Two Kaipara-based canines have shown that anything is ‘paw-sible’ with a little hard work, returning from the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Championships in Blenheim amongst the top five sheepdogs in the country.
Wellsford dairy farmer Scott McRae’s three-year-old dog Cory, came fifth overall in the Long Head event with 185.5 points and Scott’s second dog, five-year-old Toby, was third in the Zig Zag Huntaway event with 191.25 points.
Scott, who has been involved in sheepdog trials for around 20 years, says Toby’s achievement was even more pleasing as he had suffered a twisted gut during the North Island championships two weeks earlier and spent a week at the vets.
“I was over the moon about it,” Scott said. “To get two dogs into the runoffs is quite a major achievement. It doesn’t happen to many people.”
The Northland Centre club also took home the C P Perry M B E Memorial Shield for 2018 for the first time in the 50-plus years the shield has been around.
Scott says being a dairy farmer means his dogs do not get as much chance to work sheep; however, they put in a lot of time when it comes to training.
Each event has around 300 dogs participating, and the top seven go through to the runoff for the New Zealand championships.
This is the first time Toby and Cory have qualified for this competition. Next year Scott has his sights set on a first place at the event, which will be held in the Bay of Islands.