By Brenda O'Leary
Wanganui Centre Publicity Officer
The flooding up the Whanganui River Rd nearly put paid to last weekend's Parapara/Makirikiri sheep dog trials.
Club president Roy Pullen, sheep suppliers Cody Wickham, and Hamish Thompson, manager of Morikau Station, deserve credit that the trial went ahead.
The lambs were trucked out by Payne Transport from Wickhams at 5am on the Friday morning so the heading courses could start on time, and the truckers went back up the river and brought the Morikau ewes out for the hunts which kicked off later in the morning.
The lambs worked a treat on Friday on the shorthead and were generally there for the taking on both heads over the two days.
There was only one change on the shorthead on the Saturday, with Paul Evans and Richie placing third.
The feedback from the judges and competitors on the huntaway sheep was that they were magnificent, and the high scoring reflected the quality of the runs.
Straight hunt judge John Petersen from Owhango was very impressed with the Morikau ewes, as was Tim MacPherson from Mataroa who judged the zig-zag hunt.
Wairarapa triallists took the top prizes on the heads and the zig-zag hunt, with Gavin Drake nailing the straight hunt for the Wanganui centre.
Dannevirke's Bernard Arends got the quinella on the longhead with Roy and Winx - a superb effort.
American couple Duane and Debbie Rodewald from Wyoming, who farm 22ha with one cattle beast to .4ha and an annual rainfall of 18cm, visited the trial and were enthralled with the New Zealand heading dogs and huntaways.
They have dogs and dog trials back in the US but nothing like what they saw over the weekend.
It has to be said the landowners who allow their farms and facilities to be used to stage dog trials are the heart of any event.
Bill Ranginui and his family have given the Parapara/Makirikiri huge support over many years, and the courses on their farm at Mangaone Rd are some of the best around. The club is indebted to them.
Class 1; 1, B Arends & Roy 98; 2, B Arends & Winx 96; 3, B Mathews & Reef 95.5; 4, S Whiteman & Reign 95; 5, G Wellington & Seamus 94.5.
Intermediate: B Arends & Winx 96. Maiden: B Burke & Tramp 87.
Class 2: 1, B Mathews & Reef 96.5; 2, I Burling & Jed 95.5; 3, P Evans & Ritchie 95; 4, M Devlin & Pink 94.5; 5, G Wellington & Rachel 94.
Intermediate: M Devlin & Pink 94.5. Maiden: M Devlin & Pink 94.5
Class 3: 1, G Brown & Tempo 98.5; 2, J Smailes & Havoc 98; 3, G Drake & Glen 97.5; 4, A Matthews & Rachel 97; 5, J Shrubsall & Stag 96.75.
Intermediate: J Smailes & Havoc 98. Maiden: J Smailes & Havoc 98.
Class 4: 1, G Drake & Glen 98; 2, D Stuart & Gus 97.2; 3, H Thompson & Nod 97; 4, M Anderson & Walter 96.8; 5, J Shrubsall & Stag 96.6.
Intermediate: G Drake & Glen 98. Maiden: W Marshall & Rachel 96.4.