The power of the sheep dog on trial

Methven Collie Club secretary Robyn Copland, left, registers former national champion Steph Tweed...
Methven Collie Club secretary Robyn Copland, left, registers former national champion Steph Tweed, of Rakaia Gorge. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
The Methven Collie Club ran its 125th anniversary trials last week.

Ken Turpin, runs Tess, during the Class 2, short head and yard event of the Methven Collie Club's...
Ken Turpin, runs Tess, during the Class 2, short head and yard event of the Methven Collie Club's 125th anniversary trial.
The four class event drew scores of competitors, many with multiple dogs competing in multiple runs.

Sue Bell, Diane Smith and Prue Lamont keep the home fires burning, the tea brewing and the food...
Sue Bell, Diane Smith and Prue Lamont keep the home fires burning, the tea brewing and the food coming from the club's kitchen/dining hall.
Among them were former national champions Steph Tweed, Kevin Lamont, Stuart Millar, Peter Kidd, Andy Clark, and Mark Copland.

Club president Bob Brown said the event, held on the farm properties of the Koopmans and Lucas families, along Mt Hutt Station Road, Methven, had been run a few weeks later than usual to suit the landowners. It had been very successful with 358 runs completed in the four classes during the two day event.

Judges Willy Ensor (left) and Mark Copland keep an eye on proceedings on the Class 2, short head...
Judges Willy Ensor (left) and Mark Copland keep an eye on proceedings on the Class 2, short head and yard event.
The event had drawn great support from the rural community and sponsors, Mr Brown said.

A marquee was set up on the grounds for barbecue, tea and general socialising.

Methven Collie Club president Bob Brown records entries received on a first come, first served...
Methven Collie Club president Bob Brown records entries received on a first come, first served basis in the Class 2, short head and yard run. Spectators would enjoy the scenic backdrop.
And commemorative one-off 125th anniversary trophies were being lined up for the open, maiden, district and district maiden winners of each class which would be presented at an official prizegiving dinner in a couple of months.

The first Methven Collie Club trial was run on August 27, 1897.

Sue Bell adds water to the club's wood-fuelled copper at the rear of the kitchen, It is stoked...
Sue Bell adds water to the club's wood-fuelled copper at the rear of the kitchen, It is stoked regularly to keep the water hot.
The four class event was advertised in the Ashburton Mail. It cost members at the time 2s6d for each entry and saw three merino wethers, or five crossbreds, used across the four classes.

toni.williams@alliedpress.co.nz

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