Passion for trials undimmed

Geoff and Joyce Allison, with dogs Fay and Nell, at the South Island sheep dog trial...
Geoff and Joyce Allison, with dogs Fay and Nell, at the South Island sheep dog trial championships. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Geoff Allison has been dog-trialling for more than half a century and his passion for the sport is still as strong as ever.

Born in South Otago, Mr Allison (67) was 9 when his family shifted to South Canterbury.

He started trialling when he was 15, following in the footsteps of his father.

"I love it," he said.

Now semi-retired and living on a 20ha property at Fairlie, he and his wife Joyce are attending the South Island sheep dog trial championships at Hakataramea this week.

A life member of the Mackenzie Collie Dog Club, Mr Allison qualified two dogs - Nell, who will turn 10 in December "but she's still pretty fit and well" - and 2-year-old Fay.

In 1997, Mr Allison and his dog Bruce claimed the New Zealand title in the long head and then represented New Zealand in a transtasman challenge, beating Australia. Fay is a descendant of Bruce.

Winning another national title was always something that Mr Allison strived for. He usually attended between eight and 10 trials a year.

• Whistling his dog from a wheelchair proved no barrier yesterday for Grant Calder, of Lauder Station. Mr Calder and his dog Cramp won the South Island zigzag hunt championship. Mr Calder has been in a wheelchair since a motorcycle accident on his farm in August 2004.

Dog Trials
Final results of the South Island championship zigzag hunt. -

Grant Calder and Cramp (191.25) 1, Fin Rowland and Coke (187.5) 2, John Templeton and Strut (184) 3, Grant Plaisted and Rock (183.75) 4, Roy Pullen and Turk (182.5) 5, Glen Tomlinson and Rave (179.25) 6, Mark Loye and Troop (156) 7.
Final results of the South Island championship straight hunt. -

Steve Kerr and Bully (197) 1, Lloyd Smith and Ernie (195) 2, Kerry Kilmister and Bloom (193.5) 3, Russell Peek and Task (192.75) 4, Stuart McNeill and Sue (187.75) 5, Glen Tomlinson and Rex (180.5) 6, Lindsay Wink and Bear (167.75) 7.
The top competitors to run off for the other two South Island championships today. -

Long head:
Ken Lobb and Josie (97 points), Kerry Kilmister and Floyd (96.5), Merv Williams and Jet (96), Murray Child and Dice (95.75), Merv King and Kylie (95.5), Barry Hobbs and Cam (95.25), Jeremy Berry and Duzar (95).
Short head and yard:
Eion Herbert and Haig (97.5), Merv Utting and Briar (96), Lloyd Smith and Happy (95.5), Fred McDougal and Peg (95), Dick Roy and Rob (94.5), Kent Ebbett and Prince (94), Selwyn Dorward and Max (93.5).

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