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2014 Pipedream Farm SDT

Pipedream Farm

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We were fortunate to have some of the best weather of the year for the Pipedream Farm Sheepdog Trial: no rain, cool temperatures and clear skies. This was our second year with the trial field running up the hill behind the house. Our farm flock of about 150 hair sheep was run twice each day with each handler getting two ewes and two lambs. The Open outrun was about 250 yards over challenging terrain up over a small ridge which runs across the top of the field. The fetch brought the sheep over a steep drop of about 10 down onto a bowl shaped field. For the first day of Open there was a lefthand drive and a long cross drive just below the ridge followed by a split and then pen. For day 2 of Open there was a short righthand drive followed by a long cross drive across the field and up over the ridge. The changing terrain of this cross drive proved challenging as it did last year and was followed by a split and then the pen. The sheep were honest. If the dogs or handlers were slow to cover on the hills, the sheep took advantage; if teams were correct, they were reasonable. The sheep were set just above the ridge for Ranch with a course similar to the first day of Open. For Pro-Novice and Novice- Novice the sheep were set below the ridge and were tolerant of tight outruns bit still needed to be covered on the hills.

We would like to thank our judges, Christine Koval and Sue Asten. Christine judged Open and Ranch while Sue judged Pro-Novice and Novice-Novice. Christine sorted out the teams expertly. Sue provided plenty of positive comments for the novice handlers which were greatly appreciated.

We are also grateful to the dogs of Pipedream farm for their tireless work setting out as well as doubling as clean up crew when the runs did not go well. At the end of the day, they were tired from a hard days work the dream of any good dog. We couldnt have done it without them. Tally would like to apologize for trying to play with one of the dogs after it lifted the sheep. While it didnt interfere with the run, it was unprofessional. She promises to do better next year so shell get a longer shift setting out.

As with any trial, it could not run smoothly without the generous help from volunteers. We are truly blessed to have handlers willing to do all sorts of jobs from scribing to exhaust/clean up (thank you Linda Tesdahl and Carla King) to the sheep pen (thank you to Todd Layfield, Scott Leichliter and his boys, Doug Brewer, and Maggie Chambers). Also a big thank you to Peggy Simpson and Joanne Murphy for taking care of the scoreboard. We also cannot forget to thank Emily Falk and Lynn and David Roberts for coming up before the trial to help with mowing and hoof trimming. Also a big thank you to Sue Rayburn for puppy sitting during the trial (Grant and Lee are grateful to you!).

The Handlers dinner was provided by Todd Layfield and Peggy Simpson at their lovely historic home. As with previous dinners, this years dinner featured a large spread of foods prepared by Peggy featuring shepherds pie with lamb from Pipedream Farm and vegetarian lasagne.

New this year was a High Points Combined award for the top Open dog running in the Pipedream Farm Sheepdog Trial and Long Shot Farm Sheepdog Trial. The award was a crook graciously donated by Stuart Ballantyne of Craigmalloch Crooks.


Open Friday ( 58 dogs)

1. Doug Brewer Ben 92

2. Victoria Wilcox Pat 91

3. Michael Polites Taff 90

4. Mark Billadeau Peg 88

5. Emily Falk Gabe 87

6. Tom Wilson Kate 84

7. Nancy Obernier Nell 81

8. Mark Billadeau Nell 80

9. Victoria Wilcox Moss 78

10. Tom Wilson Meg 76


Open Saturday (54 dogs)

1. Charlie Hurt Josey 90

2. Tom Wilson Kate 90

3. Barbara Levinson Ryn 87

4. Mark Billadeau Peg 83

5. Linda Tesdahl Gus 80

6. Linda Tesdahl Juno 79

7. Carla King Floss 78

8. Tom Wilson Meg 77

9. Nancy Obernier Nell 77

10. Victoria Wilcox Pat 76


Open Combined

1. Tom Wilson Kate 174

2. Mark Billadeau Peg 171

3. Victoria Wilcox Pat 167

4. Charlie Hurt Josey 162

5. Nancy Obernier Nell 158

6. Tom Wilson Meg 153

7. Michael Polites Taff 153

8. Mark Billadeau Nell 152

9. Emily Falk Gabe 149

10. Linda Tesdahl Gus 149


Ranch (26 dogs)

1. Barbara Levinson Bill 81

2. Maggie Chambers Mose 81

3. Doug Brewer Ben I 74

4. Mary Brighoff Cap 73

5. Doug Brewer Fly 69

6. Renee Billadeau Tally 67

7. Liza Williams Sue 65

8. Jim Murphy Jim 63

9. Barbara Levinson Bob 58

10. Tom Conn Kate 57


Pro Novice (19 dogs)

1. Morgan Dawkins Jack 64

2. Emily Falk Lena 62

3. Christine Koval Lou 62

4. Nancy Obernier Liz 58

5. Lynn Roberts Spain 51

6. Mary Brighoff Dewy 50

7. Sandy LeFever Nym 41

8. Don Desrosiers Panda 40

9. Debbie Nosse Glen 32


Novice Novice (5 dogs)

1. Lisa Rufft Hobbes 52

2. Peggy Simpson Boone 51

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Thanks for a great trial!


I only have a few cell phone pictures since I was up top most of the time, but I bet Lynn will have some to share.




View from the set out; sheep are about to disappear over the ridge




View from the bottom, fetch gate seen in the upper left, sheep set above the rocks on top of the ridge (steeper than it looks). For Sunday's course, the drive away panels are off to the upper right and the cross-drive panels are off to the upper left on top of the ridge. Photo of me and Gabe by Sue A




Mother-daughter set out team (Bette and Liv)




Livy brings a new group to the set out while 4 who just came off the trial field join up




The set out pens are in a really nice spot: lots of shade for the sheep, dogs, and people




Gabe waits for Todd to let the next group of sheep out. Todd does an outstanding job in the pens!

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It was a wonderful trial! Everything that a trial should be - great and testing course; challenging and consistent sheep; wonderful hospitality; great weather; super hosts and participants. What more could you ask for?


Emily, thanks for the lovely photos! I thought I'd forgotten my camera and so took no photos, only to find it in my purse afterwards!


Celt and I had a great time. He particularly enjoyed Lee and Grant, even though he's not a puppy-lover. They were both appropriately submissive and Celt's ego enjoyed the trip tremendously!


Thanks, Mark and Renee, for letting us be a part of a wonderful trial, even from the sidelines only!

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Oops, I'd best get busy trying to process some photos (still on my camera). Didn't help that my husband shared his cold with me, so that I spent last weekend in bed - even had to scratch Spain at Long Shot :(


The Billadeau's farm is simply stunning. Entering a dog in a trial there has been an ambition of mine ever since I spectated at their very first trial, and it sure was fun to be part of it this year. My major fear is that my snapshots won't do it justice!

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Dear Fellow Sheepdoggers,


It really was a wonderful trial. Interesting course, challenging but workable sheep, efficient (underrated until you're the handler who must run by headlights because the trial wasn't) and amiable. Mark and Renee are imperturbable: they're hospitable, dog, sheep and handler friendly. Good place to wreck (as I can attest). See you next year.



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