Inter-club Challenge still going strong

Peter Kidd (left) with Tuff and Andy Clark with Girl won the annual Inter-Club Challenge. Photos: Supplied
Peter Kidd (left) with Tuff and Andy Clark with Girl won the annual Inter-Club Challenge. Photos: Supplied
The last hurrah for the Canterbury dog trial season, the annual Inter-Club Challenge, was held at Waihi Station, home to the Geraldine Collie Club, on July 1.

The day turned from a ''rugged-up'' winter's morning to a balmy northwest afternoon.

The Canterbury Centre is one of the largest centres in New Zealand,comprising 18 club trials stretching from Cheviot in the north to Mackenzie in the east and Levels (Timaru area) in the south, encompassing all areas in between.

In its 25th year of competition, the trial attracted a strong gallery of spectators and team supporters from throughout the province, testament to the strength and popularity of the sport.

The Hilton-Gapes-Geraldine clubs again hosted the event after club members Steve Blanchard, with Spike, and John Walls, with Nate, retained the shield at Waihi last year.

The hosting clubs put on a great day. The sheep had been well worked by Donald Reith and his band of merry men, giving all competitors a fair crack.

All 10 teams competed for the shield this year, each team comprising the top points header and huntaway from their club and sister club trial during the 2018 season. Levels at the southern end and Cheviot at the northern end of Canterbury have no sister club.

Matthew Simpson, from Mt Nessing, judged the shorthead and yard with timekeeper Peter Simpson, and Andy McNab, of Mt Nessing, and timekeeper Sue McNab judged the straight hunt.

from left) Chris Harris, Graeme Phillips, Mark Copland, Scott Archbold, Hamish Steele, Bruce Westgarth, Geoff Allison, Byron Kirk, Garth Faulks, Kerry Pauling, Hugh Macintosh, Rick Orr, Peter Kidd, Andy Clark, Merv King, Mark Mallinson, Abbi Rowe, and Ter
(from left) Chris Harris, Graeme Phillips, Mark Copland, Scott Archbold, Hamish Steele, Bruce Westgarth, Geoff Allison, Byron Kirk, Garth Faulks, Kerry Pauling, Hugh Macintosh, Rick Orr, Peter Kidd, Andy Clark, Merv King, Mark Mallinson, Abbi Rowe, and Terry Ashley.
Following the first round, the top three headers were Merv King and Kate on 94, Andy Clark and Girl on 91.5, and Hamish Steele and Mate on 90.5.

The top three huntaways were Graeme Phillips and Izzy on 98, Wendy Dalziel and Plod on 96.5, and Bruce Westgarth and Blair on 96 points.

However, with the aggregate of the heading and huntaway points combined, the top three teams to run off were Geraldine-Hilton-Gapes on 187, and Tai Tapu-Banks Peninsula and Levels, both on 186.5.

All scores were zeroed. The teams ran their huntaways through first, putting the pressure back on the heading finalists to seal the deal with their runs.

Finishing on top was Tai Tapu-Banks Peninsula with 191.5 points, half a point ahead of Levels on 191. Hilton-Gapes-Geraldine was third with 151 points.

Canterbury Centre president Hugh Macintosh congratulated Andy Clark and Peter Kidd on their win, and gave thanks to all who made the day successful.

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