The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sonoma Results are In

Hill Field

Just back from Arthur and Sandy Milberg's Sonoma Sheepdog Trial in the heart of California's world famous wine country, and the results are in. Click here for all the scores.

The long-running trial was another overwhelming success and went off without a hitch. The just-shorn ewes and yearling lambs worked well, but were a good test of the dogs. By Sunday, they knew the way out and back as they do each year and by the last day many otherwise nice runs were ended when the draw overcame them.
Flat Field

Sonoma runs 2 open fields simultaneously on Saturday and Sunday. Ireland's Dennis Birchell judged the deceptively tricky hill field where 78 dogs competed. Don Helsley from Idaho judged 85 dogs on the flat field over the 2 day trial.

The Milbergs combine the nursery and pro-novice divisions and run them concurrently on Friday. There were 43 dogs entered in the pro-novice and 14 in the nursery for a combined total of 57 dogs that ran on Friday.
Trial Sheep on the Flat Field

As always, the hospitality and efficiency of the trial were extraordinary, but the weather was unusually warm and sunny for this time of year. I wore sunscreen on Friday with the temperatures cooling nicely for the open dogs on Saturday and Sunday.

I was traveling and trialing with my friend Bridget Strang, and her mother and dad came along for support. It made the trip all the more special for me and there was lots of great wine, good food and warm cameraderie shared between us. I am so glad they made the trip.

Without question, this is one of my favorite trials in the country, and I highly recommend it if you've never been. If things go wrong on the trial field, you are within minutes of a world class glass of wine and some of the best food you could ask for. The Strangs made the hour or so drive over to Bodega Bay on the coast where they watched sea lions play and scouted for whales before driving a few minutes north to bring back pictures of the famous California Redwoods.

With more than 40 USBCHA points on the table, and many of the best dogs and hands in North America present, there's something for everyone at this trial. Congratulations on another overwhelmingly successful trial, and many thanks to Arthur and Sandy Milberg for all their hard work to put on their spectacular event that I look forward to every year.

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