The organisers of the Northland leg of the Tux Yarding Challenge and Handy Dog in Kaitaia this week are pleased to report they have received the biggest number of entries in the 17-year history of the event.
Entries have come from all around the North Island with around 200 dogs expected at the Kaitaia A&P Showgrounds over the two-and-a-half day event.
On behalf of the hosting Mangonui Sheep Dog Trial Club, event spokesman Merv Cameron noted the bulk of the Tux Yarding Challenge will run on Thursday and Friday (December 6 and 7) from 7.30am each day.
He noted two very full days will be needed to get through the qualifying rounds. The top six from each day will run off on Saturday for the Northland championship, set to start at 8.30am.
Following this, organisers will switch to the North Island final — featuring the top dogs from other completed events on the Tux circuit — which is scheduled to get under way around 10am. This will see 15 of the very best dogs in the country put through their paces, with the top three qualifying for January's Tux Yarding Challenge national final in Nelson.
Once the heading dogs have finished, the handy dog event for the huntaways will take place on the adjoining field, Cameron noted.
"All going to plan, everything will be finished around midday followed by the presentations of prizes," he said.
It was noted there will be security on the grounds to protect the sheep loaned by Landcorp from rustlers.
As in the past, catering will be served behind the grandstand. There is free entry for the general public, who can access the event via the South Road gates to the A&P Showgrounds.