Mayanup Arena Trial 22nd - 25th March
Article & Photos by Jenny Whitelock
VALE: Boylee Burnie - will be sadly missed by Tony Boyle in his Open Class team
Located on the highway between Williams and Arthur River is Ken & Jenny Atherton's scenic property "Yallambee". Ken & Jenny were once again kind enough to allow Mayanup Club to host their annual 3-sheep Arena Trial on the property from the 22nd to 25th March.
Although a couple of members were missing from the usual crowd there was still a great turnout of competitors filling a full program of runs plus finals in all three events. There were 49 entries in the Novice class with 7 scores; 46 entries in the Improver class with 12 scores; and 63 entries in the Open class with 31 scores.
The trial started at lunchtime on Thursday with the weather extremely humid and uncomfortable for dogs, sheep and handlers. Friday was warm and pleasant - a perfect day for sheepdog trialling. Saturday and Sunday were a total change - cold with blustery winds and a light continual spit of rain that couldn't even be called drizzle, and without actually delivering real rain!
The sheep provided by Ken & Jenny were November shorn Dohnes. Three separate mobs were used for the trial and each mob provided a very different challenge for handlers and dogs. Cranky mixed tag ewes were used for the Novice. These wiley girls have been used at trials in previous years and knew every trick in the book - and some more! The only thing they forgot to throw in was splitting in three different directions! Fortunately they were a little bit better behaved towards the end of Thursday and for the remainder of the Novice class on Friday morning, however the scores still didn't reflect the change.
The mob used for the Improver Class were blue tag ewes which hadn't been used for trialling before. They lulled handlers into a false sense of security by being compliant at the obstacles (for the most part) - until they reached the pen! They knew that obstacle was a trap! They would often split and learnt quickly to duck either side of the opening, which was the beginning of the end for some very nice runs.
Black tag ewes were used for the Open Class and these were flip side of the coin to the Improver sheep....they were tricky and had to be worked through the obstacles but anyone lucky (or skilled) enough to reach the pen was more often than not rewarded handsomely. The sheep for Improver and Open were more inclined to split from each other than those used for the Novice.
A Supreme Course was used for this trial. A Supreme Course is a diamond-shaped left-handed course of 4 obstacles - a gap, race, bridge and pen. The usual WA Course is a straight walk up the centre line and around a winding peg to the left, through a race, diagonally back across the course to the bridge and diagonally again to the pen.
In all classes the time allowed to complete the course was 15 minutes with a 40 point obstacle-accruing ring-off.
A full program with finals for all three classes made for a fairly late finish after pack-up and presentation.
Novice judged by Doreen Hansen from Kojonup
1st. Ivan Solomon. Perangery Trish. 52 + 58 = 110.
2nd. Rod Forsyth. Barkervale Austen. 43 + 40 = 83. (Kelpie)
3rd. Dave Lacey. Coshies Roger. 50 + X = 50.
4th. Helen Svalbe. Boonining Swag. 41 + 7 = 48. (Kelpie)
5th. Glenice Webb. Kateway Pippa. 44 + X = 44.
6th. Carolyn Bell. Bellview Sheba. 31.
Improver judged by Neil Eastough from Kendenup
1st. Tony Boyle. Boylee Midget. 79 + 61 = 140.
2nd. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Jedda. 80 + 50 = 130.
3rd. Ken Atherton. Boylee Pick. 81 + X = 81.
4th. Ken Atherton. Badgingarra Champ. 77 + L/S = 77. (Kelpie)
5th. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Soul. 64 + 2 = 66.
6th. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Chad. 62.
7th. Nigel Armstrong. Tumutvalley Roy. 61. (Kelpie)
8th. Andrew Gorton. Olboa May. 53.
9th. Peter Gorman. Rocky Bindy. 49.
10th. Rick Janitz. Badgingarra Izzy. 42.
Open judged by Marianne Rogers from Perth
1st. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Floss. 88 +72 = 160.
2nd. Glenice Webb. Davids Nina. 81 + 74 = 155.
3rd. Ken Atherton. Ramulam Punch. 85 + 48 = 133. (Kelpie)
4th. Tanya deBijl. Boylee Scout. 64 + 56 = 120.
5th. Dave Lacey. Akoonah Holly. 64 + 53 = 117.
6th. Gordon Curtis. Whites Joe. 73 + 38 = 111. (Kelpie)
7th. Ken Atherton. Ramulam Lad. 56 + 37 = 93. (Kelpie)
8th. Simon Leaning. Chidlow Floss. 88 + X = 88.
9th. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Moss. 83 + X = 83.
10th. Peter Gorman. Rocky Bindy. 65 + X = 65.
11th. Grant Gooke. Grassvalley Bluey. 60 + Ret. = 60.
12th. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Nancy. 59 + X = 59.