80 Acres (continued)
On Monday, the 80 Acres Trial hosted the Novice classes. Two more of Mary Lou's students joined the action. In fact, they set a very high standard for the quality of work with good outruns and their dogs under good control, sweeping the top three positions. Neto finished first and third with his two dogs, and Tricia finished an impressive second in her first ever trial with a daughter of Mary Lou's Dyna, Boywood Kix. Mary Lou was very proud of them both.
From there, we moved on to the Grass Creek site. The trial field is very picturesque with the St.Lawrence River in the background and the Wapoos Island sheep are always a (fun?) challenge. These sheep live on an island for a good portion of the year and don't see many dogs or predators, or even humans for that matter. They are quick to test a dog's courage and Wiley enough to escape the dogs that are willing to stand up to them. There is a line of trees on the left side of the field that tempt the sheep...
80 Acres and Kingston
With only two weeks left before leaving for the UK, Team Boywood headed for Kingston, Ontario to participate in the formidable Kingston Sheepdog Trials at Grass Creek Park, and the warm-up 80 Acres Sheepdog Trial.
These trials have challenging sheep and fields and both Mary Lou and I were hoping to get a sense of how the dogs were running. The heat and humidity this summer has made it difficult to do much work with the dogs. Our good friends and students of Mary Lou's, Alistair Simpson and Linda Comeau were also attending the trials.
The 80 Acres Trial can be a bit hard on the faint of heart, because the field is very long. Did I mention VERY LONG? And flat. Enough undulations to keep the dog popping in and out of sight, but flat enough to mess with your depth-perception. With 90+ dogs running this year, the outrun distance wasn't overly long which helped move things along, but without a nearby backdrop of trees there was still the optical illusion that the...
Starting right makes all the difference...