Wagin Woolorama Arena Trial 8th - 10th March
Article by Jenny Whitelock
Photos by Jane Dorrell
Just 2 hours drive south of Perth, the small town of Wagin has a wonderfully proactive community. The Wagin Shire and Woolorama Committee work tirelessly throughout the year to provide, and improve, fantastic facilities. When Woolorama comes around in March each year the town's hospitality is second to none and their enthusiasm and encouragement to host further sheep dog trials at the grounds is much appreciated. Central Districts Working Sheep Dog Club wish to thank them all for their ongoing support which has enabled the successful running of yet another Wagin Woolorama 3-Sheep Arena Trial in 2018.
The Wagin venue has recently been upgraded with a smart looking new post and rail fence around the 3-sheep ground. This is just one example of the co-operation between Wagin Shire, Woolorama Committee and Centrals Club. The crowd at the lunchtime dog high jump competition made full use of the new rails....they are a perfect height for an adult to lean on or a child to sit on. The variety of interested visitors appeared relaxed and comfortable, and made a colourful line up watching along the rails.
Competitor numbers for the sheep dog trial were once again well down compared with the usual turnout, but that didn't dampen the competitive spirit of those who did attend. There were 44 entries in the novice class with 16 scores; 33 entries in the improver class with 19 scores; and 64 entries in the open class with 32 scores. Interestingly, every team who scored in the novice class managed to pen their sheep.
Thursday was fine, hot and very humid. Friday was not quite as hot and was fortunately without the humidity. A cooling breeze on Thursday and Friday kept the temperatures and humidity bearable. Saturday started cold but fined up to a beautiful warm sunny day, but with a strong blustery wind that stirred up the dust and blew rubbish wildly across the trial ground.
The sheep provided at Woolorama for all three classes were a line of 10 month old merino wethers. At this time of the season there is not a lot of feed around and sensitive stockmanship was required to keep the tricky little fellows from splitting into three mobs and/or going on strike and sitting down on the job. On Thursday they were looking to go through the obstacles without help from the dogs, causing an extra challenge in the course... handlers had to expertly manage their dogs to prevent their sheep from entering the obstacle before the handler could step into the handler's circle next to the obstacle. The attitude of the sheep changed mid-morning on Friday and continued through Friday and into Saturday morning. They became more inclined to run, took a while to settle for the dogs and would not look down the obstacles. They responded well to the teams that gave them a bit of space and could work them calmly and quietly from a distance, gently persuading them to make "their own" decisions. The senior handlers with their more seasoned Open class dogs managed this seemingly without effort, resulting in 8 of the top 12 Open finalists qualifying from those more experienced teams who ran on Saturday morning.
In all classes the time allowed to complete the course was 15 minutes with a ring-off "at judges discretion". A credit to all competitors - none of the judges found it necessary to use their ring-off powers!
The trial was all over, packed up and presentations finished by mid afternoon on Saturday.
Novice judged by Rod Forsyth from Kellerberrin
1st. Ken Atherton. Badgingarra Champ. 89. (Kelpie)
=2nd. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Chad. 86.
=2nd. Ivan Solomon. Perangery Trish. 86.
=2nd. Carolyn Bell. Bellview Flier. 86.
=5th. Simon Leaning. Marionvale Will. 85. (Kelpie)
=5th. Dave Lacey. Coshies Roger. 85.
=7th. Ivan Solomon. Perangery Tuck. 81.
=7th. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Soul. 81.
9th. Carolyn Bell. MeMate Mick. 76.
10th. Helen Svalbe. Boonining Swag. 74. (Kelpie)
Improver judged by Jenny Nolan from Dowerin
1st. Glenice Webb. Davids Nina. 89.
=2nd. Simon Leaning. Marionvale Mindy. 83. (Kelpie)
=2nd. Malcolm Seymour. Olboa Jess. 83.
4th. Peter Gorman. Rocky Bindi. 81.
5th. Andrew Gorton. Olboa May. 80.
6th. Dave Lacey. Somerville Katie. 78.
7th. Jenny Whitelock. Boylee Talent. 77.
8th. Rod Forsyth. Grassvalley Hazel. 74.
9th. Tony Boyle. Boylee Midget. 72.
10th. Rick Janitz. Badgingarra Izzy. 71.
Open judged by Wayne Hall from Geraldton
1st. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Sky. 89 + 86 = 175.
=2nd. Ivan Solomon. Perangery Trish. 80 + 84 = 164.
=2nd. Dave Lacey. Akoonah Lady. 81 + 83 = 164.
4th. Grant Cooke. Badgingarra Fly. 83 + 80 = 163.
=5th. Grant Cooke. Grassvalley Moss. 82 + 73 = 155.
=5th. Dave Lacey. Akoonah Holly. 78 + 77 = 155.
=5th. Jenny Nolan. Nolans Nancy. 73 + 82 = 155.
8th. Tony Boyle. Boylee Midget. 77 + 76 = 153.
9th. Ken Atherton. Boylee Pick. 76 + 70 = 146.
10th. Ken Atherton. Ramulam Punch. 77 + 39 = 116. (Kelpie).
11th. Ivan Solomon. Perangery Sasha. 92 + DQ = 92.
12th. Simon Leaning. Marionvale Mindy. 78 + X = 78. (Kelpie).