Some work, lots of good company

Sylvia Anderson (left) and Prue O’Neill in the bar at the Omarama sheep dog trials. PHOTO: SALLY...
Sylvia Anderson (left) and Prue O’Neill in the bar at the Omarama sheep dog trials. PHOTO: SALLY RAE

It is highly unlikely that Prue O'Neill's dog will ever grace a course at the Omarama Collie Dog Club's trials.

For the club's secretary-treasurer has a Maltese-bichon frise called Monty, who would look slightly out of place among the much larger heading dogs and huntaways.

Mrs O'Neill, who has been secretary for two years, did not have a dog-trialling background. She and her husband, David, own an agricultural contracting business. But she was happy to help out at the community event.

The club's grounds moved to Dalrachney Station, in the Lindis Pass, last year, and a new building, which incorporated the cookshop, bar and secretary's office, was built for this year's trials.

It was a busy couple of days for Mrs O'Neill at the trials earlier this month. She was at the grounds at 6.45am each day, and she was also duty bar manager, so that meant she was there until closing time.

She was assisted by long-serving former secretary Sylvia Anderson, and she enjoyed the role and meeting the triallists.

In the cookshop, they had got a bit fancy with date and cinnamon scrolls, ever-popular mutton sandwiches and home-made baking were also on offer.

Vanessa Anderson (left) and Carla Hunter in the cookshop at the Omarama sheep dog trials. PHOTO:...
Vanessa Anderson (left) and Carla Hunter in the cookshop at the Omarama sheep dog trials. PHOTO: SALLY RAE

Catering convener Carla Hunter - who also doubled as the club president's wife - had been around dog trials all her life.

Her father is well-known Palmerston triallist Lloyd Smith and despite her mother's suggestion that she should "never marry a dog triallist'', she admitted she did not listen when she wed Scott Hunter.

"I'm a widow for half the year. I'm the pup trainer. Scott just steals them off me and gets the credit,'' she said.

The mother of two enjoyed the good company at the trials.

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