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The 56th Annual Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trial May 13-17


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It's that time of year again! In less than two months, May 13-17, one of the world's great stockdog trials will be held once again at beautiful Masterson Station Park in Lexington KY.

 

This will be the 5th annual running of the Bluegrass Classic SDT, one of the largest, longest-running, and most prestigious trials in North America and, indeed, in the world. Top handler/dog teams from all over North America (and sometimes even from across the pond) will compete over five days and on two fields with two two-day Open trials, four Nursery trials, and two each of Ranch, Pro-Novice, and Novice trials. The Open and Nursery trials are USBCHA-sanctioned. It is all topped off with Sunday's Double-lift, International-shed Finals, featuring the teams with the top 20 combined Open scores, for a truly world-class event.

 

Admission is free, the site is family- and dog-friendly (a large dog park is adjacent to the trial grounds), concessions and vendors are available, and the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival is held on May 16-17 at the park as well, for those who would enjoy both events. The Open trials start at 7 am and continue until dusk, and the Finals from 8 am until about 4 pm. Bring your chair or blanket, or use the bleachers, pack a picnic or enjoy the on-site concessions and vendors.

 

How can you help support the Bluegrass Classic? You can place an ad in our program or sponsor a class, ribbons, or trophies. This is a great way to thank a mentor, memorialize or recognize a favorite dog or handler, advertise your products, or just show your support. Go to our website and download the ad/sponsorship form - http://www.bluegrassclassicsdt.com/5.html

 

You can also help by volunteering. There are many slots for helpers and you do not need to have experience to do many of the vital jobs that a trial of this quality and magnitude needs. Just go to http://www.bluegrassclassicsdt.com/9.html for the link to volunteer your time.

 

Thank you for your support!

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Hi Sue,

 

I am considering attending as a spectator and volunteering. Are there any jobs a novice could do that would give me a good view of the action? I wondered about scribing - do you need to understand what is going on or just write down numbers or signals from the judge?

 

Thanks,

 

Chandra

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Chandra,

 

Last year was my first year to volunteer and I scribed on both fields and for the final. I only had a rough knowledge of what was going on. Most of the judges are very friendly and will offer information and enjoy questions. And if anytime I was confused it was no problem to ask a questions to clarify.

 

If you're worried you can always volunteer for other things the first couple of days and then scribe when you've sort of gotten your feet wet. I was worried about doing it for the first time but it was not difficult.

 

It was not as hard as you would think. It was a great learning experience, I was also a runner and posted scores and did a few other jobs. It was loads of fun.

 

Here is the link to sign up to volunteer: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3Uh3GbXX0cB9L6d

 

Hope to see you there!

 

Michelle

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Chandra - Michelle pretty much said it all!

 

There are a number of jobs that require nothing more than the desire to help out. As she said, once you get an idea of what's happening, even scribing (sitting with the judge, being quiet, and keeping score) is a job a novice can do. It is a crucial job so it is smart to understand what is going on and what your responsibilities will be before you take over the chair, pencil, and clipboard! The person scribing ahead of you should brief you on how your judge does the scores as some do it one way and some do it another (some give total points off at the end of each segment and some like to tick points off as they happen, for instance). And you have the best seat in the house!

 

Just about every job gives you the ability to keep your eyes on the action - scribing, posting scores (writing them on the scoreboards), running scores (picking them up from the scribe and taking them to the poster). There are other assignments like just being present and ready to run a within-trial errand (one field to the other, for instance) that allow you a great seat and the chance to watch almost all the action.

 

Dress for the weather (and for weather changes); bring a comfy chair if you'd like; and be prepared to see a trial that is top-notch in every way! I hope to meet you there. Just ask for Sue (not Susan) at the White House. That's where I am usually found...

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I highly recommend volunteering! I had a blast last year. Volunteering is a great thing for novices. Do something like running or posting scores & most of the time you'll be watching the action surrounded by people who aren't running a dog & who will happily answer your questions. I spent a lot of time being an extra runner last year, but ended up keeping scores in the White House and doing a lot of fast math. The Novice field is really fun to watch, too- you get to see dogs (and handlers!) in a very different stage of training than on the Open field.

