Both Mary Lou and Kathy were honoured to represent Canada at the 2014 ISDS World Sheepdog Trial, with their current dogs Dyna and Craig respectively. The event was held in the highlands near Tain, Scotland, and is the pinnacle of sheepdog competition for competitors around the world.
This is the second time both Mary Lou and Kathy have represented Canada, competing also in the 2011 World Sheepdog Trial in England.
The day before the trial started, there was a big parade in the city of Penrith. Mary Lou and I elected to drive to the parade route instead of taking the bus as Dyna was in season.
However, we had no idea where the parade route started. By the time we found parking, we were running late, and since we had the Canadian flag, it was kind of important for us to be in the parade.
We saw a street lined with people, and deduced that was probably the parade route (duh). We ran to the road, but then weren't sure whether to run up the street or down the street. We decided to run in the direction everyone was looking on the assumption that they knew more about it than we did! People started cheering as we ran by. Handlers from several other countries who were in the same boat started to follow us on the mistaken idea that we knew where we were going. After sprinting through half the town we found the throng of handlers milling about waiting to start the parade.
It was quite a spectacular...
There almost wasn't a World Trial.
The remnants of Hurricane Katia's fury tore down tents and fences and left the World Trial site looking like, in Thomas Longton's words, a war zone. You can see the collapsed marquee and toppled fencing in the picture.
We could only get a quick picture or two as we were directed away, as the site is quite dangerous and no competitors are being allowed on the site for safety reasons. The line of flags you can see on the ground is a line of collapsed tents.
The weather is still poor today, windy and heavy rain and everyone is scrambling to salvage what they can. The vendors and large fair running in conjunction with the trial has been postponed until the weekend, which allows organizers scrambling to get the fields ready for the trials one less thing to have ready for Thursday.
Even so, spirits seem good around the trial site, and on the positive side, no one was hurt and there is enough time to recover. We'll see what tomorrow brings...
Starting right makes all the difference...