MEEKER I The final day at the 2013 Meeker Classic was spellbinding to the very end.
Dennis Gellings of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, the winner of the 2008 Meeker Classic, had an almost flawless run first thing Sunday morning, posting a winning score of 139.
After Gellings’ initial run of the day, however, there were 11 more finalists, including 2009 and 2011 Meeker Classic winner, Amanda Milliken, 2003 and 2004 champion Beverly Lambert, 2006 and 2007 winner Tommy Wilson, 1989 winner Jack Knox and 2005 winner Scott Glen. And not to be dismissed were prior finalists Don Helsley, Lyle Lad and Emil Leudecke with Texan Ron Enzeroth, making the finals at Meeker for the first time with two of his dogs.
Milliken, Enzeroth and Lambert posted respectable but unchallenging scores of 117.5, 118.5 and 114.5, respectively. Helsley and Wilson drew particularly naughty ewes and did poorly. Leudecke drew such feisty ewes that his dog Spot, pushed too far, gripped and was disqualified, and Lyle Ladd retired before the same befell her and Tip.
Scott Glen and June stepped to the post for the ninth run of the day and from the outset, matched Gellings almost point for point.
Spectators watched with bated breath. When he slammed the gate behind the sheep in the pen 18 minutes later, Glen had a score of 138.5 against Gellings’ 139.
Three competitors to go.
Enzeroth and Milliken posted disappointing scores.
Jack Knox came to the post, lost two sheep on his first outrun and tried to pick them up after nicely bringing the sheep down on the second. One ewe, however, was having no part of the fun. She ran between photographer Piperanne Worcester and the fence. While Worcester sat stone still, doubtless hoping that her expensive equipment would not be smashed, ever-patient border collie Jim and the ewe faced off and challenged each other — back and forth – behind Worcester.
Finally the ewe turned and bolted under the judge’s trailer.
It took 2012 Meeker champion Faansie Basson from South Africa, to pull the ewe out and carry her by the rump and the scuff of her neck well into the field before she agreed to join the other sheep. Knox, every the gracious sportsman, retired with a smile.
Just from the set purse of $20,000, Gellings and his dog, Tess, earned $5,000, Glenn and his dog, June, earned $2,000, and Enzeroth and his dog, Mick, earned $1,378. The purse paid out to 20th place, but money was added for a number of categories such as best day run, etc., and those figures have not yet been established, according to classic director Sandra Besseghini
Apart from calling the beautiful movie, “Away to Me” for rain, everything about the event went well. When attendance and other information becomes available, we will furnish a full report.
The winner of Thursday night’s lamb cook-off was The Mobile Chef, an independent vendor. Second place went to Ma Famiglia Restaurant of Meeker and third place went to Street Vendor. The People’s Choice winner was Brother’s Custom Meats of Meeker.
Meantime, here are the final standings:
1 Dennis Gellings Tess 139.0
Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
2 Scott Glen June 138.5
New Dayton, AB, Canada
3 Ron Enzeroth Mick 118.5
4 Amanda Milliken Dorey 117.5
Kingston, ON Canada
5 Beverly Lambert Joe 114.5
6 Tom Wilson Roy 91.0
7 Amanda Milliken Monty 90.0
Kingston, ON, Canada
8 Ron Enzeroth Pete 87.5
9 Don Helsley The Wizard 79.0
10 Lyle Ladd Tip Retired
11 Jack Knox Jim Retired
12 Emil Leudecke Spot DQ