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A huge thanks to all who came and watched, trialed, volunteered to help with the many tasks that are part of putting on a trial and to the judges who did a wonderful job! Debbie Crowder and her 4H kids and parents did their usual great work in the pens! Mark and Renee Billadeau judged the Novice and Pro-Novice classes and Barry Moyer judged Ranch and Open classes.

I hope everyone had a nice time, I know I did. For me, it was an honor to be able to run on a course with such a rich history in Border Collie trialing in Virginia. Once part of the Triple Crown in Virginia, the large upper field course included a dog leg fetch through large rocks on the left side of the field, and right hand drive that required your dog to push the sheep up a rock cliff. I realized after talking to some of the people that had run this course "back in the day", that this was a sentimental and nostalgic time for them this weekend. I saw tears in the eyes of two men as they talked about the dogs they had once run there, who were no longer with them.

I don't have the scores yet to post, but I do know that Renee Billadeau was first in Open on Sunday with a 93! I'll post the scores as soon as I get them.

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It was a really neat experience to get to run the open course at Ethel's. The last time I was at Ethel's trial, Starr was with me and she was just a pup! Starr's my first dog and we were just there to watch. It was really a special experience to me personally to get to run and win with Starr all these years later (that was Starr's first open win by the way). What made it extra special for me was that Barry was judging. I still remember when Barry was running John and James in novice novice and pronovice while I was a novice with Starr. Thanks Ethel, for the use of your beautiful farm!


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Thank you to Deb and Andre Pelletier, Wink Mason, Susan Rhoades, Laurie Anderson, Debbie Crowder and her 4-H'ers, Barry Moyer, Mark and Renee Billadeau, and all the many folks who helped to put on this very special trial by assisting wherever needed.


Of course, without Ethel Conrad's graciousness, running a dog at beautiful Sunnybrook Farm (even just in Novice, just this once) would not have been possible.


I learned that the Open course was "designed" by Bruce Fogt some years back, using the rock outcroppings and trees as natural "panels" and obstacles. It has a fine history of great handlers and great dogs competing against each other and the sheep and the field. It was an amazing course and very challenging.


This trial had a wonderful, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere. It was very spectator-friendly, and that was a nice touch.


Congrats to Renee for doing so well on Sunday!

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Time to chime in here with my thanks to everyone, too! What a challenging field (so it was Bruce who came up with that *evil* course, huh? :rolleyes: ). What a fun time!


Congrats to our own Sue R & Celt, Mark B with Peg & Jody, and Renee with Starr & Bette!


Thanks all!


EDIT TO ADD - And welcome Bute, Sue's new puppy!

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I wish I could have been there to run on that course and to see the joy on Mrs. Conrad's face in having her farm filled with handlers once again!


I'm sad I missed it and it really is a shame that this trial conflicted with Dr. Ben's as there are many Open handlers who would have loved to be there to support Mrs. Conrad! I fear this may be the last trial at her place and it is sad that it could not have been attended by more Open handlers, especially Mrs. Conrad's fellow Virginian's like Sam Furman, David Henry, Donald McCaig, Barbara Ray, Tom Lacy, Lena Bailey and myself.


Glad you all had a great time!

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Hats off to Ethel, Wink, Susan Rhodes, Deb & Andre, Stacy & Peter, Sue Rayburn, Cassie, Laurie Anderson, Sherry Sheldon and all the others who helped and organized (too many to name and remember)for a great event. Great judging from Barry, Mark and Renee.


And as always, a SUPERB job by Deb Crowder and the 4H-ers.


What a thrill to run on that field. The rocks ate me up, but I loved every minute.


And by the way, I never heard Ethel say it was the last one ;o)



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How could I forget to thank Deb Mickey, puppy-sitter extraordinaire?


If it is held again, let's hope that there won't be a conflict and we can see many more deserving teams run that Open/Nursery field!

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Results from the trial.


