27 points - it was one of the better runs of the day in fact! But, I still didn't make it into the finals (where the cash prizes were available to win). You qualified for the finals by being one of the top ten dogs from the two days combined! So, those 9 points from Saturday really hurt me. There is next year though!

Here are some pics from the trial (on Sunday)

Sending Scott to go get the sheep

Scott is driving the sheep away from/through obstacle #5

Penning with Scott... he is such a good dog!

Done! Exhausting the sheep back to their hold pen. I think sometimes this is Scott's favorite part of the run!

Some other interesting photos I took today...

So, who needs Uggs to keep your feet warm when you can have three dogs under your work station to keep your piggies toasty? Mattie was asleep too but woke when I grabbed the camera. The boys were actually having dreams (Scott was growling in his dream!).

Mattie is such a pretty girl. So unique!

Sleeping Beauty - soooo comfortable.

I bought this, and another similar cactus, this Spring. They didn't look this weird when I bought them (they looked like sea anemones). Then, they started growing all funky, and flowers are coming out of them...

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