 

There are puppies everywhere. Best part of trialling is getting your puppy fix without actually having one... I'm one of those rare people who'd rather get a dog at 2 years old than 2 months old.

 

I won't be volunteering this year because of grad school scheduling, but I'm hoping to make it down for a day... with a backpack full of brownies again :)

 

Sue, no stitches this year :) It took two people, plus Robin on the computer, to do your job!

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Thanks for your kind words, Nick, and hopefully no stitches for me for any reason this year! The scar is not very noticeable anyway, and every time I look in the mirror and see my nose, I think "Bluegrass"!

 

It was such fun meeting you last year and the goodies were (pardon the pun) the icing on the cake. That's one thing I do love so much about the Bluegrass, meeting people in person that I've "met" in places like these boards. And they make such great volunteers!

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Thanks for the info Michelle. I hope to meet you, Vicki and Sue there! And maybe Nick, whose pup is related to my Rook. Scribing or running scores sounds like a good fit for me. I'm excited about the possiblity!

 

Chandra

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Thanks for your kind words, Nick, and hopefully no stitches for me for any reason this year! The scar is not very noticeable anyway, and every time I look in the mirror and see my nose, I think "Bluegrass"!

His name is Ben. Nick is his dog. ;)

 

I'll be there, running Rex in the Open and Bar in Nursery and Open Ranch. Ben, looking forward to the baked goods! Please come find us!!

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I'll be there, running Rex in the Open and Bar in Nursery and Open Ranch. Ben, looking forward to the baked goods! Please come find us!!

 

I accidentally read this as "Open Bar". *smacks forehead*. It's almost the weekend lol

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Debbie C and I will be there, doing our thing. Look for Pip and Lark on the novice field. Lark may be hard to see when she makes like a snake in the grass, but Pip is a can't miss, lol!

 

One of these years I might even have a youngster far enough along to run. Would have loved to enter Pip in open, but it's hard to arrange subs for set out on the novice field so I can run in open.

 

J.

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P.S. Ben, if you're sporting a brownie backpack, be sure to stop at the novice field set out! :D Of course, we'd like to see you for you too!

 

I probably won't have any puppies with me this time; I think Debbie and I are going to try to consolidate into one vehicle and bring only (or mostly) absolutely necessary dogs....

 

To everyone else who is planning to attend, please stop and visit at the top of the novice field. For obvious reasons, we can't come to you, but we love having visitors!

 

J.

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Ack! Julie, if I could give him a quick tune up, I'd cover set out with Nick. He's a great set-out dog. Unfortunately, he's almost 11 and hasn't worked in over a year... hips are slowly getting creaky. Hoot is pretty good at set-out, until he has to give up his sheep. Then he's all resource guardy mine-mine-mine :rolleyes:

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No goodies necessary, though they won't be refused, lol! We usually have a tent and an extra chair for company. You just have to walk up along the outside of the field (on the right facing the field) and come up back around the top. We will welcome you! And it's always nice to see the trial (and especially the lifts) from a different viewpoint.

 

J.

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Dear Aspiring Sheepdoggers,

 

My first Bluegrass was - I think - 1982 - Bruce Fogt won it with Hope. A worse trial on a fancier venue - the Walnut Hall Standardbred stud. Skills, judging and setout were inferior to today's Bluegrass but you didn't have trouble entering a second dog! This year, there are 24 dogs on the first dog waiting list!

 

When we determined to bring the National Finals to the east coast for the first time (1999), we visited two important trials for tips how a big trial should be run: Oklahoma 1 and the Bluegrass. In Oklahoma we saw things we didn't want to repeat and we copied the Bluegrass shamelessly.

 

Jake isn't ready and Fly is way, way down the second dog list but it'll be good to see old friends.

 

Donald McCaig

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