This blog is brought to you by Diamond T Cowhorses and The Bullpen Arena. Check out their full range of products on their Facebook page. They've been long time supporters of Herding East and I personally recommend them. Thanks again to Tom and Micaela Thorlakson for their excellent friendship and support.
Last weekend we wrapped up hosting the last of our winter arena series. It's a series that we've hosted since 2016. Since the beginning we've tried to keep our payouts high, sanctioned with as many bodies as possible, and provided a complimentary catered lunch (sponsored by father or myself often without credit). Over those years we've evolved the trial significantly; adding a second run, taking pre entries and adding another day to host a cattle trial. The support for our trials have been simply excellent. Yet there are people who either vocally or behind the scenes complain at great length about our event. Granted, that is the minority yet it is something that no trial host aims to hear. We have made it our absolute mission to make it as fun and fair to everyone who takes the time to enter our events. We know that we can't keep everyone happy and we accept that. I would argue that it was categorically easier to keep people happy back when we were one of the only ones hosting trials through the winter. Now, we have several winter series in our area. Put on by people who are much like us, passionate individuals who want to do what they can to grow and support the sport. Which actually brings up an interesting trend. The main people to say negative comments are the ones who don't themselves host trials. It seems that the people who host trials understand what it is to host a trial. They know that it is a labour of love. We don't sign a contract to host, we don't make money; we only do it because we are trying to support the sport. Yet it seems our reputation can be in peril through what is genuinely a well intentioned act. This may be a pessimistic idea but I've seen different people host trials and different people win many trials but I think the only way to stay well thought of is to not host anything and is to have well trained dogs that never win. Again, we have had wonderful people support us over the years and they have been kind and steadfast. We plan to continue to put on events for those people. We certainly don't plan on putting on events for ourselves. I know this was a rant and it isn't on the same theme as a regular blog. I hope people don't see it as needless complaining. It is simply an open letter to those who have vendetta against our events. Please know we have heard you for good and ill.