The last time I updated Singer was in January when he had earned his advanced A course title and others. Last week was another set of AKC and AHBA trials.
I’ll start with an explanation of earning points for the AKC championship. Points are earned based upon a schedule as to how many dogs are in the class. In this case there were 12 dogs in the classes so the points are 10-19 dogs in class, 1st place=4 points – 2nd place=3 points – 3rd place=2 points – 4th place=1point. To get a championship you must earn a minimum of 15 points. Also you must have two first place finishes under different judges and one 1st place must carry a value of 3 or more points. Complicated right? For those of us that do not have Border Collies the two first places are the biggest hurdle. Imagine going into an event and having to take first place against 10 or more dogs often mostly Borders. I know many people that have 20-30 or more points but can not get that 3 point or better first place.
The first Saturday Singer did his advanced A course and won the class. Sunday he did the same course and won his class again. Were we ever excited!!! His first try for points and he picks up 8 points but most important both of the required first place finishes. He also went RHIT (Reserve High In Trial). If he could repeat the next weekend he would have his AKC herding championship in only 4 attempts.
Monday was AHBA and we were entered in HRD-III (Herding Ranch Dog III). The last trial he would not do his outrun but we were optimistic. I had to work to get him on the outrun but he did it. We unfortunately got a set of sheep that would not go into a chute. Singer had to drive them in on his own but they did not co-operate. They would not go although he was working hard and following all my commands. We called our run and left the field.
Tuesday we had two runs. HTD-II is in the open field. Again we got a bad set of sheep. Of the four sheep, one did not want to be with the others and was ready to run back to the trailer, home or an adjacent field. Singer had to work hard moving the sheep around the course and at the same time trying to keep the bad sheep with the rest and not letting it escape. He worked hard but we lost a lot of points because of the bad set of sheep. Even though we had a bad set Singer won his class and earned his HTD-II title.
Next we had to do HRD-I cattle. You know from the last post that Singer is wary of the cows but we have been working on it. The judge made it clear that in order to qualify we had to get at least one cow in the trailer. This is not easy. The three runs before us had one person get no cows, one get one cow and another getting all cows in the trailer. Singer did well on his run. He did struggle a little in a small pen getting four cows out though. As we moved the cows from one arena to another the cows spread out and we needed to get them to the trailer. Singer flanked around them beautifully, turning the lead cow toward the trailer. It ran to the trailer, jumped in and the others followed. Singer finished in 2nd place, one point behind a Border Collie, and earned his HRD-I cattle title.
The next weekend was another AKC trial. Saturday was a tough day for everyone. Singer finished 3rd behind two Border Collies and earned two more championship points. Sunday, we again got a bad set of sheep. Once Singer got the sheep to the handler’s post and me, one ran away. Singer got excited and went after it. He brought it back but as he was driving them away the same sheep ran away again. I stopped the run as it was not going well. I asked the judge for a re-run based on the behavior of the sheep. He did ultimately give us a re-run and Singer did better finishing 5th but no points. All in all he did great earning 10 championship points toward his AKC championship, two Reserve High-in-Trial, three first places, one second, one third, one fifth and two titles.
This weekend we will go to a new place for Singer and see how he handles the trip, new place and different stock. We are trying to get a level III title on him in the AHBA. It will also be the first time he has ever seen or tried to herd geese. Once he has a level III title anytime he runs a level III course and scores 80 or better he earns a point and 10 points is a championship in AHBA.
We hope that by the end of this year he will have an AKC and AHBA championship. In June Singer will do his first ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America). He will be doing only sheep and ducks for now but must do cattle to earn that championship.
All in all Singer is still hitting all the notes.
Congratulations to you and SInger. Wow, what wonderful accomplishments. Thanks for the great explanations, it really helps to understand all that is required.
I love hearing about Singer’s accomplishments. You two are a great – and inspiring – team!
AWESOME! Congratulations to a great team!
Singer, I have to say, must be one of the most handsome GSDs on earth. And he works!!!
Rich, this was such an exciting read! It was very suspenseful. What a thrill getting two first place wins right out of the gate! So exciting!!! I cheered when I read Singer got all the cows in the trailer, what an accomplishment!!!!
I could not be more proud of Singer and you!
Huge “LIKE”. Congratulations, Rich!
Congratulations! Singer will have his needed points in no time.
He is absolutely gorgeous too! 🙂
DuKes’ Ma, Terri
Great to hear from Singer again. Congratulations on his herding accomplishments.