Bob 'the Burglar' Berghan lived up to his nickname by stealing the limelight at the North Island run off of the Tux Yarding Challenge in Kaitaia on Saturday.
With bitch Biddy in top form at the Kaitaia A&P Showground, the Putaruru pair scored 97 points to narrowly hold off Ohingaiti Paul Evans with Richie and Hawkes Bay's Peter Williams and Guide.
In his review of the final day's result, local triallist/ event spokesman Merv Cameron noted only half a point ended up separating the above-mentioned three combinations in the final.
Berger and Biddy now go forward to the national final at Seddon in mid January, said Cameron, before turning his eyes tto the other standouts in the various North Island championships up for grabs at the three-day event.
Smedley cadet Shaun Tahu with Bo won the North Island maiden competition from Aaron Gaiteau with Ben and Chris Harris with Flint; while in the Handy Dog huntaway event, Matt Watson with Thor produced a very good 98-point effort to hold off Craig Pearson and Ben with last year's winner, Noddy Halley and Jade, close behind.
The ladies also showed their worth with Aratiatia Landcorp shepherd Kate White and Dutch heading off Jemma Bicknell and Midge to clean out the maiden section.
"Great to see the number of ladies competing on both courses with plenty confidence and ability," Cameron said.
On behalf of organisers, Cameron gave a big thanks to the local businesses for their sponsorship and reminded there would be no trial without sheep, with another big thank you going to Landcorp's Colin Rakena for making them available.
Final results were as follows.
Northland Tux Yarding Challenge: M Child and Dice 97.75, 1, B Berger and Lad 97, 2, M Cameron and Queen 96.5, 3, L Jecentho and Tess 96.25, 4, B Strong and Trixie 96, 5; Northland maiden: Shaun Tahu with Bo 1.
Northland Handy Dog: N Halley and Jade 98.5, 1, M Child and Frank 98, 2, P Williams and Frank 95.5, 3, T Hargreaves and Murk 91.5, 4, D Jones and Boots 91, 5; Northland Maiden Handy dog: Kate White and Dutch 89, Jemma Bicknell and Midge 88, 2, Jemma Bicknell and Pip 85, 3.
North Island open yarding final: B Berger and Biddy 97, 1, P Evans and Richie 96.75, 2, P Williams and Guide 96.5, 3, C Redmond and Watch 95, 4, G Northcott and Amy 94.5, 5; North Island maiden final: S Tahu and Bo 92, 1, A Gaiteau and Ben 86, 2, C Harris and Flint 82, 3.
North Island Handy Dog open final: M Watson and Thor 98, 1, C Pearson and Ben 97, 2, N Halley and Jade 95, 3, M Child and Ralf 93.5, 4, B Strong and Bella 93, 5; maiden: Kate White with Dutch 93, 1, Lesley Pollock and Bee 88, 2.