Saturday 5/27/06


1 Sue Rayburn /Celt 56

2 Stacy Scott/Chief 56

3 Stacy Scott/Kate 54

4 Andre Pelletier/Champ 51

5 Darren Wall/Tebow 50

6 Peter Hall/Doc 49


1 Pamela Gardner/Rusty 69

2 Muffy Seaton/Lass 67

3 Skip Robinson/Gal 61

4 Doug Brewer/Tess 60

5 Rae Rogers/Toby 58

6 Mark Shelden/Jaff 57


1 Susan Rhoades/Bill 61

2 Mark Billadeau/Jody 59

3 David Clark/Danny Boy 59

4 David Clark/Luckert 50

5 Daniel King/Jig 49

6 David Clark/Roy 43


1 Carla King/Liz 88

2 Mark Billadeau/Peg 84

3 Carla King/Emma 81

4 Susan Rhoades/DuPont 81

5 Pamela Gardner/Ferrell 79

6 Verna Krammes/Willow 79


Sunday 5/28/06


1 Peter Hall/Cap 58

2 Andre Pelletier/Champ 57

3 Muffy Seaton/Tain 52

4 Lisa Basial/Ransom 49

5 Peter Hall/Doc 47

6 Stacy Scott/Kate 46


1 Muffy Seaton/Lass 72

2 Renee Billadeau/Bette 72

3 Daniel King/Fann 71

4 Pamela Gardner/Rusty 70

5 Rae Rogers/Toby 70

6 Randy Munford/Scott 68


1 Mark Billadeau/Jody 76

2 Susan Rhoades/Bill 64

3 Daniel King/Jig 63

4 Evelyne Williams/Meg 63

5 Lisa Basial/Willie 30


1 Renee Billadeau/Starr 93

2 Carla King/Liz 84

3 Janet Harvey/Jess 82

4 Barb Klien/Tad 80

5 Susan Rhoades/Edge 79

6 Carla King/Emma 78

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Congrats to Susan Rhoades and Bill for their win in Ranch on Saturday and second place on Sunday, Susan and DuPont's fourth place in Open on Saturday, and Susan and Edge's fifth place in Open on Sunday.


Also, congrats to Renee and Mark Billadeau on their many placings on Saturday and Sunday, but especially Renee and Starr winning Open on Sunday.


And, Dan King and Jig with their fifth on Saturday and third on Sunday in Ranch, and Dan and Fann with their third in ProNov on Sunday.


This was a friendly, well-organized and well-run trial. It was an honor just to be there at Ethel Conrad's beautiful Sunny Brook farm, that figured so prominently in Border Collie history in the United States.

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Thank you, Julie, for always being so supportive. I feel like the proverbial sixth-year senior - I don't think I'll ever make it out of Novice and I'm amazed that Celt tolerates me so well.


I was very proud of him - he doesn't like pressure and there was a lot of it. He kept control of his sheep no matter what (it wasn't always pretty but they didn't get away).


I missed seeing you and all the southern VA/northern NC folks but did have a wonderful time with the northern VA/MD/southern PA folks that were there. I hope to see you sometime soon!


How about that - Finals 2007 in PA? I want to know where to go to volunteer. I know I'll see you and many other well-qualified Easterners there, and I'll be cheering for you!

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Yeah! - Sue and Celt - sorry I missed your run - and your run-off too... but I was up at the top mutton-busting! (which actually went a lot better that weekend than our judged runs ... :rolleyes: )

starting to understand why Debbie C likes working the pens so much...

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Laurie - One thing I was very grateful for was that we wound up running very close to last (some folks had to move up in the order because of conflicts with other runs "up above" or with other responsibilities) and both our run and the run-off were "observed" by almost no one!


That Open/Nursery/Ranch course was fantastic to watch.

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Renee - For someone who doesn't "perform" well in front of people, I was very content to have no one there but "Your Honor the Judge", and her wonderful and charming scribe.

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