Newspaper Article 1997 – North trio tops in NZ trials

North trio tops in NZ trials

Ken Whittaker, of Kaikohe, came close to winning the long head event in the New Zealand Sheepdog Trial Championships at Ngongataha near Rotorua recently.

He and his dog Deb were runners-up in the event, trailing winner Geoff Allison, of Fairlie, by only 1.5 points. They recorded scores of 191 and 192.5 respectively.

Allen Nisbet and Vic, also from Kaikohe, was placed fourth in the national long head with a score of 189.75.

Earlier the two Northland competitors achieved similar long head placings in the North Island championships, run in conjunction with the national trials.

Merv Cameron and Joan, from Kaitaia, took third placing in the national short head and yard event, and he was placed sixth in the North Island short head and yard championships.

Mr Cameron said Northland was well represented in the six days of competition at Ngongataha with 22 heading dogs and 16 huntaways from the region in the events.

Tony Hargreaves, of Kaiwaka, judged the national short head and yard event. It was won by Ginger Anderson and Clyde, from Omarama, who was placed third in the North Island championships, won by Merv Utting and Len, from Gisborne.

The national zig-zag huntaway event was won by Graeme Dickson and Prince, from Hawera, who made history when they also won the national straight huntaway title. Sheepdog enthusiasts could not recall a similar double win in recent times, although it was reputedly done back in the 1940s.

Gary McDonald and Tahi, from Havelock North, were runner-up to the Hawera pair in both national events.

McDonald won the North Island championship zig-zag huntaway, with Dickson fourth. But Dickson won the North Island straight huntaway with McDonald sixth.

Photo captions –
New Zealand Sheepdog Trial Championships short head and yard judge Tony Hargreaves, of Kaiwaka, left, is pictured with the final seven competitors, from left, Stuart Millar of Darfield, Merv Utting of Gisborne, Ginger Anderson of Omarama, Charlie Anderton of Waipukerau [Waipukurau], Merv Cameron of Kaitaia, Geoff Taylor of Taihape and Hugh Weir of Rakaia. Anderson won the event with Anderton runner-up and Cameron third.
Ken Whittaker and Deb were long head runners-up in both the New Zealand and North Island sheepdog trial championships.
Allen Nisbet, and Vic, from Kaikohe, were placed fourth in long head events in the national and North Island championships.

Original digital file




Date published

8 July 1997

Format of the original

Newspaper article


  • Geoff Allison
  • Ginger Anderson
  • Charlie Anderton
  • Merv Cameron
  • Graeme Dickson
  • Tony Hargreaves
  • Gary McDonald
  • Stuart Millar
  • Allen Nisbet
  • Geoff Taylor
  • Merv Utting
  • Hugh Weir
  • Ken Whittaker

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