After what seems like years of waiting, we were finally able to hold a kelpie training clinic again.
Over the weekend of 19/20 June, we met at Old Dalby, near Melton Mowbray, in a venue kindly supplied by Richard Williams. We were privileged to make use of his new handling system, only collected the previous week and were instantly dazzled by the shine and lack of muck!
The sheep were a stunning flock of mostly Cheviot shearlings with a few ‘Chuffolks’ and a rogue Blue Texel who made her attendance known all weekend by providing an extra test to any dog lucky enough to draw her.
Our chairman Iain led the training and banter on Saturday and an array of dogs, young and old all worked and honed their skills on what proved to be challenging sheep. Richard assured us the new hurdles were higher and partly sheeted so even his Cheviots wouldn’t jump out… Hmmm… Let say they proved him wrong!
Sadly Iain couldn’t attend on Sunday so handed the reins to Mike Jones. Mike, armed with his personalised crook, started the day with a novel introduction which you will have to attend a future clinic to experience for yourselves! He had pups on only their third or fourth look at sheep and got them working really nicely, backed up by older more experienced dogs. Also older dogs learning new skills or experiencing sheepwork for the first time. Two people came just to spectate, one with their dog and was soon roped into working, the others left their dog at home but popped back to collect her so they too could work!
From building confidence, learning to drive and back, meeting sheep for the first time and working a small flock, we covered many bases and everyone who attended got something from the weekend, as well as a sociable, fun time for both handlers and dogs! Looking forward to the next one!!