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Mardi Gras Open Trial Report


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The first annual Mardi Gras Open hosted by Penny Tose was held in Poplarville, Mississippi on February 4 and 5. The USBCHA-sanctioned trial was run on a newly purchased 40-acre field a few short miles from Penny’s farm, offering Open handlers a 400-yard outrun and 200-yard cross-drive. Penny’s mixed flock of mostly Gulf Coast Natives and Katahdins had never set foot on the field prior to the morning of the trial.


The weather on Saturday was cool and cloudy, with heavy storms moving in shortly after the final run of the day. Two-time USBCHA national champion Patrick Shannahan judged all classes both days.



Open (12 dogs)

1. Vickey Russell and Zen - 73

2. Tracee Treadwell and Pi - 72

3. Anita Young and Mitch - 71


Pro-Novice (19 dogs)

1. Robert Montgomery and Boney - 51

2. Bill Reel and Fflach - 49

3. Robert Montgomery and CoCo - 41


Novice (6 dogs)

1. Cindy Roper and Jack - 55

2. Diane McIntire and Drew - 47


Sunday saw better weather and many better scores -- including numbers where the previous day had yielded only letters.



Open (12 dogs)

1. Anita Young and Mitch - 87

2. Leslie Scruggs and Johnny - 79

3. Vickie Russell and Zen - 75


Pro-Novice (19 dogs)

1. Leslie Scruggs and Bea - 69

2. Tracee Treadwell and Maizy - 61

3. Bill Reel and Alba Glen - 55


Novice (4 dogs)

1. Diane McIntire and Drew - 61

2. Donna Rock and Roller - 50


A big thank-you to Patrick Shannahan who put in long days and never stopped smiling. Kudos to the setout crew: Terry Toney (Course Director), Anita Young, Leslie Scruggs, Tracee Treadwell, and Penny. Thanks to the handlers who came from all around (including IL, GA, TN, MS, FL, LA and TX) to support the first of what we hope will be many more trials for Penny; everyone was gracious and pitched in where needed. Thanks to our sheep wranglers and all-around stockmen extraordinaire Pepe Mojica and Jaime Garcia. Newcomers Sashie Smith and Jack Nofsinger handled a variety of duties like old hands. And thanks most of all to Penny -- who did something truly amazing and put together a trial so the rest of us could have an opportunity to run on a big course under Patrick Shannahan without driving 12 hours. In just a few short weeks she purchased a beautiful new trial field; put up pens, fencing, and an access road; trailered sheep twice/day; added $1000 in prize money; fed us a scrumptious lunch; put up several handlers at her home; and still managed to find time to help explain things to the novices and exchange war stories with the more experienced folks. Penny is planning another trial this year in October, and intends to run the Mardi Gras Open in February again next year, so mark your calendars!

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