Club celebrates 100th dog trial anniversary

By Zaryd Wilson

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TIMELY RETURN: Waverley-Waitotara Sheep Dog Trial Club treasurer Merle Woodill (left), president Tony Hewton and secretary Brenda Simson with the Open Huntaway Cup which has resurfaced after nearly 100 years.PHOTOS/NATALIE SIXTUS
TIMELY RETURN: Waverley-Waitotara Sheep Dog Trial Club treasurer Merle Woodill (left), president Tony Hewton and secretary Brenda Simson with the Open Huntaway Cup which has resurfaced after nearly 100 years.PHOTOS/NATALIE SIXTUS

The courses have been cut and the buildings given a spruce-up ahead of the 100th Waverley-Waitotara sheep dog trials this weekend.

And a 100-year-old trophy has also resurfaced just in time for the Waverley-Waitotara Sheep Dog Trial Club's milestone event.

The cup was found at Hayward's Auctions in Whanganui and recently bought back by the club.

It's called the Open Huntaway Cup and has been won four times in 1915, 1919, 1921 and 1922, according to the engraving on it. Treasurer Merle Woodill said, as far as anyone at the club could work out, it had not been seen since.

"We're not going to compete for it this year - we're just going to put it on display," she said. "But we really think it's great.

"We jumped at it - we said somebody's got to go down and get it."

Club president Tony Hewton said there were no clues as to where it had been in recent years.

"I'd say it's been sitting in somebody's box somewhere," he said.

The club formed in 1912, but with a few war years without competition it has taken until now for the club to reach its 100th annual trial.

Meanwhile, the club held a working bee last weekend to prepare the site on Kohi Rd, trimming the hills and tidying up the clubrooms.

The club has about 30 members at the moment and is fairly strong. In 1940 the Waverley-Waitotara Club moved from the Wanganui Centre to Taranaki but its members still competed in many Wanganui Centre events.

"Taranaki would be one of the smallest centres but it is the strongest," Mr Hewton said.

He expected many past members to be in town for the club's 100th trials with may stories to be shared.

"We have one judge coming who was a boy living at Ngutuwera and he used to come out here to watch the trials. "

The club's 100th trials will run from 7.30am tomorrow and again on Saturday at Kohi Rd.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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