The second trial for 2021 was held at Ken and Jenny Atherton’s property, Sunnyside, and was run by the Mayanup club.
The weather was the biggest influencing factor. With Temperatures of around 35 for all three days of trialling it made things uncomfortable for man and beast. Those with a morning or late afternoon run were the lucky ones but it warmed up very quickly. Many teams had to retire as it was too hot for the dog and the sheep. Scores were few and far between for this reason, and one can’t blame the sheep for not wanting to comply, when all they wanted to do was lay under a shady tree.
The Athertons run pure Dohnes and they are generally quite challenging, but were much more so in the hot conditions. The bridge was the most difficult obstacle. The sheep refused to enter it and so a lot of good runs finished there.
The sheep were fairly light and dogs with presence struggled with them. When they decided to run they could go a long way quite quickly and roll off a lot of points as they went. After recent rain it was disappointing to have such dry hot conditions, and also quite unusual for it to be this hot in late March. However, we all battled through, and it was a nice social catchup and a well-run trial.
One of the highlights was christening the new shed, recently built to house equipment and as a kitchen. It was a popular place to be in the conditions and as usual the kitchen staff had some wonderful food.
History was made at this trial, with Tania DeBijl becoming the first women to win an official open arena trial in WA. A number of other women have won open arena trials in WA, but these were unofficial events.
Also very well done to Cory Rose, who at 16 was one of the youngest competitors to place in an official open arena trial.
There were 40 entries in the Novice with six scores, 47 in the Improver with 5 scores and 76 in the Open with 23 scores.
Author Nan Lloyd
Images by Nan Lloyd and Simon Wallace
Open Final judged by Grant Cooke
|Marionvale Chip (K)
Improver Final judged by Nan Lloyd
|Badgingarra Sir Ben
|Ramulan Charlie (K)
|Boonining Maisey (K)
Novice Final judged by Phil Dorrell
|Tumutvalley Roy (K)