Australian Shepherd Association
put on its sixth annual ASCA
sanctioned TD and TDX tests back to back over Presidents' Weekend at
Fort Ord. Described by Anne Hershey last year as, “an enormous parkland
developed from a decommissioned military base, just inland from
Monterey, California”. The TD test was plotted on Friday and run on
Saturday. There were five entries, and all five dogs passed! The six
TDX tracks were plotted on Sunday and run on Monday. Ten dogs were
entered, three withdrew. Of the six tracks run there were five passes.
The judges were Carol Pernicka and Rita Crawford (her critique follows below). As the judges agreed afterwards, these dogs were really prepared and did excellent TDX work. Linda Stampers photos from the tests are on Facebook, ask to be friends with Linda Stamper, if that does not work, e-mail LKStamper@earthlink
Again quoting Anne, “the Fort Ord site is hilly but gorgeous, and this year the cover was lush and ankle deep. PASA has obtained special permission from the BLM to use a portion of the park that is closed to motor vehicles, so the space is quiet and pristine. Later in the season the slopes will be grazed by flocks of
The tracks were plotted and run in perfect tracking weather. There had been above average rain for weeks ahead of the tests so the soil was saturated. However, it stopped before the TD plotting day and there was fog in the early mornings and overnight all four days. The weather ranged from the low forties in the early morning up to the mid sixty degree range with sunshine in mid day and cool breezes for both the tests. So, for the last four TDX runs it was warm.
Passing TD dogs were:
The event was organized as follows: TD Test Secretary- Marcia Hodes; TD Chief Tracklayer - Sue Rush; TDX Test Secretary- Linda Stamper; TDX Chief Tracklayer - Donna Highstreet
Donna Highstreet served as Chief Tracklayer for the TDX test, tracklayer for the TD test and drove the judges to different sites for several days. Her husband, Ken Highstreet, drove to and from the site each day, parked their motor home at the staging area, made soup, readied all the meals for everyone for returning hungry judges, exhibitors and tracklayers and invited all to rest there at any time. Also, as you can see below, Mona and Doug Nichols were there from first light every day, with a one and a half hour commute each way on many of those days. A giant, “Thank You” to these two couples that gave up their Valentine’s Day to work on our event!
As always, it was a pleasure to have Carol Pernicka join the PASA group for the weekend as a judge. She always seems so happy to be in California in February. Last year’s apprentice tracking judge Rita Crawford joined us as a judge this year and we very much appreciated her judging for us.
And not to leave out Anne Hershey, who is our mentor and leader in all things tracking. She works tirelessly week in and week out teaching and advising tracking students both new and experienced. She very gently pushes each one to understand how to improve and encourages us in the effort to do so. She even feeds us on plotting days. The gallery was so happy that she passed both her dogs, Mittens and Patch in the TDX test this year that the cheers could be heard at the beach!
Chicken tortilla casserole, hot drinks, apple cake, beef vegetable soup, Valentine’s Day cupcakes --- all homemade --- were just a few highlights of the weekend hospitality provided.
The event would not be possible without the following people:
Hospitality: Mona Nichols, Ken Highstreet, Warene Waters
Tracklayers: Anne Hershey, Susan Roberts, Liza Buckner, Sue Rush, Linda Lang, Doug Nichols, Donna Highstreet, Joan Carpenter, Chris Benz, Janet Massolo, Dee Hutton
Drivers: Michelle Pressel, Mona Nichols, Donna Highstreet, Lisa Williams,Sue Rush
Another quote from Anne, “This site is enormous. The wide open slopes could accommodate twelve TD tracks easily, and there is plenty of more challenging terrain available to plot a full six TDX test later in the weekend. ASCA tracking tests provide titling opportunities for rare breed and mixed breed tracking dogs, and wonderful opportunities for handlers of all breeds to continue to train and exhibit their tracking dogs in new and interesting environments.” Donna Highstreet has suggested that next year PASA has a combination TD/TDX test the first day and a TDX test the second day, as there is plenty of space and a greater demand for TDX tests.