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Dear Handlers,

We’ve got a few too many dogs entered but since I can’t decide which handlers to disappoint, if you entered before 3/21, you’re in

Sorry. No third dogs.

My sheep supplier thinks he can bring out enough sheep so everyone will have fresh sheep but we’ll have our handlers’ meeting at 5:45 and cut the run time to 13 minutes to finish and eat supper while we can still see what’s on the plate.

If we have morning fog or time consuming wrecks, well go to a standard. Sorry about that too.

Donald McCaig

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  • 1 month later...

Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Every trial host knows any number of things can go wrong and preparation (and luck) are necessary for a fair trial of the dogs and handlers satisfied it was a fair trial.

 

So: the first load of 250 sheep arrived today. I would have liked to see them earlier but grass was short and they needed shearing and worming before they had the additional stress of a trial.

 

It's been a wet spring and RVs are very heavy. I don't mind pulling RV's out but their owners are picky. So far it looks like the ground will dry out and PLAN B: we'll park them up high and shuttle dogs and handlers.

 

I've ordered 110 pounds of beef brisket (burgers) from a new supplier. Cheaper and country but I've never trusted them before.

 

Punker Robertson, the preacher who does our dog blessing will depend on AMTRAK to get her here on time.

 

I'm a worrier but one thing I've learned in 26 years: once handlers arrive they and I can deal with it.

 

Donald McCaig

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Sheepdoggers,

Whew. Thanks to Thea, Brandon, Barbara, Julie, Deb, Patrick, Emma, Anne and all the others who helped. Thanks to the handlers whose beautiful runs inspired us. Thank God it dried out, just enough on Friday to get the RV's into the parking field. Next year I'll have a plan B. Deb took the picture from the top end Saturday morning. It's a sheeps'-eye view of the course. The handler's post is 600 yards away, behind the second tree on the right. Donald McCaig

 

post-2366-0-46461000-1430900954_thumb.jpg

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I managed to make it to your trial once, Donald, and doing it again is certainly on my bucket list. I've heard nothing but the most effusive of compliments for the 2015 Highland Occasional Sheepdog Trial, and wish I could have been there.

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The large flock of sheep were a challenge (run once each day). The field was large and a fair test of the dogs. The atmosphere was relaxed, friendly, and hospitable. The food and entertainment were outstanding. No better way to spend a spring weekend!

 

Thank you again Donald and all of his support for putting on an outstanding trial.

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