Chase was entered Sunday in the trial held in Mountainair. We already knew the sheep were squirrely, but it’s really hard to ignore a trial that is within an hour’s drive. It was sunny and a little windy. I took Inca with us so Tom and Carolyn Cannon (who are hanging out in the Isleta area for the week) could visit with the old girl.
Chase’s duck run was the same as all his Advanced Duck runs have been. We are throwing in the towel for ducks. He thinks they are stoopid and I think I would be as well if I continued to fork over entry fees. So, he will have to earn his Herding/Dual Championship on sheep. He did not earn any points at Sunday’s trial. However, his herding partner had this to say about the run — from Ellen Gerwin.
“I figured being Chase’s coach and partner in this venture I should get the honor of making his report. First we did not qualify—bummer for that, but looking back at it I have to say of all the runs I have had with him over the past 2 years, this was by far the one I am most proud of him for — Q or NQ!! These were/are some of the most challenging sheep we will ever see and he gave me 100%!! We busted the 50% on the hold pen, probably due to a single escape at the beginning getting them in and a mass escape attempt just on the back side trying to contain them to the 4. His turn at the cone all the way to the hold pen was beautiful, on contact in control of sheep that wanted to suck the dog into the obstacles and wrap around to escape when the dog did, he put just enough pressure to keep them moving, but not so much as to upset them.
‘It has been a long road to get here, but we are clicking as a team and holding each other up by doing our parts to make it work. I was not sure we would ever get here, but after today I feel we deserve it. Now to look for some other, non-heat-of-the-summer trials to get to.”
As a (very prejudiced) bystander, I thought the work that Chase and Ellen did was splendid. Chase was thinking and problem solving, but remained responsive to Ellen. We will not give these sheep a second chance, but know there is honest stock waiting for the Chaseman. I’m very proud of the dog and his trainer/handler — What a Great Team!