Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Snowbirds On the Border - Overview Recap

Putting on a sheepdog trial is a major undertaking. When it is a five day trial with a total of nearly 250 runs over the five days it is even more daunting. Jennifer and Ron pull it off extremely well each year. This year was no exception.

Like a Broadway show to the audience it all appears seemless from the front of the curtain. Behind the scenes, however, it is a different story. Production meetings and discussions precede the trial by several months. In fact the trial has now been over for only two days and I am sure that preliminary planning for next year is already underway. Serious preparations are well under way by mid summer.

Great thought and planning goes into each aspect and it shows in the end result. The last month or so is sheer madness. Coordinating travel schedules with a judge, arranging to bring in nearly 500 range lamb ewes, setting the course, bringing in 500 sheep, pasturing and feeding 500 sheep for over a week, lining up set out crews, lining up kitchen assistants, lining up scribes, etc. And all of this is done during the hectic holiday season.

Then on opening day there are always glitches. Sometimes minor - sometimes major. The thing is - unless you are part of the work crew - you would have no idea there were any glitches at all. That is because Jennifer and her crew do such a great job of making sure the glitches all get taken care of behind the curtain so to speak.

So - as usual - the Snowbirds trial came off seemingly without a hitch. At least any glitches that did occur were kept safely behind the curtain. Thank Yous go to many people but especially to Jennifer and Ron Ewers for hosting and organizing the whole thing, to Dianne Deal for judging (and also for her encouraging comments - more later), Jennifer's family for keeping things going behind the scenes, the set out crew, the volunteers for exhaust, the volunteer scribes, Tricia Guidry for keeping things running and many more.

As for my own trial experience I was generally pleased with how my dogs performed given how little I have been able to work them the last few months. More on that in a separate post.