WANGANUI centre triallist Mark Lourie made a clean sweep with his maiden dog Klay at the Te Aute Hill Trial in Hawke's Bay at the weekend.
Lourie was one of several Parapara/Makirikiri Sheep Dog Trial Club members competing at the out-of-season event.
Lourie scooped the pool in the Straight Hunt winning the maiden, intermediate and open with Klay, a massive result with 200-plus dogs in each event.
Parapara/Makirikiri club members Graham Wellington placed second with Seamus and fourth with Murphy in Longhead while Brenda O'Leary and Tote were fourth in the Shorthead and yard.
The Te Aute club held its 2018 trials in 2017, two months ahead of the usual start of the season to avoid some of the vagaries of farming seasons in the region.
The club's annual trials, usually held in April and which also ran last year in combination with the Hawke's Bay Sheepdog Trial Centre championships, were instead held last weekend.
The club will, however, still hold trials in the new year, as host of the North Island championships in May.
The club was experimenting with the new date, partly because the combination of the usual club trials and the North Island championships next autumn would take the land, the Brownrigg Agriculture Barker Block in Te Aute Rd, out of action for three weeks and that was "too much to ask".
The weekend event was extremely well supported with men, women and dogs attending from all over the North Island and some from the South Island, all wanting to give their dogs a run on the courses.
All up 218 heading dogs and 220 huntaways competed over the two and a half days.
The judges who are officiating at the North Island events next year were also there to get a feel of the courses.
Ken Lobb from Whangamomona was on the Longhead, Chris Calder from Timaru judged the Shorthead (Chris was in the Taranaki Centre and Wanganui Centre for several years before heading back south to a family farm), Tony Fairweather from Dannevirke judged Class 3 and Andy McNab from Fairlie the Class 4.
Te Aute club president Rocky Hawkins and secretary Craig Campbell ran a very good trial, which augurs well for the North Island Championships next year.¦
Class 1: 1, B Bruce and Cheat 96; 2, G Wellington and Seamus 95; 3, R Hawkins and Jean 94.5; 4, G Wellington and Murphy 94; 5, G Northcott and Hope 93.
Intermediate:B Bruce and Jaco 90.1. Maiden: B Bruce and Jaco 90.1.
Class 2: 1, I Broardhurst and Gem 94.5; 2, S McCrae and Cody 93.5; 3, P Williams and Trump 93; 4, B O'Leary and Tote 90.5; 5, N Child and Harry 90.
Intermediate: L Philburn and Meg 85. Maiden: C Streeta and Sue 69.
Class 3: 1, C Bayliss and Pearl 97.75; 2, C Chrystal and Trix 97.5; 3, G Dickson and Maude 97.25; 4, S McNeil and Ranger 97; 5, G Bishop and Cody 96.75.
Intermediate: Samantha Shaw and Mannie 96. Maiden: Samantha Shaw and Mannie 96.
Class 4: 1, M Lourie and Klay 98.5; 2, Rachel Dobson and Judge 98.25; 3, Annie Flood and Smoke 98; 4, M Duffy and Sheild 97.5; 5, S McNeil & Bay 97.25.
Intermediate: M Lourie and Klay 98.5. Maiden: M Lourie and Klay 98.5.