Top dog contestants take spotlight
By DON EVANS
Hard work and initiative by members of the Ruahine-Rangiwahia Collie Club made it possible to run their 1993 dog trials.
Like the neighbouring clubs, their grounds were damaged by last winter’s heavy rains. Three of the four courses were destroyed.
For this year’s trial the short head was in the same place, the longhead was shifted further down the road, and the hunt courses were side by side near where the longhead used to be.
The hunt courses were so close they ran alternately. They worked well and were appreciated by competitors, but their proximity did waste time as they were held up when sheep that had not climbed to the top had to be cleared.
The new longhead is better than the old one.
Entries were up on last year.
The lambs were difficult on the yarding course, and good to work on the other courses.
As this was the last trial of the season interest was centered on the dogs that were leading the Wrightson top dog contests. Robin Mather’s Skein and Laurie Horsefall’s Queen are still tied on 26 points as neither gained a place. The contest will be decided at Ohingaiti on May 29 at a special day when the leading seven dogs will compete on the short head course. The huntaways will run the same day.
Alan Nimmo’s Bruce has taken the lead in that contest after his second placing at Ruahine in the zigzag hunt. Only one dog can beat him for the title and that is Paul Cole’s Bear, who is four points behind on 17.
Bob Henrickson was able to add to the qualifying points Guy won at Ohingaiti with a fourth place in the short head. He now has enough to compete at the NZ championships at Te Aute in June.
Very few dogs got close to the lambs on the short head. The best run to the pen, although she could not get them in, was by Brenda Jones’s Gleam, from Wangamomona.
Alastair Leiper’s Boy did very well to win the zigzag hunt as he is losing the sight in his right eye. He prefers to work to the right of his sheep so he can see them, which makes it harder to direct them in a straight line. He ran on Friday, then on Saturday won the straight hunt at Mangamingi with a 99.
Last week Jim Wilson’s three-year-old huntaway Storm won the zigzag hunt at the Taradale centennial trials. John Fannin was third in the short head at the same trial.
Paul Ensor is getting his huntaway bitch Witch back to winning form ready for the South Island championships next week. She put up a very smooth walking hunt to win the straight at Ruahine.
Longhead: R Townson: Chum, 97, 1; K Berrett, Penny, 96.7, 2; J Welsh, Fawn, 96.5, 3; D White, Coy, 96, 4; D Andrews, Boy, 95.7, 5.
Intermediate: K Berrett, Penny, 96.7.
Maiden: K Berrett, Blue, 94.
Shorthead and yard: L Horsfall, Gail, 92, 1; C Anderton, Chief, 91, 2; A Boynton, Buddy, 90.5, 3; R W Henrickson, Guy, 90, 4; I Rowan, Don, 83.5, 5.
Intermediate: A Boynton, Buddy, 90.5.
Maiden: W Falkner, 80.
Zigzag hunt: A Leiper, Boy, 97.5, 1; A Nimmo, Bruce, 97.2, Betty, 2: W Pullen, Turk, 97, 3: G Clifton, Storm, 95.5, 4; N Chambers, Nell, 95.2, 5.
Intermediate and maiden: D Guy, Dutch, 95.
Straight hunt: P Ensor, Witch, 98, 1; S Brennan, Katie, 97.5, 2; W Pullen, Grunt, 97, 3; J Wilson, Doone, 96.5, 4; P Crowley, Rough, 96.2, 5.
Intermediate: P Crowley, Rough 96.2.
Maiden: C Liddell, Rowdy, 95.5.