A busy week is ahead for the Hawke's Bay Sheep Dog Trial Centre and the Te Aute trials club as they host the North Island championships next month.
About 1000 runs, involving almost 500 dogs, are expected at the championships at the club's Te Aute Trust Rd course south of Hastings on May 7.
Main entries closed on April 13, and the major draw was done last week, completed in just one morning at Clubs Hastings as members strove to complete the job before heading for the funeral of Hawke's Bay centre patron Keith Satchwell.
Entries are still being accepted from late qualifiers and by Monday this week the draw included 27 heading dogs and 247 huntaways, most running in each of their two classes.
Centre and championships secretary Brenda Duff said the heading dogs would be expected to be completed in time for their long head and short head and yard runoffs (the top seven dogs) on the fourth day (Thursday), but the huntaway would need an extra day, with the zig zag hunt and straight hunts to be held on the Friday.
The North Island and New Zealand championships last year were held at Whangara, near Gisborne, where Bob Bruce, of the Te Aute club, won the national long head title with Cheat, which will be in the running for the North Island heading titles again this year, before heading to the South Island and New Zealand championships at Omaka, near Taylor's Pas, south of Blenheim, starting on May 28.
The last North Island championships in Hawke's Bay were in 2009 along with the New Zealand championships, a successful week for the host centre with Clark Chrystal, of Waikoau and now the centre president, claiming the North Island straight hunt title with Hendrix, and Stu McNeill, of Te Pohue, winning the New Zealand championships zig zag and straight hunt double with Shot.
McNeill had a good lead-in at the last Hawke's Bay club trials of the season at Petane last weekend, winning the zig zag hunt with Trump and also taking second place with Ranger.
Gisborne dog trialing legend Merv Utting. a winner of six national titles, did the same in the short head and yard, won by Prince with second place going to Fern, with which he won his 11th North or South title at last year's South Island championships in Southland.
Becs Baynes and Tom had their second straight hunt win in a three weeks, following-up from a win last month at the Olrig-Tikokino trials, Baynes being joined in balancing the gender scales by fellow Northern Hawke's Bay trialist Samantha Shaw, who won the long head with Stream, Shaw having also tasted other recent success with Breeze at Poverty Bay centre club Ruakituri last month.
There was particular success for Northern Hawke's Bay at the Taradale trials on April 13 14, when Fraser Taylor and Waite claimed the straight hunt, their fourth huntaway title of the season.
The last club trials of the season the east coast of the North Island this season, and the last chance to qualify dogs for the major championships are the Masterton Collie Club trials starting tomorrow, incorporating the Wairarapa and Southern Hawke's Bay centre championships runoffs on Sunday.
Long head: Samantha Shaw, Stream, 98.5pts, 1; Bo Milner, Snow, 98.25pts, 2; Dylan Rofe, Risk, 96.5pts, 3; Kevin O'Connor, Jax, 96.25pts, 4; Becs Baynes, Floss, 96pts, 5. Intermediate: Samantha Shaw, Stream. Maiden: Dave Wallace, Shade.
Short head and yard: Merv Utting, Prince, 97.5pts, 1; Merv Utting, Fern, 96pts, 2; Bo Milner, Snow, 95.5pts, 3; Bob Bruce, Cheat, 95pts, 4; Rod Mead, Lad, 94.5pts, 5. Intermediate: Rod Mead, Lad. Maiden: Noddy Halley, Deal.
Zig zag hunt: Stu McNeill, Trump, 97.5pts, 1; Stu McNeill, Ranger,97pts, 2; Samantha Shaw, Shade, 96.5pts, 3; Nathan Bradley, Rip, 96pts, 4; Adam Roe, Occy, 95pts, 5. Intermediate and Maiden: Nathan Bradley, Rip.
Straight hunt: Becs Baynes, Tom, 98pts, 1; Kevin Young, Bro, 97.5pts, 2; Fraser Taylor, Lord, 97pts, 3; Dan Jury, Chrystal, 96.5pts, 4; Sam Bishop, Cody, 96.25pts, 5. Intermediate: Kevin Young, Bro. Maiden: Fraser Taylor, Lord.
Long head: Chris Redmond, Rose, 97pts, 1; Bernard Arends, Kane, 96pts, 2; Jeremy Berry, 95pts, 3; Selwyn Dorward, Queen, 94pts, 4; Dave Wallace, Slug, 93.8pts, 5. Intermediate: Chris Redmond, Rose. Maiden: Graeme Wind, Dawn.
Short head and yard: Dylan Rofe, Risk, 95.5pts, 1; Bo Milner, Snow, 95pts, 2; Nigel Clark, Meg, 94pts, 3; Kevin O'Connor, Jax, 93.5pts, 4; Sheena Martin, Troy, 92.5pts, 5.
Intermediate: Dylan Rofe, Risk. Graeme Wind, Dawn.
Zig zag hunt: Mark Loye, Rich, 97.5pts, 1; Grant Magee, Bell, 97.25pts, 2; Jed McAlley, Rowdy, 97pts, 3; Sam Bishop, Cody, 96.75pts, 4; Paul Whiteside, Gus, 96.5pts, 5. Intermediate: Mark Loye, Rich. Maiden: Simon McDonald, Woody.
Straight hunt: Fraser Taylor, Waite, 96pts, 1; David Sheilds, Judd, 95.75pts, 2; John Batley, Hail, 95.5pts, 3; Tim McPherson, Gus, 95.25pts, 4; Anthony Hughes, Bully, 94.5pts, 5. Intermediate: John Batley, Hail. Maiden: Tim McPherson, Gus.