Wed, May 15, 2024 4:00 PM

Blenheim goes to the dogs


William Woodworth

Hundreds of competing dogs and trainers travelled from across New Zealand as Marlborough-Nelson Dog Trials hosted the 2024 Purina ProPlan South Island Sheepdog Championships.

Marlborough-Nelson Dog Trials Sponsorship Coordinator, and competitor, Tahi Doonan says organisers and competitors were thrilled with the week.

“It’s great to get off the farm and catch up - the sheep performed well, and everyone got a start, and there’s always plenty of positive chats and friendly banter throughout the week.”

The trials consisted of the Long Head and Short Head and Yard, where dogs collect and return sheep, and the Zigzag Hunt and Straight Hunt, where dogs shepherd sheep up set courses.

With more than 230 dogs in each event, the first three days were packed with back-to-back runs before Thursday’s hunt event’s top seven runoffs, and Friday’s Long Head and Short Head and Yard final.

Pelorus’s Hamish Linton and dog Edge won the Zigzag Hunt and Kaikōura’s Guy Redfern and Grudge placed second in the Straight Hunt, while Tahi, Wairau Valley’s Bruce Horton, and Kaikōura’s James Calder reached leaderboards.

“Seeing local names in calls throughout the week and in the finals is really encouraging,” Tahi says.

“Having a week of sun was amazing, as people, dogs and sheep are happier with the sun on their back”.

“Especially being a small committee, we’ve proud of great responses from across the country.”

Tahi was especially thankful to sponsors, as he says without the community of support around this event.

“A huge thankyou to Duncan and Nikki Grigg at Meadowbank who’ve been amazing stock trainers, hosts and supporters of sheepdog trials for years.

“A special thanks too to all sponsors, and McKendry Ford who supplied judges with vehicles at the last minute.

“Especially with tough times for farmers across the board, we wouldn’t have a vibrant showpiece event without the amazing local support we have”.

2024 Purina ProPlan South Island Sheepdog Championships Results

Long Head – Murray Child, Brie - 193.50

Short Head and Yard – Scott Hunter, Lucy - 176.50

Zigzag Hunt - Hamish Linton, Edge - 197.25

Straight Hunt - Hamish Parkinson, Grit  - 194.70

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