Addicted to thrill of dog trialling

Shannon Flett has huntaways Drax (left) and Dora ready to compete at the South Island and New...
Shannon Flett has huntaways Drax (left) and Dora ready to compete at the South Island and New Zealand sheep dog trial championships this month.PHOTO: NATASHA PARRANT
Shannon Flett admits dog trialling is a somewhat addictive sport.

Mr Flett, who lives near Waimate, has qualified two dogs for this month’s South Island and New Zealand sheep dog trial championships being held at Greenvale, near Gore.

He has been trialling since 1997 but in the past five years decided to take it more seriously.

Originally from a Taieri dairy farm, south of Dunedin, he moved to Ashburton in 1987 and, after finishing school, went shepherding in the Mackenzie district.

He later went into the dairy industry and is now in the sheep and beef industry, on a 220ha farm owned by his business partners Simon and Kelly Cooney.

He got into dog trialling as he enjoyed shepherding and joined a local dog trialling club, which was a good way to meet other people, he said.

He has been president of the Waimate Dog Trial Club for three years. He said he started to get "addicted" to competing in the sport, as he was always up for a challenge.

Mr Flett aimed to put more effort into training his dogs to perform better. Four of his six dogs he could use in trials.

He has qualified huntaways Drax (20 months) and 7-year-old Dora for the championships.

He was expecting competition to be tough — "250 other people are going there to win so it’s hard to say who will" — and he was looking forward to it.

The secret to a good run was the dog and sheep working together — and a bit of luck, he said.

- By Natasha Parrant

Add a Comment

drivesouth-pow-farming.png