Taranaki competitors featured strongly at a recent dog trial competition in Tarata, winning three of the four open events.

The Tarata Trials were held on March 30-31 and featured 165 heading runs and 116 huntaway runs over the two-day event.

Bernie Gower from Mangamingi and Hone won the Longhead competition with 98 points. Lloyd Duffy from Hawera and Lord won the Zig Zag Hunt with 98 points and also came fifth in the Straight Hunt with Dame on 84 points.

Steve Murphy from Whangamomona and Savvy with 96 points won the Straight Hunt. Murphy also came second in the Shorthead with Sharp with 97 points and a fifth place in the Longhead with 96.25.

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Murphy's dog Sharp is Taranaki's leading heading dog with 18 points and Murphy's Savvy and Duffy's Lord are leading huntaway dogs on nine points each.

Tarata held a Charity Night Shorthead and Yard event on the second evening which drew a large crowd. The course was lit up with floodlights and competitors had to get their dog to head the sheep, pull them down the hill and over a small bridge, around a peg then into the yard within seven minutes.

This was only open to Taranaki competitorsand there were two classes — open and intermediate or maiden — judged by president of the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association Graham White from Mosgiel. Winner of the Open competition was Lloyd Duffy with Guv and the intermediate or maiden competition was won by Murray Austin and Fizz from New Plymouth.

Results:

* Event 1 — Longhead: 1st: B.Gower and Hone 98, 2nd: L.Bishop and Range: 97.75, 3rd: D.Shield and Clyde 97.5, 4th: S.Whiteman and Reign 97.25, 5th: S.Murphy and Sharp: 96.25.

* Event 2 — Shorthead and Yard. 1st: A.Roe and Dougal 97.5, 2nd: S.Murphy and Sharp 97, 3rd: G.Drake and Clyde 96.7, 4th: B.Burke and Stone 96.5, 5th: L.Graham and Flo 95.

* Event 3 — Zig Zag Hunt: 1st: L.Duffy and Lord 98, 2nd: C.Journeaux and Alice 97, 3rd: A.Roe and Occy 96, 4th: G.White and Chev 95.5, 5th: P.Martin and Gus 95.

* Event 4 — Straight Hunt: 1st: S.Murphy and Savvy 96, 2nd: D.Shield and Rock 95.5, 3rd: R.Hughes and Butch 95, 4th: D.Shield and Toss 94.5, 5th: L.Duffy and Dame 94.