A Taranaki farmer has won both of the first two titles to be decided at the Tux North Island Sheep Dog Championships in Central Hawke's Bay.
Mark Duffy, from the Egmont club, yesterday won both huntaway titles, with different dogs, at Te Aute.
He and Vella entered the seven-dog zig zag runoff in fourth place but had clearly the best last run to win by a commanding 5.25pts from runner-up and Poverty Bay entry, Leo Edginton and Gavin, of Tolaga Bay.
Duffy also came from behind in the straight hunt runoff with Shield, qualifying in second place but turning the tables on fellow Taranaki pair, Chris Journeaux, of Whangamomona, and his dog Alice.
He had made 10 previous North or South Island championships runoffs dating back to 2000, but his only win had been a zig zag title with Clunk, also at Te Aute, in 2009, when the championships were run in conjunction with the New Zealand championships, in which they were third.
The host Hawke's Bay centre had three entries in the runoffs, Wairoa's Jeremy Bright and Mate, and Te Aute's Robert Gallien and Code, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively in the zig zag hunt, and Tom Manson and Spud, of Mohaka, 7th in the straight hunt.
Hawke's Bay has two hopes in today's long head runoff, with Bob Bruce and Jaco, of Te Aute, qualifying in second place and John Macpherson and Scott, from Ruakituri, in third place.
Results from Day 4 of the Tux North Island Sheep Dog Championships being held at Te Aute on May 7-11:
Zig zag hunt: Mark Duffy (Egmont), Vella, (96.75, 95.5) 192.25pts, 1; Leo Edginton (Tolaga Bay), Gavin, (96pts, 91pts) 187pts, 2; Jeremy Bright (Wairoa), Mate, (96.5, 87) 183.5pts, 3; Robert Gallien (Te Aute), Code, (97.25, 76) 173.25pts, 4; Josh Brennan (Rangiwahia), Rock (97, 68) 165pts, 5; Chris Journeaux (Whangamomona) Gus, (96.25, 49) 145.25pts, 6; Alex Mathews (Wanganui), Rex, (97.5, 0) 97.5pts, 7.
Straight hunt: Mark Duffy (Egmont), Shield, (98,98) 196pts, 1; Chris Journeaux (Whangamomona), Alice, (98.25, 97.5) 195.75pts, 2; Anthony Hughes (Whatautu), Chop, (96.5, 95.25) 191.75pts, 3; Mark Lourie (Parapara-Makirikiri), (97.75, 93.75) 191.5pts, 4; Allen Irwin (Whatatutu), Dan, (97, 94) 191pts, 5; Leo Edginton (Tolaga Bay), Gavin, (97.5, 92) 189.5pts, 6; Tom Manson (Mohaka), Spud (97.25, 89) 186.25pts, 7.
Heading dog leaderboards (top 7 for runoffs):
Long head (complete, Top 7 for runoffs): Hamish Linton (Kaitieke), Kip, 97.5pts; Bob Bruce (Te Aute), Jaco, 96.5pts; John MacPherson (Ruakituri), Scott, 96pts; Mark Copland (Methven), Zoe, 95.5pts; Gavin Drake (Omatane-Kauwhatau), Clyde, 95pts; Paul Evans (Ohingaiti), Bryte, 94.75pts,; Lloyd Bishop (Mangaehu-Stratford), Range, 94.5pts.
Short head and yard (4pm call, to run 208): Tim Hunter (Pahiatua-Makuri), Doll; Roger Tweed (Waitahuna), Price; Graham Duff (Te Aute), Jess; Neville Hore (Tokarahi), Spec; Laurie Horsfall (Te Aute), Raid; Stuart Child (Te Anga), Mitch; Bernard Arends (Dannevirke), Kaine.