On Saturday, 7 June, 2008, I competed in a
sheepdog trial in Neumarkt im Mühlkreis near Waldburg in
I ran with Puppy, Gael and Myf in 2nd class and with Faro and
Mossie in 1st class. There were two runs for each competitor
in both classes.
The judge was Kai Haus from Germany.
View at the trial field
I achieved the best placement with my 13-year-old
Puppy. She was 4th! I took her with me just for fun and recreation
and initially I didn't plan to run twice with her. But she enjoyed
it so much, so I decided to let her run again (OK, the fact
that she was my best/only placed dog in 2nd class after the
first run "maybe" had something to do with that decision
But let me start from the beginning.
In 1st class there were 14 dogs and Faro and I started as the
2nd pair. That ended pretty fast. Faro made a terrible outrun
(I sent him to the left, a bit up the hill). Then, instead of
fetching the sheep to me, he started to chase them away. I called
him back and that was that. I must say I was really disappointed.
I knew that Mossie and Faro are not quite ready for trialing,
but that... that was too much.
Next was Mossie. Outrun was OK (she lost 12 points, but 10 of
those 12 she lost because I decided to move from the post halfway
to the sheep). Lift and fetch were a bit messy, she lost 7 and
10 points. At driving we had some problems in the beginning
(she lost 14 points), but at "stabilisieren" (immobilising
the sheep) and at pen she lost only 1 point each.
Myf, Gael, Faro, Mossie & Puppy
In 2nd class there were also 14 dogs starting,
4 of them out of competition (they were dogs from 3rd class,
competing just for practice).
First I ran with Gael, then with Myf and then with Puppy.
I was happy to start first with Gael because I feel most confident
with her (Myf is still inexperienced and Puppy... well, she's
old and deaf :-)). From the beginning Gael's sheep seemed awkward.
At the outrun Gael lost 3 points and at lift 5. Fetch was really
good, Gael lost only 1 point. But she lost a lot of points at
drive (usually that's Gael's strong point, but this time something
went wrong) - 19 minus. At shedding, despite all our efforts,
we couldn't stand a chance with those sheep. Gael really needs
a microscopic gap to shed, but those sheep were glued together.
And what was even worse, Gael couldn't come closer than 10 meters
to them without sheep starting to panic. After the 2nd unsuccessful
shed, where Gael singled one sheep, that sheep started to run
away to the direction of holding pen in full speed. I sent Gael
to outrun the sheep and she managed to do so near the helpers
who bring the sheep to the post. When she fetched that sheep
back, I tried to shed again for a minute or so, then I retired
because I saw that all our efforts were useless.
Myf, who was next, lost 4 points at the outrun, being too tight
at the top (I presume) and consequently lift was rough (she
lost 5 points). At the fetch she lost 6 points and at the drive
17. We struggled to shed two sheep off. When we finally did
it, while I was waiting and looking at the judge to see if he
would announce that shed was satisfactory, those two sheep ran
away to the holding pen (the same as Gael's sheep). Myf was
too young and inexperienced to be able to bring them back, so
I retired (getting more and more frustrated).
Then it was Puppy's turn. As she is going much tighter to the
sheep now when she's old, she lost 5 points at the outrun, but
only 2 at the lift. I knew that after the lift it was God's
will if she'd fetch them through the gates or not, because she
really can't hear a thing when she is away from me. Unfortunately,
she missed the gates and almost all points at the fetch. At
the drive there was again some difficulty with hearing my commands,
so she lost 12 points. Quite fast we managed to shed two off
(she lost 3 points) then to pen (no points lost).
In the second run the same story with Faro...
I sent him to the right a bit down to hill this time, he started
nicely and then really near the sheep he crossed in front of
them. Again lifting and fetching the sheep to somewhere (it
was a bit more closely to my direction but not exactly :-))
and I was forced to call him off.
Mossie was again much better than I expected. She lost 10 +
4 points at the outrun, 8 at the lift, 15 at the fetch. Driving
was better than in first run, she lost 10 points, at "stabilisieren"
no points were lost and at the pen 2. One sheep almost ran beside
the pen gate, but Mossie successfully blocked her. I never had
an opportunity to even train penning with Mossie, but she showed
some natural talent for that. Altogether... 5th place for Mossie.
In the second run Gael lost 4 points at the outrun (being a
good outrunner, maybe she wouldn't lose so much, but I deliberately
sent some of my dogs once to the right and once to the left)
and 6 points at the lift. Fetch was again good, she lost only
2 points and the drive again not so good, she lost 20 points
(we missed second gates). This time we managed to shed, but
time ran out just when I opened the pen gate. With points from
only one run, Gael was 10th altogether.
Sending Myf to the left was good for her and she lost only 1
point at the outrun. At the lift she lost 4 points and only
2 at the fetch. Driving was also good, Myf lost 8 points. Time
ran out before we managed to shed two off. Like Gael, with points
from only one run, Myf gained 9th place (she was 3rd in 2nd
At the second run Puppy made a bit better outrun (she lost 3
points), slightly worse lift (she lost 3 points) and the same
fetch :-) (she lost 19 points). At the drive some sheep missed
both gates and Puppy lost 22 points. The shed and the pen the
same as in the first run, she lost only 3 points at shed. As
I wrote at the beginning, she gained 4th place.
Just to mention that in 1st class winner was
Claudia Fischer with her young June. Sincere congratulations!
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