Time to get in behind dog trial
Dogs being whistled into action as they stealthily shepherd sheep use to be a common sight at A&P shows all around the country.
‘‘You don’t see dog trialists in action very much anymore,’’ according to Alastair Sherrard, president of the Putaruru-TirauMatamata Dog Trial Club.
During the upcoming trial in Okoroire huntaway dogs will punch (bark) three sheep up a hill over two different courses – straight hunt and zigzag hunt.
Heading dogs will pull three sheep down a hill into a predetermined quad on the long head course and through two gates, and into a pen for ‘a yard’ on the short head course.
This local event can attract up to 70 dog trialists with around 150 dogs over the two days from all over the North Island, all chasing points so they can qualify to compete in national events.
Sherrard said judges are coming up from the Hawke’s Bay which may result in a larger contingent of competitors from there.
Two local club members who have competed in North Island and national run-offs, Allan Smith and Bob Berger, will be vying for points. Trophies and prizemoney will be awarded at the end of the day.
Capture the action, from 8am, on February 25 and 26 at 483 Kakahu Rd in Okoroire. Entry is free to the public. Matamata-based Starfish Social Services has received support for new premises from Matamata-Piako District Council.
At last Wednesday’s meeting the council resolved to fund up to a maximum of $5000 to assist Starfish with costs of resource consent to relocate a building onto its site in Rawhiti Ave.
The building will be used for youth counselling, mentoring, alternative education and after school care/holiday programmes.
In its funding aplication, Starfish said: ‘‘We believe the new classroom facility will provide us with the ability to further serve the greater community.
‘‘To date we have experienced wonderful support throughout the community for our services.’’
Established in 2009, Starfish is also involved in district collaboration with youth service providers and the council to deliver youth-led initiatives.
‘‘They work for the whole district,’’ mayor Jan Barnes told the council meeting.
Councillor Brian Hunter said Starfish is a great organisation which helps the youth of the district.
Starfish hope to move the building on-site this month.
Last year’s Putaruru Tirau Matamata Dog Trial, held in Okoroire, had at least 58 entrants, including Owhango’s Lex Grattan and dog Brie.