Quarter-point decides dog trialling championship

Greenvale Dog Trial Club member Brian Dickison and Cole, seen here penning sheep during the final...
Greenvale Dog Trial Club member Brian Dickison and Cole, seen here penning sheep during the final of the short head and yard event where they finished fifth at the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Championships hosted by the Greenvale Dog Trial Club, near Waikaka, on Saturday. Photo: Sandy Eggleston
Greenvale Dog Trial Club member Brian Dickison and his dog, Cole, have won a national title - by a whisker.

Competing in the long head final at the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Championships on Saturday, Mr Dickison, of Waikaka, and Cole top-scored in the run-off with 97.5.

Added to the score they achieved earlier in the week in the South Island championships, this gave them a total of 195.5, a quarter of a point ahead of Mark Copland and Don, of Methven, on 195.25, to take the title.

It was a closely fought competition with Mr Copland finishing top qualifier with 98.25 points.

The final comprised the top seven placegetters from the South Island championships.

The championships, hosted by the Greenvale Dog Trial Club, started last week at Sue and Alan Stewart’s Leithen Valley Farm, near Waikaka.

Mr Dickison said it was special to win the event, especially on his home ground.

"This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life," he said.

While Mr Dickison had bred the dog himself, Cole did not come from a lineage of dogs well known for performing at dog trials, he said.

The 8-year-old, who was in his prime, was a "once in a lifetime dog" and was one with a very special nature.

"He’s got X factor and he handles most types of sheep. I don’t know why he gets on so well with sheep.

"He’s such an honest dog and easy to train. I’m very lucky to have him."

In the final, Mr Dickison was "rapt" with the way Cole had brought the sheep down the hill but getting the sheep to stand inside the ring was challenging.

"They turned on my dog and I thought that may cost me the title but it didn’t.

"It was an outstanding run but the finish wasn’t as good as I would have hoped."

In the 35 years Mr Dickison had been trialling, this was his first national title.

He and Cole had been chosen for the New Zealand dog trialling team who would compete against Australia in October.

"It’s the icing on the cake. I’ve been selected as an All Black in dog trials."

The event was judged by Kent Ebbett, of Wyndham.

Mr Ebbett said Cole did a great job of the run-out to reach the sheep.

On the way back down to the ring the dog showed "beautiful control and line on the pull home".

There was a very high standard in the final, he said.

Mr Dickison was also sixth in the straight hunt with Radna.


New Zealand championship final

Long head: Brian Dickison and Cole (195.5) 1, Mark Copland and Don (195.25) 2, Neil Evans and Tess (193) 3, John Petersen and Cap (192.75) 4, John Bartlett and Honk (191) 5, Barry Thompson and Bolt (190.75) 6, Guy Peacock and Slim (188.5) 7.

Short head and yard: Ginger Anderson and Jet (192) 1, Eion Herbert and Bell (191.75) 2, Merv Utting and Fern (190) 3, Neville Child and Harry (189.5) 4, Brian Dickison and Cole (186) 5, Bob Bruce and Susan (185.25) 6, Ginger Anderson and Boss (184.5) 7.

Zigzag hunt: William Lott and Liz (191.25) 1, Leo Edginton and Robert (191) 2, Robbie Calder and Ned (188.5) 3, Bruce Parkinson and Holly (187.5) 4, Maurice Yearbury and Hemi (181) 5, Simon Prouting and Meg 9171.75) 6, Matthew Clark and Ranger (154) 7.

Straight hunt: Jamie Shrubsall and Stag 9193) 1, Tom Manson and Buck (191.5) 2, Angus Spence and Brin (191.25) 3, Tim Stevenson and Donk (188.75) 4, Todd Rowland and Stern (182.5) 5, Brian Dickison and Radna (181.5) 6, Scott Hunter and Hood (152) 7.



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