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Rowland (22) and 3-year-old Mack were third in the zig-zag huntaway.
Russell Peek, from Palmerston, won the event with Task and Robbie Calder, from Central Otago, was second with Cruze.
Rowland is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the late Martin Greaney, who trialled for about 50 years.
He was second in the long head at the South Island championships with Spec in 1951, and third in the short head and yard with Glen in 1963.
Rowland's first dog trial was at Queenstown two years ago where he won the maiden in the straight hunt.
He did about three trials that year and about three last season.
This was his first full season, attending about seven trials and, until the South Island championships, Mack was still an intermediate dog.
He has been working for prominent Central Otago triallists Robbie and Grant Calder at Lauder Station for the past two years and they have encouraged and helped him in the sport.
They helped him train Mack, whom he bought as a pup for $50.
Mr Rowland, who starts a new job today at Rocklands Station, Clarks Junction, said Mack always wanted to please.
"He's pretty laid back. You can always rely on him in a sticky situation. He never lets you down," he said.
He admitted there were a few nerves at the championships, where some of the country's top trialists were competing.
"It's quite nervous when you're competing at that sort of level. Those fellows have been there and done that for a long time."
Results of the Tux South Island championships:
Long head: Rob Mather (Foxton) and Lace 1, Graham Wellington (Aria, Taranaki) and Sky 2, Steve Kerr (Fairlie) and Meg 3, Steve Murphy (Whangamomona, Taranaki) and Hawk 4, Rick Aubrey (Omarama) and Bolt 5, Mark Copland (Ashburton) and Mary 6, Merv Utting (Gisborne) and Rose 7.
Short head and yard: Steve Murphy and Kahu 1, David Sheild (Dannevirke) and Moss 2, Eion Herbert (Wakefield) and Clyde 3, Mark Copland and Mary 4, Tim Hunter (Pahiatua) and Faye 5, Dan Murphy (Kohuratahi, Taranaki) and DJ 6, Neville Child (Whangarei) and Deal 7.
Zig-zag hunt: Russell Peek and Task 1, Robbie Calder and Cruze 2, Todd Rowland and Mack 3, Clark Chrystal (Tutira, Hawkes Bay) and Hendrix 4, Ceri Lewis (Otautau) and Boogie 5, Paul Cole (Taihape) and Gem 6, Dan Greenwood (Fairlie) and Cruise 7.
Straight hunt: Gavin Drake (Taihape) and Maggie 1, Stuart McNeill (Napier) and Day 2, Bruce Parkinson (Raetihi) and Flow 3, Fin Rowland (Wanganui) and Coal 4, Dave Harris (Kaikoura) and Brad 5, Bernard Murphy (Stratford) and Hammer 6), Steve Kerr and Archie 7.