The 4th Mediterranean Championship was held in Italy, and for the 3d time Nell was representing France. The trial was held only one week after the French nationals, so it was a bit rough to only have a couple of days to go home and repack before heading out for another 1000-km drive. But the organisation was top, the sheep great, the panoramic view over the Dolomite mountains spectacular and and the main field offered a daunting outrun of 700 meters. Nell was as sharp as ever and easily made it to the double fetch final where she put in a good, completed run without any big hick-ups, but the competition was formidable and we didn't make it into the top. We were however delighted that it was Portugal's Emanuel Freitas who very deservedly brought home the trophy. Next year we'll be back to where it all started, in Portugal!
4 different qualifier trials held all over France during the summer 2019 decided which dogs were called upon to represent France in the world trial 2020. In the last world trial, 2017, both Jim and Nell were in the French team and it would have been so nice to have their son Skye follow in their paw-steps. But it has been another disastrous year for farmers in France, with a second year of extreme heat and drought in a row, so it was difficult to find the time and farm sitters needed to drive thousands of kilometers and be away from the farm 4 days every time, not to mention to train and prepare beforehand, so I had pretty much given up hope. But not so Skye! He took things in his own paws and worked so brilliantly that despite no help from his handler, he managed to end up 10th in the ranking when all the points had been tallied. That means that if France gets 10 places in our team, Skye is in, otherwise he will be the reserve, since we are guaranteed 9 dogs. So whatever h...
Daddy Jim retired from trialing last year and since in France only two dogs per handler are allowed to qualify for the big championships, this was Skye's first chance to try to get in the team and he managed! He'll be representing France in the European championship in Germany come September. We are so proud of our fluffy teddy bear! ^_^
This weekend Nell represented France in the Mediterranean championship, featuring France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. She did a great job in the qualifiers and easily made it to the double-fetch final, but there a stubborn ewe that eventually had to be led off the field unfortunately ended the hope for a place on the podium.
As the only handler in France, Sabine managed to qualify 4 dogs to the French nationals: mom Nell, dad Jim, son Skye and daughter Maya. With only two dogs per handler being allowed, Sabine decided it was time for 10-year old Jim to retire from trialing so finally Skye will get his first chance to step up to the post in a championship and will participate with experienced mommy Nell. Good luck, baby Skye! ^_^
As usual the whole pack crammed into the van came August and headed for the hills in Wales. In our first trial, the classic 150 year old Vivod, Maya did us proud by getting into the final for the second time.