Jig’s Journey ~ ASCA Nationals Part II

Yeah, this is a bit late, but I’m still trying to catch up from being gone for ten days. First, from the Brazos County Expo website, a much better image of the grounds than any I could get. I would gladly go back. The grounds were great, the hosts wonderful, the stock some of the nicest I’ve found at a Nationals.

The South Arena (140'x310') was sheep; cattle in the North Arena (130' x 241') and ducks in the Warm Up Arena.

The South Arena (140’x310′) was sheep; cattle in the North Arena (130′ x 241′) and ducks in the Warm Up Arena. We were camped in the lot to the right of the South Arena.

When we set out for Nationals I had a goal: finish both Jig’s remaining started titles. I’m pleased to say we accomplished that goal. Did we do as well as I had hoped? Nope. But did I still have a blast, and do I still love my dog? Absofreakinlutely.

Time and miles. Jig needs both.

Our sheep runs fell completely apart, which served to catch me totally off guard because on the home turf in training she does very well. We got in that looooonnnnngg arena, and suddenly I no longer existed in her world. Our National run was very short. After she blew me off, and then didn’t respond even when I did get in her face, I knew it wouldn’t get any better. I do love the way she watches her stock, but it would be nice to be acknowledged from time to time. Geez.

Cattle went better. I was able to keep her behind, and even get her back there after I had to send her to head to stop one, or tuck one in. I almost managed to blow our run, though. Our three minute warning came up at the second panel. Plenty of time to walk the stock down and re-pen, right? Sure. Unless you totally brain fart and lollygag around. Thankfully one of the voices in my head reminded me that three minutes had been called and I sprinted to get the gate closed with a full 56 seconds to spare. O_o

Ducks were fast and furious. There were a lot of complaints about the ducks (aren’t there always?) but really, they were ducks. Young mallards. Quick, light, more than willing to flee the predators. Jig had way too much push. I don’t know if we Q’d in our National run because we left before score sheets were handed out. It would be close if we did. There were some very good moments and some wildly insane “watch her!” moments. But since we had already finished her title at the pre-trial, some of the pressure was off.

Overall, I have to say I was very pleased with how Jig handled the entire venue. She can be a bit…concerned…about things. Traveling with her sister was even more of a test, as the two girls have been known to not play well together.

Jig and litter sister Tam who makes her look like a scrawny, leggy beast and who, with owner/handler Gail Winnick went Most Promising Started.

Jig and litter sister Tam who makes her look like a scrawny, leggy beast (because she is) and who, with owner/handler Gail Winnick went Most Promising Started.

But they actually did have a few moments of silliness. I stress moments.

This is probably what Tam really thinks of her sister.

This is probably what Tam really thinks of her sister.

So, what’s next?

Lots of training. LOTS. And more time and miles. Because for Jig and I, the journey is just beginning.

stockdogsrule

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