Hawke's Bay farm manager Mark Loye has achieved his biggest sheepdog trials win with victory in the straight huntaway at the New Zealand championships near Taupo.
Loye, 48 and manager of the Lowry family's Oreka Station, west of Hastings, claimed the title with well-performed 7-year-old Troop, with which he also won this year's Hawke's Bay Sheep Dog Trial Centre Aerospread best huntaway series.
Third in the zig zag event in Loye's first national championships run-off at Wanaka last year, the pair reached Friday's second among the top seven from the North Island championship, the first stage of the big week at Orakei Karako.
In the final they turned the tables on North Island title winner and Canterbury team Dave Stuart.
Southern Hawke's Bay shepherd Hamish Hendricksen and Lace, from Weber, won the North Island short head and yard title but, aged 33, and reaching a national run-off for the first time, had to settle for sixth in his first national run-off, in which he and three others were unable to complete the course within the time limit.
Three generations of the Hendricksen family have now amassed four North or South island titles and contested 32 island or national run-offs between them but are yet to win a national title.