We went through the gate and up the hill to the clear cut. Yesterday was the first snow of the year. There was only an inch of snow on the ground, but I was sure it would have some effect on the running. The cover looked so much thinner with a blanket of white.
Jeff Allen, Schneider, and I were looking forward to being out and a good day of running. Even with the change in conditions, we expected to have good running. It's funny how things work out, but conditions had little to do with the day. The biggest impact was dogs that hadn't been run enough to be sharp.
Jeff had worked a lot for the last two weeks. His company was forcing a lot of OT as they prepared for the Christmas shut down. Plus, he had a dog he just got back to run that had hardly been run for the last several months. Schneider's dogs hadn't been out since last weekend. I hadn't run near as much as usual last week.
The end result was choppy chases for the first three hours due to sloppy hound work. Dogs were over anxious and not near intense enough on the checks. They had trouble staying together and we saw dogs out of the race way too much.
The conditions just didn't matter. The snow wasn't a factor. Dogs racing, barking around the check area, and swinging to get to the front caused more problems than a foot of snow ever could. The little bit of snow we had couldn't come close to causing as many problems as faulty hound work.
In spite of all this, for the last hour the dogs pounded. They ran hard and with very few checks. The only down side was that it took over three hours to get to this point.
Schneider's female Scarlet, out of Neal had a couple of nice jumps. Rambler was really the only one of my dogs that ran up to his potential.
Hopefully during the next week dogs will get run up and great chases will happen way quicker. We had a good time and did get to hear a couple of really good races. And I am sure tomorrow will be even better.
I ran Chip, Rambler, Diamond, and Village Girl. It was about 30 degrees with an inch or less of snow.