Dogs com­pete to keep sheep in line

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCKOY

A whis­tle shrilled across the gully as a skilled tri­al­list suc­cess­fully com­manded his well­trained dog to herd three sheep through the Zig Zag Hunt.

It was a com­mon sight at the Pu­taruru, Ti­rau and Mata­mata Sheep Dog Tri­als last Fri­day and Satur­day as 59 com­peti­tors, from as far away as Whangarei, Tuakau, Tau­marunui, Tai­hape and Napier, tri­alled 133 dogs.

A num­ber of lo­cal lads did well in­clud­ing Al­lan Smith who came first in the Open Short Head with his dog Nick and first time com­peti­tor Gerome Bar­doul came sec­ond in the Open Maiden Zig Zag Hunt with Crim.

Mr Bar­doul en­tered in the Zig Zag Hunt, Straight Hunt and Short Head and Yard.

Af­ter a num­ber of runs he said he was still en­joy­ing him­self and it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mean­while an­other lo­cal new­comer, Mark Mcglashan, was ea­gerly tak­ing ad­vice from the ex­perts when the Chron­i­cle spoke to him just be­fore his first run.

This sheep trial is one of many hap­pen­ing around the coun­try be­tween Fe­bru­ary and April and was the 73rd an­nual trial here.

Pres­i­dent Alas­tair Sher­rard, who has been tak­ing part for 12 years, said peo­ple just kept com­ing be­cause they loved it.

‘‘They come from all over the coun­try to have a go and carry on to other tri­als around the coun­try. It’s great,’’ he said. ‘‘The whole thing survives on the spon­sor­ship and the good will of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity so a spe­cial thanks to all our spon­sors and lo­cal mem­bers, who with their con­tin­ued sup­port en­abled us to pro­vide an­other suc­cess­ful trial once again.’’

Re­sults as fol­lows: Lo­cal Long Head Open: 1st R Berger, In­ter­me­di­ate: 1st N Dean, Maiden: 1st N Dean.

Lo­cal Short Head Open: 1st A Smith, In­ter­me­di­ate: I. Mcken­zie, Maiden: 1st I Mcken­zie.

Lo­cal Zig Zag Hunt Open: 1st R Berger, In­ter­me­di­ate: 1st G Bar­doul, Maiden: 1st G Bar­doul.

Lo­cal Straight Hunt Open: 1st R Berger, In­ter­me­di­ate: 1st G Bar­doul, Maiden: 1st G Bar­doul.

This was the first time young farmer Mark Mcglashan had en­tered the tri­als with his sheep dog Luna. Round them up: A dog pushes the sheep through the fin­ish line of the Zigzag Hunt at the Sheep Dog Tri­als last week­end.

New com­peti­tor:

Plenty to eat: Mar­garet Bra­zier kept the kitchen un­der con­trol and the com­peti­tors well fed for the day.

Whis­tle blow: Lo­cal man Terry O’sul­li­van took his turn on the zig zag hunt.

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