Collie course still celebrated
One hundred years of dog trials will be celebrated by the Lowburn collie dog club this weekend with more than 100 people expected to join in the celebrations. Spokesman Bob Perriam said the celebrations would coincide with the club’s annual trials, which were traditionally the first trials of the new season. About 150 entrants would be competing in Friday and Saturday’s events and Mr Perriam said they loved coming to Lowburn, which was regarded as one of the best grounds in the country. ‘‘They love the challenge of the steepness of the hill and the challenge of the merino sheep which can be difficult.’’ In the past, if a contender won at Lowburn, they were regarded as one of the best in the country and Mr Perriam said that was still the case today. While the club, and its grounds, has had an interesting and varied history, Mr Perriam said the club faced its biggest time of uncertainty in the late 1970s with the planned construction of the Clyde Dam. The Ministry of Works’ original plan involved a new highway constructed against the base of the Sugerloaf for most of the length of the flats where the club’s trial grounds were, meaning the club would lose all of its grounds. Mr Perriam said a concerted effort was made to showcase the grounds as amongst the best in the country, which also led to the timely awarding of the South Island and New Zealand Championships to Lowburn in 1982. Mr Perriam’s father, Charlie, also refused to negotiate further on land purchase dealings with the Ministry of Works until the club’s needs were met.
Lowburn Collie Club dog trials centennial celebrations New plans were adopted, which saw the highway moved to where it is today, with massive earthworks needed to raise the land levels between the new highway and the hill. The future of the club’s grounds are now secure after developer Dave Robertson, who was behind the Perriam Cove marina development, voluntarily offered the entire face and lower flats of the Sugarloaf to be vested to the Central Otago District Council as a scenic reserve - effectively securing the trial grounds forever. And with 100 years’ history behind it, the club’s members hope there will be another 100 years of dog trials ahead.
Funny side: Looking back: Lowburn collie dog club centennial celebrations spokesman Bob Perriam with some of the memorabilia which will be on display during the club’s celebrations this weekend.
What: When: Friday and Saturday with heading courses at 8am and huntaway courses at 10am Where: Lowburn Centennial dinner: The Moorings, Saturday at 8pm
This cartoon was created by Central Otago
Grahame Sydney when the Lowburn collie dog club grounds were under threat by the creation of the Clutha