Sheep dog club all set to celebrate
The Putaruru-TirauMatamata Sheep Dog Trial Club is hosting its 75th annual trial at Okoroire this week. We take a look back at the club’s history.
The Putaruru-Tirau Sheep Dog Trial Club was formed by a group of enthusiasts at a meeting held on August 25, 1936. The first president was Mr JS Allen and Mr G Haines was the first secretary.
The first two trials were held in 1937 and 1938 at the Sneddon property in Putaruru.
In 1939, the trial grounds were shifted to the Totman property in Tirau, with continued support from the Totman, Neill and Crossan families until 1998.
On an exceptionally hot day in 1999, the final shift of trial grounds was to the Temm property in Okoroire, where they have been held ever since.
The trials were not held during the war years of 1942 or 1943. In 1944, they were revived and, with the exception of 1947 and 2013 (drought), have since been an annual event.
North Island Championships were held on the club’s grounds on Totman Rd in 1950.
In 1987, the club name was changed to the Putaruru-Tirau-Matamata Sheep Dog Trial Club.
Waikato Centre Championships were held on the club’s grounds in 1999, with local man Mr Rex Dean winning the Open Class I Long Head. Another successful Centre Championship was held again in 2009.
Two club members have been awarded the straight furrow merit award: Mr Val Crawford in 2002, for 40 years as barman, and Mr Bruce Watkins in 2012 for 30 years (and counting) as liberator convener.