South Canterbury triallist Mark Mallinson, of Hilton-Gapes
Valley Collie Dog Club, gives his dogs a break from
competition. Mr Mallinson and Freedo (centre) were sixth in
Event IV Straight Huntaway in the Islands and the national
event. Photo by Ruth Grundy.
A win in the New Zealand dog trialling championships
counts as one of the best moments in Peter Kidd's life.
Mr Kidd and Chief, of the Tai Tapu Collie Dog Club, won the
short head and yard event in the New Zealand championship
trials and were placed second in the short head and yard in
the South Island competition.
They were one of two Canterbury dog trialling teams to make
it into the top seven at the trials at Waihi Station, near
Geraldine, last month.
Mark Mallinson and Freedo, of the Hilton-Gapes Valley Collie
Dog Club were sixth in the straight hunt events in the New
Zealand and South Island competitions.
Mr Kidd said he had always hoped he to win a New Zealand
''But you have to do everything right ... and [have] a bit of
luck [too]. That day ... it [the win] was out in front of
everything I've done in my life, pretty much.''
But it had proved a long day of waiting and trying to keep
calm, he said.
He and Chief had to have a ''useful run to make it'' and, as
he closed the gate on the sheep, felt sure it had been, but
had to wait until most of the campaigning was done to hear
the final result.
Mr Kidd, who is 67, started trialling dogs in his late teens
but put his interest on hold for farm work and family
commitments, returning to the sport in 2000 when he had more
It had paid off because he felt he had come back to it
''stronger than ever''.
He said he owed a lot to St Bathans dog triallist Grant
In 2013, in Blenheim, Mr Kidd and Chief were third in the
South Island short head and yard event and he was sixth in
the zigzag hunt event with Quake.
In earlier years, he gained placings in huntaway events.
He used huntaways and heading dogs but was beginning to
favour heading dogs, which were more suited to the property.
Mr Kidd and his wife Maree run sheep and beef on hill country
in the Kaituna-Ataahua area.
Mr Mallinson, who is shepherd at Waihi Station, had been
heavily involved in organising the trials.
It had been a great occasion, he said.
Most triallists would ''go home and think about their
strategy for the next season''.
The sport was increasing in popularity and evolving. He could
remember a time when there were 180 entries in each event;
this year, entries had topped 280.
Some of the older, more experienced, triallists were being
edged out by new people coming through. He put this down to
better access to information about training dogs, in books
Also, experienced triallists were happy to share their
knowledge, he said. Breeding had improved, as those who
sought a good working dog became more particular about their
''The passion is [still] there with the shepherd,'' he said.
Mr Mallinson has two New Zealand titles.
He and Ouf were first in the zigzag hunt event in the New
Zealand championships in 1994 in Hanmer, and in the same
event in Blenheim in 1998.