I am getting pretty burned out looking at all of the message boards and facebook and stuff that complain about trials. Most of the complaining is done by people who not only do not own stock, but do not host trials. But some of the complaints are coming from people who should clearly know better.
Most recently, I just saw the vice-president of the AHBA bitching publicly about the stock and various aspects of an AKC trial she was not even at! "Starbursting" ducks. Are you kidding me? She's complaining that the ducks would run in all different directions before the dog gets to the top. Really???? So what now? Call your dog off and walk away complaining because your dog just can't handle it and is not trained up enough? What if that were a real live ranch? What if those ducks would get eaten if not brought in that night? You send your dog on the outrun, and the ducks scatter ... so you get mad, walk off, and leave the "worthless" ducks to fend for themselves that night? Yeah, great idea.
She also said (of the sheep) that it may also be that stock "... were just plain BAD." Yeah? What are bad sheep? Are those the sheep that won't walk happily through the obstacles even though your dog is in the wrong place at the wrong time? Then she goes on to make the argument that it's a national ... and people have traveled further and haven't had time to warm up so, if anything, the sheep should be "better than normal stock." I see. So because people traveled longer distances to show up for this trial, that the level of competition should be dumbed down so that people can quality more often, yes? Am I missing something here? The "national" competition ... isn't that supposed to be the "best of the best"? Isn't that supposed to be the cream of the crop ... the dogs and handlers that are cleaning everyone's clocks all year long? And the idea at the nationals is to make it easier for them???? And this lovely logic is coming from the Vice-President of the AHBA??? Really? How disappointing.
It seems to me that if you go to a trial and you and your dog(s) find yourselves in a situation you can't handle, you need to go home and train. It's that simple.
There is no such thing as bad sheep.
To the people who put the trial on that got slammed 16 ways to Sunday on the AHBA list (shameful that the moderator let that happen), I hope you hold your heads high, I hope you continue doing what you're doing, and I really hope you never hold an AHBA trial. I certainly wouldn't after comments like this from the VP of the AHBA ... who wasn't even there.