Nation’s top dog
Nell nails it at sheepdog trials
WHEN it comes to sheep-dog trialling Tasmania’s Malcolm Taylor is arguably one of the country’s best ever.
His ability to harness the natural talent of his dogs, combined with years of experience, has made him difficult to beat.
At the recent Australian Supreme Championship in Western Australia Mr Taylor and five-year-old Sommerville Nell beat some of the best dogs and handlers from across the country and New Zealand to take home the coveted trophy. It is the second time he has won the competition.
His dog Nell is fortunate to even be here. She was delivered by caesarean when her mother, one of Mr Taylor’s best dogs Sommerville Floss, had trouble giving birth.
Unfortunately Floss died while under anaesthetic, but Nell was saved.
Mr Taylor said Nell was very talented and her ability to hold her ground and stand up to difficult sheep gave her an edge.
“She’s a very strong dog and her mother was too,” he said. “She does pretty well on most type of sheep, but she doesn’t like sheep that run a lot. She prefers to be able to get them tied up and get in nice and close to them so she can control them.”
Mr Taylor lives at Bridport and regularly travels to the Creese family’s property Bowood where he trains his dogs.
Once trained, Mr Taylor said he did not work older dogs that much. Most days they go for a run and a swim at the beach instead.
“The beach is great for keeping them fit, they love it,” he said. “There’s nothing like swimming to keep a dog fit.”
Mr Taylor and Nell have also earned a spot in next year’s Australian team in the Trans-Tasman competition. This will be the 15th time he competes for Australia and Nell will be his sixth dog to make the team.
He will be joined by three others to take on New Zealand team and says they have a good chance of coming home with the trophy.
“I think we’ll go pretty well. But you can’t get cocky over there, anything can happen.”