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Sheepdog competition Bungendore: heritage tradition

trans tasman sheepdog trials 2018

Bungendore & District Sheepdog Association and
The Trans Tasman Sheepdog Trial
Thursday 19 – Sunday 22 July 2018

By Bill Chalmers & Linda Dening.

THE BUNGENDORE & District Sheepdog Association will be hosting The Trans Tasman Sheepdog Trial from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 July.

The Bungendore and District Sheepdog Association was formed in 2007 by a few dedicated women helped by Paul Darmody to run training days and the Trans Tasman Sheepdog Trial.

This year the novice competition of the Trans Tasman is being held in memory of long time club president Barbara Stitt. Barbara, with help from club secretary Bev Cavanagh, ran the club from her property and the trial at Bungendore until retiring in 2015, when the club moved to Bungendore Showground.

The aim of the club with the help of expert instructors, is to promote good stock work, education of handlers and their sheepdogs as well as having a friendly enjoyable experience.

Competing with New Zealand

The Trans Tasman Sheepdog Trial was established to provide a level playing field for competition between Australia and New Zealand, a combination of Australian and New Zealand rules, with the aim that the best in Australia and the best in New Zealand can compete annually, taking it in turns.

The course is run with three sheep – four obstacles must be negotiated and the course completed in 15 minutes. Expert stock handling, a well-educated dog and good knowledge of the course and rules is required to successfully complete the course. Competitors start with 100 points with points deducted throughout the competition for imperfect work.

Women are entering the sport and competing successfully in what has historically been a male-dominated sport. The time and commitment needed to work with and build a partnership with a young dog is very satisfying and clearly good for mental and physical health as evidenced by the many older people actively involved with sheepdog trialling. Border Collies are the main dogs used in sheep trialling.

The term “rooster this week feather duster the next” is a common experience and adds great interest, mirth and at times frustration, as human, dog and sheep negotiate and interact around the course.

This year’s trial is made possible by the generous support of members, volunteers and sponsorship by Infigen Energy; Bungendore Rural; Long Paddock Eggs; Royalla Dorpers, portrait of winning dog by artist Linda Dening; Bungendore Woodworks; Bungendore Butchery; Bungendore Show; Riverbourne Distillery; and Dog Pro.

Also on offer…

Bungendore & District Sheepdog association will be providing delicious morning and afternoon teas as well as lunches. A number of care groups will be visiting to enjoy the dogs, and competition as well as good food and atmosphere. Entry is free, we welcome spectators. Come along and enjoy the experience.

Each day competition starts around 7:30am through to 4:30pm with finals on Sunday 22 July.

> More information

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