Sheep vs ca­nines at A&P Show

Matamata Chronicle - - Students In Business - MIKE BAIN

A day out at the Mata­mata A&P So­ci­ety’s Spring Car­ni­val would not be com­plete with­out the bat­tle of wills fea­tur­ing some ob­sti­nate sheep, a quick dog and a master­ful whis­tle.

Back in the 1980s the highly rated tele­vi­sion se­ries A Dogs Show brought the sport of dog tri­alling into view­ers liv­ing rooms each Sun­day night with town­ies glued to ev­ery skill­ful com­mand fol­lowed.

The tra­di­tional event of dog tri­als re­mains as a fea­ture part of Agri­cul­tural and Pas­toral So­ci­ety Shows right through­out the coun­try and the Matat­mata show has al­ways had a hotly con­tested field of tri­al­ist through­out its proud 103 years.

This year or­gan­is­ers have de­signed a course com­pris­ing four ob­sta­cles and a yard which should pro­vide a test­ing time for com­peti­tors and pro­vide plenty of en­ter­tain­ment for spec­ta­tors.

Or­gan­iser Al­lan Smith said each com­peti­tor and his dog have 10 min­utes to ‘‘do bat­tle with three sheep and com­plete the course’’.

Among the 50 en­tries will be some of the Waikato’s top dogs who will test their skills against two-tooth coop­worth Kakahu Hills ewes.

The alert­ness of the Coop­worth sheep whose pedi­gree has been de­rived from the ob­sti­nate Rom­ney and Border Le­ices­ter Ram should chal­lenge both the dog and tri­al­ist.

The judge for the day is Brenda O’Leary, who re­sides in the Wan­ganui Cen­tre.

Show sec­re­tary-trea­surer Jeff Nobes said the Mata­mata show is a typ­i­cal, tra­di­tional ru­ral show with the best of an­i­mals, pro­duce and plenty of fam­ily en­ter­tain- ment.

‘‘This is where coun­try meets town and is a chance for the coun­try folk to show the town folk all that is good with coun­try liv­ing.’’

The show, on Oc­to­ber 9, will fea­ture a wide range of eques­trian events – both flat classes and jump­ing – and con­tinue with the strong tra­di­tion in the dairy sec­tion show­cas­ing Jer­sey, Friesian and Ayr­shire breeds.

‘‘The calf club sec­tion is al­ways very pop­u­lar along with dairy goats, minia­ture horses and sheep dog tri­als, which usu­ally at­tract a large sup­port­ive crowd.’’

A full en­ter­tain­ment sched­ule is planned with amuse­ments for the kids with Sam and his farm­yard friends. And for the adults the group Highly Flammable are aim­ing to please.

TERESA HATTAN

Sheep dog tri­als are al­ways a favourite event with the pub­lic at the Mata­mata A&P Show.

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