Peter Green, who was born in Gisborne 84 years ago, and his 11-year-old girl Di have something very special in common. The pair, from Taihape, both love sheep dog trials. They had their run together in the long head at the Tux North Island and New Zealand championships at Pouawa on Friday morning. "It was not a great run but Di did her best and you cannot ask for more than that."
Taihape man Peter Green is one of the enduring characters of sheep dog trials in New Zealand and on Friday morning the 84-year-old successfully steered his dog Di round the long head course at Pouawa.
He has been the oldest competitor in the Tux North Island and New Zealand championships, having qualified two dogs in the heading events.
He ran his other dog Brew earlier in the week in the huntaway events.
The popular veteran has had a wonderful time back in Gisborne again, despite a fall earlier this week in which he injured his ribs.
Born and bred in Gisborne, he won his first open event at Rere in 1956.
He started his time as a shepherd here before moving to Rotorua as a Lands and Survey shepherd in the 1950s, then on to manage a station near Taihape.
Peter stayed there till the late '80s, before retiring to a small property in the Taihape area.
He has been part of New Zealand dog trials for more than 50 years. He has won an island title, and placed second and fourth in New Zealand finals.
Peter Green said he was pleased to have been able to keep going for so long.
"I am very, very lucky to have some great mates who cart me around the country to the trials," he said after his run on Friday morning.
"It has been my sport, my outlet, for more than 50 years.
"I enjoy the friendship and the camaraderie of being around great guys."
He has a sister in Gisborne and regularly visits her.
"It's great to be back again."
Peter has lived alone with his three dogs and a cat since his wife Pat passed away six years ago.
"The dogs and cat keep me company.
"If you treat dog trials as a sport, it finishes up that way and you stay part of the friendly atmosphere right through your life."
He ran his 11-year-old girl Di on Friday morning in the long head.
"It might be my last trial run, I think," he told the judge as he walked out of the arena.
"It was not a great run but Di did her best and you cannot ask for more than that," Peter said afterwards.
Di was the top points-scoring dog in the Whanganui district in the past couple of years.
"She is an old dog now but she loves doing what she does."
Peter Green loves doing it too, that is obvious, and no doubt whether he runs a dog again or not, he will remain an enduring part of the national dog trial scene.