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Pluck on our side in dog trials

Competitors (from left) Greg Prince and Di (New South Wales), Bernard McGlashan and Ice (Tasmania), Gordon Curtis (judge/manager, Western Australia), Geoff Gibson and Merri (Queensland) and Ivan Solomon and Sasha (WA).
Competitors (from left) Greg Prince and Di (New South Wales), Bernard McGlashan and Ice (Tasmania), Gordon Curtis (judge/manager, Western Australia), Geoff Gibson and Merri (Queensland) and Ivan Solomon and Sasha (WA).

YANGAN'S Geoff Gibson was one of four working sheep dog triallers to bring home the silverware when Australia defeated New Zealand in the 2013 Trans Tasman Test.

In this edition of the Bush Tele, Australian team manager Gordon Curtis offers an insight into taking dogs across the Tasman for the fiercely contested inter-country competition.

Monday

All arrived in Sydney: dogs were put in the hands of Dogtainers for their final vetting and clearance.

SCENIC RUN: Stuart Miller’s farm where we were able to give the dogs their first run on sheep in New Zealand.
SCENIC RUN: Stuart Miller’s farm where we were able to give the dogs their first run on sheep in New Zealand.
OUR LOCAL BLOKE: Geoff Gibson pens his sheep in the final run at the Trans Tasman Challenge.
OUR LOCAL BLOKE: Geoff Gibson pens his sheep in the final run at the Trans Tasman Challenge. Contributed
Australian team captain Bernard McGlashan from Tasmania showing the Kiwis how it’s done.
Australian team captain Bernard McGlashan from Tasmania showing the Kiwis how it’s done.

 

Tuesday

Spare day as dogs needed to be with Dogtainers 24 hours before we flew out to New Zealand.

Wednesday

Early start as we had to catch our flight. The flight was late leaving but arrived in Christchurch about 4.30.

After clearing the dogs, collected and headed off to the Ashburton Hotel where the Australian and New Zealand teams were both staying.

Thursday

Up early as we headed out to Stuart and Kate Miller's to give the dogs their first run on sheep.

Friday

Had the opportunity to work some sheep on a trans Tasman course that was set up out at Mark and Robyn Copeland's.

We got out there at 8.15 and the team gave the dogs a good solid run on the course.

The first test started at 2pm. The toss was won by Australia.

This saw Australia put New Zealand in to start the competition.

The thought behind this was it would give us an opportunity to see how the sheep were going to work.

This saw Murray Child get New Zealand away to a good start.

Having Greg Prince as our first worker, we were confident with his experience that we could get the team back in contention.

As the first test continued, both teams had competitors that were not able to pen their sheep.

With Bernard McGlashan being the last competitor to compete and finish the first test, we needed him to come up with a solid score.

With a thunderstorm developing in the west, we thought it might be history repeating itself as when Bernard competed in New Zealand in the last test series, it saw him have his run in a severe hailstorm.

But luck must have been on our side and Bernard penned his sheep with only three seconds remaining. This saw New Zealand leading by only eight-and-a-half points at the end of the first test.

When we were on the way back to the hotel, Greg Prince threatened he would murder

Bernard if he didn't allow himself more time at the pen as he was nearly having a heart attack watching him pen the sheep.

Saturday

Australia won the toss to start the second test.

Bernard nominated Australia to be the first worker.

After the first test, we changed our plans and said if we won the toss in the second test we would go first and make them chase.

The team agreed they would go hard for a win. We might as well lose by 50 as by five points.

As hoped, Greg got us away to a good start.

This then put the pressure on Murray Child and Dice to match his first run.

At the pen the sheep were in but the dog was sitting a little way out from the pen and in a crouched position and not up on her feet.

As Murray went to shut the gate the sheep bolted out and he was unable to re-pen them. This saw Ivan Solomon, as our second worker, to compete.

Unlike the first test run, Ivan was able to pen his sheep with a good score.

Geoff's run with Merri did stick in my mind as when he cast her and the dog was removed from the sheep, the sheep started to follow the dog but the sheep eventually pulled up when Merri got close to the end of her cast.

It wasn't until half-way through her run that she was able to settle her sheep and eventually get to the pen.

It was a very good recovery from a shaky start.

Bernard completed his run and penned his sheep with time to spare.

The Australian team is to be congratulated on a great team effort and commiserations to the New Zealanders.

Australian team members (from left) Gordon Curtis (judge/manager), Bernard McGlashan (captain), Geoff Gibson, Ivan Solomon, Greg Prince. New Zealand team John Harvey (manager), Stuart Miller (captain), Graeme Dickie, Steven Murphy, Murray Child and Eric Stringer (judge).
Australian team members (from left) Gordon Curtis (judge/manager), Bernard McGlashan (captain), Geoff Gibson, Ivan Solomon, Greg Prince. New Zealand team John Harvey (manager), Stuart Miller (captain), Graeme Dickie, Steven Murphy, Murray Child and Eric Stringer (judge).

Topics:  dog trials working dogs