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a few more videos up...

red russel

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Hey Folks,


A few more videos up...


Jack Knox from 2012 Finals - Qualifying and Semi-Finals run.


Faansie Basson from 2009 Soldier Hollow Classic - Finals run. I think it was the 2nd place run.


Don Helsley from 2012 Dirt Blowing SDT - nice course, very tough sheep this year.


Happy Holidays!


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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for sharing a couple questions...


Why was there sometimes 4-5 sheep being worked and other times small herds of sheep?


Another in some runs you saw the dog start off going parellel to the handler and in other runs you saw the dog run at an angle. Is there different benefits to each?


In the first video of Jack Knox his dog kept stopping on looking at him. Did he do something wrong? LOL I didn't have audio. Nor do I know enough to figure it out. >.<


In the video of Dirt Blowing. The sheep kept sprinting at least it looked like that to me. Was that just part of them being sheep? Was the dog pushing them to hard? What made the Dirt Blowing challenging?


Thank you for any insight!

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okay.... so...


At the Finals there were 4 sheep per run in qualifying rounds of Open. The goal is to provide fresh sheep for each handler in the first round, providing as even a playing field for all dog teams as possible. Sheep costs are significant so 4 sheep per run saves the expense of 150 sheep overall.


The second round, semi-finals, requires a shed, pen, single. Although this can be done with 4, it is best done with 5 to get a shed instead of a simple split. The second round is 40 dogs x 5 sheep so only 200 required with 600 to choose from. (4 sheep x 150 runs from the first round)


The third round, Finals, is a double lift final. This requires two packets of 10 sheep, one packet each for each outrun. 5 are marked with red collars to facilitate the international shed. Hence the small flock.


Dogs might leave their handler at the post differently based on whether they have spotted their sheep, terrain, training... lots of different reasons. How they leave at the bottom really doesn't matter unless it affects how they approach the sheep at the top. As long as they are not affecting their sheep until they are behind and at balance nobody will care what happened at the handlers post. Unless, of course, they cross over at the handler's feet. Most unfortunate turn of events which most of us have experienced at one point or another.


Jack's dog did look back at Jack every now and again... Mine will sometimes do that as well. Perhaps a moment of confusion, or asking if I'm really sure about what I just whistled... or, more probably, suggesting that I'm an idiot because the sheep will most assuredly get away if I insist on a come-bye instead of an away.


The sheep at the Dirt Blowing trial always make the runs difficult. On this particular course the actual terrain was relatively flat and not much of a problem. Sue has 10,000 acres and has three different courses she has run over the years. One adds the addition of a steep hill to the complexity, another had a big ditch where sheep and dog disappear for what seems a life time. For these particular runs the sheep were just taking off on people. You can see it in Suzy Applegate's run with Buzz as well as many others. My run was a combination of heading them off at the pass while attempting to do the course. Your dog has to be able to manage the sheep pretty much by themselves while the handler instructs the overall direction. Fun trial. Very challenging.


anyone else have a perspective?




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Umm.... not quite. That is the way it works at the National Finals, Meeker, Soldier Hollow... most of the big prestigious trials across the country. Or should I say trials that have access to large flocks and can afford the expense. I can think of quite a few more trials in the west where everyone gets fresh sheep for their first run.


There are also trials where sheep might be run multiple times during the day... Small farm flocks well accustomed to dogs are not uncommon and it can be likely if you run late in the day your sheep have traveled the course 2 - 3 times already.


There are also trials out here that run over the course of a day and a half. Perhaps 50 runs the first day and 25 runs the second day. The second day runs are usually using sheep that ran the first day. This can be a big advantage to the folks on the second day. Just luck of the draw.


Regarding sheep crossing at your feet. Rules state that a dog should start and finish the outrun on the same side. Crossing the course during the outrun can cost between 15 - 19 of the 20 points available depending on the judge. Some judges will penalize a cross at your feet differently but, however the points work out, it isn't a good thing. Usually you send your dog from one side or another based upon the draw for the sheep at the set out, terrain for the outrun, or which side you believe your dog outruns best. I'm sure there are other reasons as well. The point is you send from one side or another for a reason... the dog crossing at your feet basically throws your plan out the window. That said, often a dog will tell you which side it would prefer to leave from while on the way to the post. Not listening to your dog can sometimes be a painful learning experience. :)


As with most things in life a battle plan works great till the first shot is fired. After that... best be able to adapt.




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