National dog trials go to plan

New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association volunteers update the leader board on the final day of the Tux South Island and New Zealand Championship trials, at Waihi Station, near Geraldine, last month. Photo by Ruth Grundy.
New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association volunteers update the leader board on the final day of the Tux South Island and New Zealand Championship trials, at Waihi Station, near Geraldine, last month. Photo by Ruth Grundy.
The weather may have threatened to dominate but the dogs won the day in the end.

Various weather systems skirted in and around Waihi Station, threatening but not impeding last month's week-long Tux South Island and New Zealand championship trials, near Geraldine.

The trials were hosted by the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association's (NZSDTA) Canterbury centre at its Geraldine Collie Dog Club trial grounds.

Entries were up on previous national events.

Specifically, the number of entries in each of the huntaway events - 280 - outnumbered those entered in the heading events - 250 - breaking previous records, Canterbury centre publicity officer Sally Mallinson said.

Centre president Fraser McKenzie said despite it being a ''hectic'' week with ''long days and short nights'', the event had run smoothly.

Rain had made the ground ''a little greasy'' underfoot for the good crowds of spectators, and snow had given those travelling from southern regions an ''anxious time'' - a cold front moving in looked like it might threaten competitions on day four - but otherwise it had all ''ticked along pretty well'', he said.

NZSDTA president John Harvey said the fact the competitions finished within five days was a tribute to the organisers.

''Everything has to fall into place for that to happen,'' Mr Harvey said.

Event 1, the long head, was won by Eion Herbert and Storm, of Wakefield; the short head and yard was won by Peter Kidd and Chief, of Christchurch; the zig-zag huntaway was won by Terry Bould and Cash, of Gore, and the straight huntaway was won by Murray Child and Frank, of Whangarei.

The team chosen to represent New Zealand in Australia for the transtasman challenge is: Murray Child (Northland Centre, captain), Andrew Clark (Canterbury Centre). Eion Herbert (Nelson/Marlborough Centre), Bob Bruce (Hawkes Bay Centre) and Stu Millar (Canterbury Centre, reserve).