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Pip's very first USBCHA Novice run

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We entered the Crook and Whistle SDT held in Jefferson, WI at the Novice level. It was our first time at a USBCHA trial. Pip did very well and we took first place at this trial. We have some stuff to work on, but this run felt really nice to me. The field we train in is not this big and I was unsure if she would go deep enough, but the way she went out, made me proud of her.

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Smalahundur, here on the East coast of the US, there are four levels: Novice-novice (drive is optional - the handler may opt to have the dog wear the sheep instead); Pro-novice (dog must drive the sheep once they turn the post); Ranch or Open Ranch (a cross-drive is added); and Open (a shed or obstacle like a Maltese Cross is added). It does provide a lot of opportunities for folk just starting out. For years I'd only watched Open trials, thinking that I'd never, ever get there. But then I watched some of the novice classes (Novice-novice and Pro-novice), and hope sprang eternal.


USBCHA only *sanctions* Open and Nursery trials, but many (not all) trials also offer the other three classes.


Very cool, congratulations! I didn't know novice level trials do not have a cross drive.I would like it if they did it that way here in Iceland. I think the entry level here is too demanding, keeping a lot of stockdog owners from entering the trial world.

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That is pretty cool, entry level here is the "young dog class" which has an age limit on the dog (I don´t think that is such a smart thing). The course is a standard triangular one, outrun-fetch - round the pole -cross drive- penning.

The only difference with the B class is a shorter outrun.

At the open A class a shed is added, this is usually just a splitting of the group.

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