Barking resounds off golden-brown hillside, whistles pierce
the still air, and gruff commands rumble amidst the clamour.
About 100 years ago, a group of farming men decided to settle
After debating ''My dog is better than yours'', the decision
was made to put them to the test.
In 1914, the Lowburn Collie Dog Club was formed, and last
Friday and Saturday, the club held its centennial trials
The two-day event, attended by about 150 competitors plus
dogs, 850 sheep, spectators, caterers and support, was held
over four different courses, with 89 runs on each course.
Club president Peter Morton said the event was a huge
In recent years, the event had usually attracted about 60
competitors, but this year pulled about 150.
At the height of competition, during the 1980s, the event had
up to 700 entries, he said. Changing land use and shift to
other forms of farming had reduced the number of farmers
working with dogs, meaning entry numbers had been falling,
and the event was attracting fewer younger competitors.
To make the event more interesting this year, Geof and Joyce
Brown, of Locharburn Herefords, had donated a $1000 prize for
two competitors participating in all four courses, with at
least three dogs, Mr Morton said.
Training a dog who could be used in a dog trialling event
began at the age of about 6 weeks and could take upwards of
two years, Mr Morton said.
''In two to three years you get them doing what you want,
then [at] three or four years you get good work, and then
they do what they want to do.''
Over the event, other dog trialling clubs from Tarras, Wanaka
and Wakatipu, as well as the Cromwell Rural Women, were
assisting with running courses and providing those present
''It is a big thing for these guys to come down and help us.
Without them we don't have enough staff members to do it,''
Mr Morton said.
The event concluded on Saturday with a dinner at Pisa
LOWBURN DOG CLUB RESULTS
Event one - long head: I M Anderson, Clyde, 94; 1. W
Hinchey, Ice, 93; 2. J Davis, Norm, 91; 3. A Campbell, Flo,
90.5; 4. M Brown, Kate, 90; 5. 1st Intermediate: A Campbell,
Flo, 90.5. 1st Maiden: A Campbell, Flo, 90.5.
Event two - short head and yard: M Brown, Dove, 89, 1;
P Collins, Jake, 88; 2. J McIntyre, Glen, 79.5; 3. S Wallace,
Mitch, 78; 4. D Calder, Gyp, 77; 5. 1st Intermediate: J
McIntyre, Glen, 79.5. 1st Maiden: A Campbell, Boy, 76.
Event three - zigzag hunt: R Peek, Chuck, 97; 1. M
Simpson, Paul, 96.5; 2. R Tweed, Chaz, 96; 3. R Peek, Task,
95.5; 4. G Calder, Cramp, 95; 5. 1st Intermediate: M Simpson,
Paul, 96.5. 1st Maiden: M Clark, Whizz, 92.
Event four - straight hunt: A Spence, Toy, 96; 1. R
Tweed, Gemma, 95; 2. R Sellars, Burn, 94.5; 3. V Robb,
Oliver, 94; 4. D Campbell, Bo, 93.5; 5. 1st Intermediate: D
Campbell, Bo, 93.5. 1st Maiden: G Finlayson, Dudley, 92.
- Leith Huffadine