Written by Marianne Rogers
Photos by Marianne Rogers
Held at Grace Hill farm, Margaret River on December 9th & 10th, 2023
Sadly 2022 saw the last Sheepdog Trial at the annual Margaret River Show.
This trial had proved so popular and now many triallers were very disappointed.
Gibb Macdonald came to the rescue, volunteering to run a trial on his property Gracehill near Cowaramup.
This was the first trial to be run on a shedding breed of sheep, but it is likely this will become the future of sheepdog trials.
The weather was warm, dry and windy and the flies a little too friendly, but the atmosphere was relaxed and triallers enjoyed a last catch up before the holiday season. (It is anticipated that this trial may run earlier in the year from 2024.)
Lachie and Gina donated wine and beer for the Saturday dinner. They also donated coffee, cake and their time to run the cafe daily for breakfast and lunch plus morning and afternoon teas.
Karen and Gibb donated farm kill Ultrawhite sausages and buns for the sausage sizzle lunches and farm kill Ultrawhite lamb for the Saturday dinner along with salads and dessert.
More wine was donated by Pauline and Per and milk and smoothies were donated by Bannister Downs Dairy.
All money raised from these sales will finance new obstacles to be used for future trials.
It was very special to have the family that has provided sheep over the past few decades for the Margaret River trial, attend the special dinner and catch up with many triallers.
The 1 and 2 year old Ultra White ewes were rather testing.
They were runny if squeezed and would often slip past obstacles but generally stayed together well.
Negotiating the bridge proved to be especially difficult with no one managing to do so throughout the Open which was run on Saturday.
Gibb covered the floor of the bridge with dirt early Sunday morning in the hope it would make it easier to achieve. This proved fruitless and by the time we two thirds through the Novice, no one had got the bridge.
Then ‘Drum Roll Please!’ Novice Handler Daniel stepped up with Digit and to the delight of spectators achieved the bridge. I do not think I have heard such a roar of appreciation at any other trial! Daniel was named, ‘King of the Bridge’ and awarded a bottle of wine.
In the Open, judged by Steve, Per and Des there were 17 scores out of 64 runs.
In the Novice, judged by Terry and Tara there were 11 scores out of 44 runs.
The Encourage event, judged by Gordon was run at lunch time on Saturday. Simon Leaning went out with all four competitors.
This was very appropriate as out of the 25 competitors at the trial, just under half have been brought into the sport of sheepdog trialling through Simon!
On top of winning the encourage event, Cree and Finn were awarded the special Novice Handler Award. This was donated by Carolyn Bell and awarded for showing improved sheepdog work.
Past winners of this award remarked how thrilled they had been to win this and how it spurred them on to keep trying harder.
We all hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Successful New Year.
Judged by Gordon Curtis
Judged by Terry Martino & Tara Herbert
|Boonining Digit (K)
|Graedawn Finn (K)
|Marionvale Woody (K)
|Marionvale Tess (K)
Judged by Steve Wallace, Per Ostberg & Des Davies
|Ramulam Fella (K)
|Ramulam Charlie (K)
|Yarrabee Jack (K)
|Marionvale Chip (K)
|Ramulam Prickles (K)