Saturday, September 26, 2015

USBCHA Finals - Last Day!

It's the last day of finals.  What a great event it's been!  Major shout outs to Geri Byrne and Amy Coapman, and their team of cheerful, hardworking, pink-shirted volunteers.  The hospitality team delivered delicious snacks with a local flavour (including Maple Bacon donuts!), the results team had scoresheets printed out so quickly, the information booth patiently answered all of our questions (and some of them were real crackers), and the exhaust teams did a great job clearing off the sheep (and some wrecks!).

I missed the first run of the day, but I understand it was a lovely one from Elizabeth Baker and Ross.  It sounds like their pen was completed just after time ran out - bummer!  This team did win best shed.  Derek Fisher and his young Nell went next.  His turnback was lovely, and he had a nice shed going, but there was one stubborn uncollared one (codename:  The Huddler) who had buried herself deep amongst the collared ewes.  He was unable to sort her off and timed out at the shed.

Amanda Milliken and her young dog Howell, had a good run as well, and it would put them in 3rd.  Howell was a nursery dog last year, so his accomplishment on the big field is particularly impressive. The next team, Libby Nieder and Derby, weren't able to get out to the second lot of sheep.

Two-time national champion, Scott Glen and his reliable Don were next up.  They had a solid run, and while they had some trouble with the shed, having to re-shed after wily ribboned sheep joined with their uncollared comrades, they did complete the shed and then penned.  They would be the score to beat and spoiler alert: no one did.  Huh.  I should have put that later in this post.  That's just bad journalism.

Ron Enzeroth and Mick had a good run as the heat really rose.  Again, the sheep were very difficult to shed and they timed out in the ring.  Louanne Twa and Gus, a son of Scott's Don, were next up.  Gus had a nice first gather but got a little lost on the turnback, ultimately crossing.  He brought his second group down the fetch, but by then, his first group had drifted to the exhaust pen.  Gus couldn't see them, and after a few attempts to send him out there, Louanne retired the run.

Always a crowd favourite, Tommy Wilson and Kate went next.  Kate, too, had some trouble with her turnback, but I'm not sure if they crossed.  They had a nice shed and pen, and ultimately would finish in second.  There I go again, giving away the results.  Wow.  Not good story structure.

Bill Berhow and Cley were up next, and Cley had trouble getting out to the second set, so Bill retired the run.  Norm Close and Craig suffered a similar fate:  the curse of sheep-same-colour-as-the-ground. Fernando Alves and Lexi were the third team in a row to suffer from the curse.

Lee Lumb and her flashy tri, Gus, went to the post next.  He had an absolutely gorgeous first gather, with a superb fetch.  He had some trouble on the turnback, crossing and going left.  He brought the second group down on a lovely line, but similar to the other Gus, his sheep had drifted all the way to the exhaust pens, and he wasn't able to bring them back so Lee retired the run.

Ellen Skillings and Jill were up next.  I think they missed one of the fetch gates.  Shed was decent, and they timed out at the pen.  Amanda and Monty were next.  His first fetch was a little straight to start, but he eventually found the line towards the panels.  Gorgeous turnback and no trouble bringing his two groups together but I think he missed the fetch panels.  Drive is fine, and into the shedding ring.  It takes a long time but they get it, and the pen.  They would finish 3rd.  Monty recently had some medical issues, and it's great to see that he was able to get back into condition to complete this 30 minute course.

Lasoya Lerma and Blazin' Beau had an absolutely immaculate run up to the shed.  In fact, this team would win the trophy for Best Drive, and finish with a score of 417, which put them in 5th with no shed or pen.  Bev Lambert and Nan had trouble with the first fetch and then had more trouble with the turnback.  Drive was a bit wobbly, and they timed out in the shedding ring.

Last run of the day was Faansie Basson and Molly.
Waiting patiently for their turn.

They had a nice first gather, then a decent turnback.  The drive was lovely, crossdrive line was nice, and they were just a touch low at the crossdrive panel, with maybe 4 sheep missing the panels.  Then, some of the sheep came back through the panels.  Those sheep were jerks.  Into the shedding ring, and this team is getting it done!  Unfortunately, with only two uncollared sheep left to shed off, a collar makes a break for it and rejoins the shed group.  They have to reshed with only 4 minutes left.  They make a big cut, and then one by one, sheep are coming off!  Some of them are kind of orange!  He's down to two, but there isn't going to be enough time.

Congratulations to Scott and Don, the 2015 USBCHA champions.
2015 USBCHA Champions, Scott Glen and Don
So that's it for us and blogging the finals!  The dogs are ready to go home and have baths to remove all the dust from their coats.  It's possible that Lou has melted.
Lou has melted.  Wick is so over this.  The tri guys remain way too happy.

 Thanks for reading, thanks for your kind comments, and thanks for understanding that this blog will go largely dormant again as typing is super hard.  :-)

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