Fri, May 5, 2023 5:00 AM

102nd annual dog trials


Eloise Martyn

The Waimea Sheep Dog Trial club, which has been operating for more than a century, has just held a very successful 102nd annual trial.

Held at the Waimea club's trial grounds at the end of Higgins Road in Wakefield, this year there were two separate Huntaway courses and Hunt events.

The trials began, on day one of two, with heading dog only events. The second and final day was a combination of both Huntaway and heading dog events.

“We started with a very soggy day on Friday,” says club secretary Sally Powell, “but the sun come out and we had a brilliant day on Saturday.” A total of 75 dogs ran in each heading event and 44 in each of the hunt events.

Competitors are required to worm their dogs for the tapeworm that causes sheep measles before competing in any dog trial.

They must provide a signed certificate for inspection before any dog is allowed out of the vehicle and on to the club grounds.

Sheep Measles doesn’t kill dogs, or sheep, but has a major economic impact on farmers, as infected sheep meat is downgraded because of spots in the meat.

Sheep measles can also infect goats and it can be also spread by dogs belonging to pig hunters and duck shooters.

The club was also fundraising by selling woollen dishcloths.

“We wanted a fundraiser that provided a useful product, supported the coarse wool industry and was sustainable,” Sally explains.

“The cloths are made in NZ completely from NZ wool, they are also fully compostable when you are finished with them. Feedback is that they don’t get smelly either.”

Forsyth Barr put on a well-received sausage sizzle and the competitors that were chasing points in the final trial of the season came from as far away as Cheviot, Kaikoura and Wairau Valley.

New Zealand currently has 68 dog trial clubs in the South Island and 157 Sheep Dog Trial Clubs spread throughout the country.

Anyone interested in supporting the club via the woolen dishcloth fundraiser, or anyone keen to connect with the club can contact Sally on at

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