Despite the gale force westerly wind at Knysna this weekend, sheepdog handlers from throughout South Africa took part in the last Regional Championship before the SA Nationals sheepdog championship at the end of September.
The spectacular venue was the Duthie property, Woodbourne Farm on the Eastern Heads.
The weekends’ event comprised of two separate competitions in which 35 dogs were entered each day. There were four classes, the Beginners – entry level for dogs and handlers; Juniors; Seniors and then Top Dogs, where the most experienced dogs compete not only to win the class, but also for points towards the prestigious title of Dog of the Year – the dog that performs the most consistently throughout the year.
The course was small, but tricky and the young Dorper ewes provided their own challenge, preferring to take off down the hill towards the lagoon if the dogs put them under too much pressure.
The handlers came from as far afield as Mulderdrift in Gauteng, Dullstroom, Sutherland and Caledon in the Cape. The oldest handler competing was Henry van der Merwe 74, who farms in Sutherland, and the youngest was Jana Basson 10 from Swellendam, who ran her dad’s dog for her first attempt at this sport, proving that this is where young and old, male and female can compete on equal terms. Of the 16 handlers competing there was an equal mix of farmers and “hobby handlers”( who trial just for the sport of it).
These sheepdog trials only run during the winter months in this country as the summer is too hot for both sheep and dogs and during 27th to 30th September the National Championship will be held in Caledon, Western Cape, to close the season for the year. For more information on both the Nationals and sheepdog trialling go to www.sasda.za.net.
The winners for the Montego Classic Woodbourne Championship and the Montego Classic Knysna Championship were as follows:
- LULU – Sue Harriss (De Rust) 1. LULU – Sue Harriss
- SPOT – Reg Bowker (Grahamstown) 2. MOLLY – Jana Basson (Swellendam)
- SPOT – Reg Bowker
- TRACE – Andrew Philip (Caledon) 1. CAS – Elsie Jammy (Johannesburg)
- CHASE – John Duthie (Knysna) 2. CHARLIE – John Duthie
- CHARLIE – John Duthie 3. TUI – Andrew Philip
- TUI – Andrew Philip 4. TRACE – Andrew Philip
- CHASE – John Duthie
- SWIFT – Claire Taylor (Dullstroom) 1. SWIFT – Claire Taylor
- FERN – Pippa Philip (Caledon) 2. FERN – Pippa Philip
- SQUIRE – Chris Hayward (Aberdeen) 3. SQUIRE – Chris Hayward
- YUKA – Francois du Toit (Bredasdorp) 4. LAD – Chris Hayward
- LASS – Lynette Trollip (Johannesburg) 5. YUKA – Francois du Toit
- THOMAS – Henry van der Merwe 1. MOSS – Henry van der Merwe(Sutherland)
- TRIG – Pippa Philip 2. AMY – Mark Trollip (Johannesburg)
- TWEED – Faansie Basson (Swellendam) 3. DON – Faansie Basson
- DON – Faansie Basson 4. TWEED – Faansie Basson
- MOSS – Henry van der Merwe 5. THOMAS – Henry van der Merwe