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Herding Trials #38406
03/07/12 10:37 AM
03/07/12 10:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline OP
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Jim Garvie  Offline OP
Addict

Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Last weekend, I shot a couple of Herding Trials in St. Cloud, FL about 30 minutes from the house. I enjoy shooting them because I've started working my own dogs in herding and it's always great fun to see some really talented dogs and handlers working both the sheep and the ducks. These Trials were sponsored by the local Sheltie Club and local Cattle Dog Club and those were the primary breeds that were in attendance but there were plenty of others including GSDs, Belgian Shepherds and even a Samoyed. The herding site is a farm called Linden Hollow Sheep Farm and it is a bucolic place with acres of open land, a few ponds and tons of wildlife. It's a great place to just be and to have a camera in your hands.

These trials start just before dawn with handler registration so I usually get there around 6:30 a.m. to watch the sun rise -- something I seldom do unless I'm shooting a trial.



Some of the other critters that inhabit this farm are Guinea Hens, lots of chickens, geese and this big boy who apparently was aware that I had a camera.



Also, the owner of the farm had a litter of Border Collies about a year ago so when I go over, I always have to catch up with "my girls". Here's Rosie.



Oh, yeah, I also photograph the herding smile. Here's a shot of one of my favorite guys, Dallas, a 9-year old Border Collie who is just an amazing worker. Always under control. And his owner/handler never yells or shouts. She speaks softly and Dallas has to listen carefully which keeps his attention on her. Great dog; great team!



This is B Course Ducks and it's one of the few places where there are no fences for me to shoot over plus the judges usually let me get fairly close to the course and to sit or lie on the ground for my shots. Here's another participant.



At Friday's trial, there were at least 5 other people taking photos -- even though I was the only "official" photographer -- and some of them had equipment far better than what I was shooting (Canon 7D with 70-200mm F4.0L IS). On Sunday, the front that caused all those tornadoes in the mid-West and Southern states came roaring through Orlando about 6 a.m. and by the time I arrived at the trial, it was raining with 20 to 30-knot winds. In the next hour, the rain stopped but the temps dropped at least 20 degrees and the winds picked up to 30-40 knots with gusts as high as 50 knots. Needless to say, I was the only photographer at the Sunday trial smile.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Herding Trials [Re: Jim Garvie] #38408
03/07/12 12:55 PM
03/07/12 12:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Jim,

Cool series! Curiously, the other photographers - were they polite? ie no problems in terms of you getting what you need?

James

Re: Herding Trials [Re: James Morrissey] #38409
03/07/12 02:01 PM
03/07/12 02:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline OP
Addict
Jim Garvie  Offline OP
Addict

Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
No, they worked hard to keep out of my way. One even explained that she was "only shooting my own dogs". Uh huh. She must own a lot of dogs! Herding folks tend to be more collegial than most other dog groups. They applaud for each other after runs. They appear to really share training tips. There's a fair degree of competition between the trainers and the venues but the exhibitors seem more chummy, overall, than folks in Conformation, Obedience and Agility. IMHO.

There is something special about watching dogs do something for which their breed was originally created. And to see the differences in how different breeds work. Border Collies do that scrunched down in front stalk and tend to work the sheep from the front and the side as well as from behind. Rotties, on the other hand, were originally drovers and they work upright and from the rear. Historically, that allowed them to also protect the herd from wolf attacks from the rear. Both of those breeds use a lot of eye-contact to control the sheep. The better BCs barely have to move to get a herd to go in the direction they want. They just stare them into moving smile.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Herding Trials [Re: Jim Garvie] #38474
03/20/12 10:18 AM
03/20/12 10:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Wales, UK
HollyRuthven Offline
Wanderer
HollyRuthven  Offline
Wanderer

Joined: Mar 2012
Wales, UK
Lovely images, the last two make me giggle smile


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