Jai and I handled NC Open with all the skill and grace of children going to war.  Young children.  Girls.  Not those hardened young third world boy soldiers you see in CNN news clips.  I'm talking some pony-tail sporting, be-skirted 9 year olds pulled from their PE dance class and thrown onto the battlefield in their pink leotards. With AK-47s. 

On our first run, Jai noticed the exhaust sheep and tried to focus her outrun in the entirely wrong direction….BUT she listened to my redirects, looked in the right area of the field until she finally saw sheep and then she ran nice and wide, but not too wide.  She laid down at the top. I'm sure she also looked back 450 yards in my direction and wagged as I whistled my countless WALKUPS, my several corrections; I'm certain that she licked her lips – but she wasn't moving any sheep for awhile. 

Her second outrun was very pretty, with the same end at the top: OHSHITHEREIAMAND ….IT'S BIG SCARY SHEEP! AGAIN! AND JUST ME!! I THINK I'LL STARE AT THEM AND HOLD THEM HERE FOR AWHILE. SURELY MY CHAUFFER WILL SEND A REINFORCEMENT.  OR RECESS WILL BE OVER!

The Battle of the Lift, both times, was very tentative.  Eventually she brought sheep.  There was a lot of pressure and the field was wheat stubble which may or may not have been a factor.  I think it was a huge factor during the Civil War, but that's just me recreating history and hating grains.

We didn't come within 20 yards of an actual obstacle on either run. The War on Panels ended with alot of overflanking, laying down (Jai, not me, though I considered it)  and refusing to get up until EXTREME COAXING and CAJOLING were employed.  It was ultimately a drill in me being patient and not fleeing the field as soon as it was apparent that it was a drill in me being patient and not a FANTASY RUN. 

The first run ended with a DQ'd in the shedding ring. It was a mercy DQ. One of us was ready to bite something;Jai won the coin toss.  The second run we timed out at the second panel.  JUST LIKE VIETNAM, really. 

Or not.  Either way, the SPANISH were NOT supportive.

So, the BIG VICTORY for me was that I stayed; I tried to help Jai, and Jai did some good things.  We are not ready for Open, not by a long shot, BUT…
I'd do it again. I will do it again. I will run in an Open trial NC if it is a trial that doesn't offer PN.  Or if I'm drafted.

The only real casualty here was my ego. I think I've finally buried that. 

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