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