Mackenzie Collie Dog Club president Mark Sheehan and his dog team take a break. Photo by Ruth Grundy
Two hot, dusty Mackenzie Country big sky days and some
single-minded merinos put dogs and their owners to the test,
at the recent Canterbury Sheep Dog Trial Association Centre
The CRT Farmlands Canterbury Centre Championships were held
in conjunction with the Mackenzie Collie Dog Club trials at
Balmoral Station, near Tekapo.
Canterbury Sheep Dog Trial Association president Fraser
McKenzie, of Ashburton, said there had been good entries from
''right around the region'' with about 130 dogs taking part
in each event.
There were 18 sheep dog trial clubs in Canterbury and the
Canterbury Centre trials were last hosted by the Mackenzie
Club about 24 years ago, he said.
Some North Otago dogs had also entered to build up qualifying
points ahead of the Tux South Island and New Zealand
Championships - this year hosted by the Canterbury centre at
Waihi Gorge, near Geraldine.
The trials had been ''well-supported'' by local
businesses,The Mackenzie Club had many willing volunteers
from nearby stations, who had worked to make the event a
They had not only helped with administration, the catering
and working the sheep but some had also taken time out to
compete, Mr McKenzie said.
The sheep were provided by the Simpson family.
Mackenzie Club treasurer Cate Ross, of Rollesby Valley, said
she decided to campaign a dog for the first time, the only
local woman to do so at this event.
She and heading dog Jess took time out from administrative
duties to compete in the heading dog events.
Mrs Ross said she runs her own dogs on the farm through the
year and thought she would go out and ''compete with the
guys'' in what tended to be a male-dominated sport.
Judges were Event I, Matt Simpson; Event II, Kelvin Sadler;
Event III, Steve Blanchard, Event IV, Sam Manson.
The Tux South Island and New Zealand Championship trials will
be at Waihi Station, Woodbury Rd, Geraldine, from May 26.
- by Ruth Grundy