Dowerin Field Days
(Unofficial) Arena Trial
29th - 30th September
Report by Jenny Whitelock
Photos by Nan Lloyd
Thanks to Dowerin local club member Jenny Nolan and Northern Districts Sheep Dog Club for another well run trial at Dowerin Field Days.
Thank you also, in swathes, for the generosity of the Emmett Family who once again supported the sport of Sheep Dog Trialling by providing sheep for the Field Days Trial. The sheep were in beautiful condition. They were blue tag (3yo) merino ewes - big, strong and healthy with short to mid-length fleece.
Every year the Field Days Trial adds a dimension to sheep dog trialling not easily trained for at home....with the noise and distractions of low flying helicopters, dune buggy races, BIG farm machinery, sometimes drones overhead, and popping vintage tractor parades.
The weather this year was also a challenge. Wednesday was a true representation of a chilly Winter's day with a misery of low clouds and regular drizzly showers shunted through by a blustery cold wind. The madness of triallers was confirmed by the number who turned up to brave the weather and pursue Sheep Dog Glory, with numbers having to be pared down to accommodate all comers. Thursday was a better day weather-wise. A fine morning with hardly a breath of air led to a beautiful sunny day requiring removal by lunchtime of all the "fashionable" layering of clothing from the day prior. Surprisingly the day turned a little overcast and chilly towards mid-afternoon and the layers of clothing returned.
A Supreme Course is always used at Dowerin, with the four obstacles of gap, race, bridge and pen , and the sheep to be brought around the handler from left to right at the casting peg before the course may be attempted.
On Wednesday the sheep obligingly negotiated the obstacles and the trip around the casting peg without apparently even seeing them, but they were touchy on the walk lines and would stand up to a weak dog without hesitation. Thursday the sheep decided to change things up a bit - they wasted much time by stubbornly refusing to look down the obstacles; but walked quietly like pet lambs between. On Thursday many competitors were lulled into a false sense of security when they were eventually able to achieve the first three obstacles with more loss of time than points, but look out at the pen! The sheep didn't so much run around the obstacles but tested the dogs by insisting that the dogs be in the right spot to block and hold and convince them into looking and moving in the right direction. When they got to the pen, they knew it was a trap and the tables were turned...there was no way they were going in there, but round and round seemed a good option at the time!
Prizes were presented in each class for Best Cast, Lift & Draw and Best Work on Uncooperative Sheep. The winners were:
Novice: Best Cast, Lift & Draw - Nan Lloyd with Kumbark Ace
Best Work by Dog on Uncooperative Sheep - Jan Cornish with Bellview Ted
Improver: Best Cast, Lift and Draw - Jenny Nolan with Nolan's Chad
Best Work by Dog on Uncooperative Sheep - Nan Lloyd with Kumbark Ace
Open: Best Cast, Lift and Draw - Len Morton with Perangery Sadie
Best Work by Dog on Uncooperative Sheep - Dave Lacey with Akoonah Holly
There were 32 runs in Novice with 11 scores, 22 runs in Improver with 9 scores and 48 runs in Open with 26 scores.
Novice (unofficial) judged by Malcolm Seymour from Miling
1st. Nan Lloyd. Kumbark Ace. 85. (Kelpie)
2nd. Jenny Nolan. Nolan's Nitro. 74.
3rd. Jenny Nolan. Grassvalley Scout. 60.
4th. Carolyn Bell. Bellview Loxie. 56.
5th. Tony Boyle. Boylee Pickles. 47.
6th. Jan Cornish. Bellview Ted. 45.
7th. Jenny Nolan. Nolan's Soul. 42.
8th. Jenny Whitelock. Boylee Talent. 39.
9th. Rod Forsyth. Barkervale Austen. 33. (Kelpie)
10th. Jan Cornish. Boylee Biddee. 27.
11th. Helen Svalbe. Boonining Swag. 20. (Kelpie)
Improver (unofficial) judged by Ivan Solomon from Brookton.
1st. Nan Lloyd. Kumbark Ace. 82. (Kelpie)
2nd. Jan Cornish. Bellview Ted. 76.
3rd. Gibb MacDonald. Gracehill Daisy. 75.
4th. Peter Gorman. Badgingarra Pip. 72.
5th. Jenny Nolan. Nolan's Chad. 68.
6th. Brad Rose. Euroa Nan. 58.
7th. Len Morton. Perangery Sadie. 53.
8th. Tony Boyle. Chillie. 52. (Kelpie/Huntaway X)
9th. Jenny Whitelock. Boylee Talent. 51.
Open (unofficial) judged by Carolyn Bell from Bunbury
1st. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Sky. 92.
2nd. Peter Gorman. Pendalup Steel. 90.
3rd. Peter Gorman. Coshie's Dusty. 81.
=4th. Peter Gorman. Badgingarra Gem. 80.
=4th. Gordon Curtis. White's Joe. 80. (Kelpie)
6th. Gordon Curtis. Binnaburra Johnny. 79. (Kelpie)
7th. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Bluey. 78.
=8th. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Floss. 76.
=8th. Ivan Solomon. Perangery Sasha. 76.
10th. Peter Gorman. Prince's Sally. 75.
Novice: (L to R) Carolyn Bell, Nan Lloyd, Jenny Nolan, Tony Boyle.
Improver: (L to R) Jan Cornish, Nan Lloyd, Gibb MacDonald, Jenny Nolan,
Open: (L to R) Gordon Curtis, Peter Gorman, Grant Cooke.
Can't train for this one at home! Dave Lacey's Akoonah Holly.
All the lovely prizes up for grabs!
Jenny Nolan and Nolan's Zara.
Malcolm Seymour and Euroa Nell.
Gordon Curtis' Kumbark Indi
Dave Lacey and Akoonah Holly
Tony Boyle and Boylee Sugar
Brad Rose' Euroa Nan
Gibb MacDonald's "old girl" Gracehill Daisy
Len Morton and Perangery Sadie
Peter Gorman's Rocky Bindi