The sun shone brightly and the weather was unseasonably warm this past weekend (September 23-24) at the beautiful Scarlett Mills Farm in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, site of the Collie Club of America Herding Regional. The weekend began with 23 timed practice runs on Friday afternoon - sheep and duck runs. Many of the out-of-town owners showed up - from New England, Virginia and Tennessee. I always feel practice time, the day before, helps exhibitors, especially those from out of town, get a feel for the arena, the stock and the draws. Friday afternoon was relaxed as friends visited and we finalized preparations.
We were so lucky to have Keystone Collie Club on site both days to provide great food for the workers, judges and exhibitors. I cannot thank Jennie Grover and Marguerite McGrath enough for all their hard work and excellent cooking. They showed up in the dark of the morning to prepare coffee and breakfast each day and stayed until all were fed lunch.
Trial mornings began early with A Course Sheep starting at 7:15 with the Advanced Class. Our judge, Cynthia Knowlton, was ready with her coffee and off we went. Following all Course A Sheep we went out to B Course for ducks and sheep. The entries were small on B Course -- one duck run and two sheep runs but they were fun to watch. Then over to the Instinct Arena where all four entries passed each day!
Off to the Test Classes, which were our largest classes and the most watched classes. It was nice to see so many collies and their owners working as a team in the sport and showing great promise. I certainly hope these dogs continue with their training and we see them again at the national specialty. We ended the day with our Course A duck runs. We followed the same Schedule on Sunday and it worked very well.
On Saturday, three out of the four Advanced A Sheep dogs qualified with my DC Riverrun Wyndham’s Imagine the Dream, MX, MXJ, RN, HXAsd winning the class with a score of 83.5. Intermediate A Sheep only had one entry but she did a great job and picked up her first Intermediate Sheep leg. By the end of the weekend she had finished her title and is now Riverrun Carly Rose, MX, MXJ, CD, HIAs. Started A Sheep was the most competitive class and both HIT and RHIT came from that class. Winning the class with a score of 92 was Chris Carilli and her sable smooth dog Ability’s Time Traveler, HSAs. Second and RHIT was Sandy Getz and her blue bitch, Skydancer’s Diamond in the Rough, with a score of 86.
Chris Carillia and Ability’s Time Traveler, HSAs.
Sandy Getz and Skydancer’s Diamond in the Rough
Off we went to Course B ducks where we had one entry in Started. CH/MACH4/TC Riverrun Wyndham’s Dream Girl, UD, HXAsd, HIBs, HSBd, RN finished her B Course duck title. We stayed out in the B Course field and ran B Course sheep but neither dog qualified on Saturday. The outrun definitely was the difficult part of the course.
We had four dogs entered in the Instinct test and all four qualified. That made for some happy owners and dogs. Test classes followed and there were quite a few qualifiers and only one handler who was knocked over. Those test sheep are sometimes more difficult because it is hard to maneuver when they are so close. Cynthia provided needed guidance and support to those who needed it. Up we went to the yard for A Course ducks which began with the Started class. There were some really nice duck runs and Terry Peters with her smooth bitch, Misty Morn Marvelous Maeve, won High Scoring duck dog with a score of 84. One highlight of the duck runs was Sandy Getz and her tri male, Blu Ridge Justified won the Advanced class and picked up his first Herding Championship point on Saturday. Another HC on his way!
Terry Peters and Misty Morn Marvelous Maeve
Sunday morning came very quickly -- setting up before the sun was even up! We again had a great morning but the weather was a bit warmer and the bugs a bit more aggressive. Our judge on Sunday was Renee Worringer from Canada, who was very nice with tons of how-to and help to the newer exhibitors. Once again, Advanced A Sheep was won by DC Riverrun Wyndhams Imagine The Dream, MX,MXJ, RN, HXAsd and Intermediate was won by Riverrun Carly Rose for her second leg. Started had a new winner with a beautiful run on Sunday by Marianne Sullivan and Millknock Thunderstruck, PT with a score of 91.5. That score was good enough to earn him High in Trial at the end of the day.
Marianne Sullivan and Millknock Thunderstruck, PT
Back out to B Course and CH/MACH 4/TC Riverrun Wyndham’s Dream Girl, UD, HXAsd, HIBs, HSBd qualified again in Started ducks. Sunday did have a qualifier in B Course sheep with Chris Carilli and Ability’s Time Traveler, HSAs. He had figured out the outrun! Sunday all four Instinct dogs qualified again, thus earning their Herding Instinct Titles! We certainly had some happy owners.
Off we want to the test classes and the Q rate was still very good with most HT dogs qualifying and all PT dogs qualifying.
Advanced A Course ducks had two qualifiers with CH/MACH5/TC Riverrun Wyndham’s Dream Girl, UD winning the class with a score of 91 for Reserve High in Trial.
The final award of the weekend was High Combined which was won by CH/MACH4/TC Riverrun Wyndhams’Dream Girl, UD, HXAsd, HSBd, HIBs, RN by qualifying in Started B Course Ducks, Advanced A Course Sheep and Advanced A Course ducks. Another Regional is behind us.
(L-R) Michelle Shoemaker with CH/MACH4/TC Riverrun Wyndhams’ Dream Girl, UD, HXAsd, HSBd, HIBs, RN and DC Riverrun Wyndhams Imagine The Dream, MX, MXJ, RN, HXAsd
I certainly hope all the exhinbitors had a good time and I look forward to seeing them and their dogs at the National Specialty in Virginia. It will be exciting to see the progress they make over the winter. Until next time . . . Happy Herding!