It was a relatively flat bit of a land and the conditions were a bit like life at home on the farm can be at times.
But to farmer and sheep dog triallist Sheena Martin it was everything as she and heading dog Troy won the Royal New Zealand Show Hawke's Bay A&P trial on Friday.
Martin, from Northern Hawke's Bay, has won trials in all conditions, including at Hawke's Bay Centre championships level but reckoned the Hawke's Bay show was one of the best, especially with the rare dog trialling adornment of the RAS medal she secured.
Also a handy catch was the first prize of $1000 she won as she beat runner-up and Putaruru triallist Bob Berger with Buddy, third-placed Taupo veteran Barney Strong with Trixie and all the other hopefuls in a 14-dog runoff.
In a field which started with 159 dogs, it was the third time Martin had won the show title, a second success for Troy, a son of her first winner, 2011 champion Stone.
Another success of the show was the seventh annual schools shearing event, with 20 entrants from as far north as Tolaga Bay, all with expert instruction from reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand champion and 2014 World champion Rowland Smith, with such helpers as 2019 World Championships judge Bart Hadfield and shearers Peter Chilcott and former schools competition competitor and Golden Shears junior champion Brook Hamilton.
The entrants were ultimately able to be placed in three levels for finals, with winners coming from three different schools.
The learners' category was won by Hoeroa King, of Lindisfarne College, the junior showdown by Finn McKenzie, of Napier Boys' High School, and the intermediate grade by Raysene Meihana, of Hastings Boys' High School.
Of the 20 entrants, eight competed the next day at the show's Great Raihania Shears, where Wairoa student Ryka Swann won the novice title.
The future of farming was also evident in the show's young judges' competition, each of six Royal Agricultural Society being able to put-up two competitors for the finals, which formed a selection platform for a transtasman match at the show next year.
Young Judges: Fleece — Niamph Barnett (Dannevirke, Eastern District); Beef Cattle — Courtney Davies (Dairy Flat, Northern District); Dairy Cattle — Courtney Davies (Dairy Flat, North Auckland); Meat Breeds Sheep — Lisa Bonenkamp (Gore, Southern District).
Paraders: Beef Cattle — Cara Doggett (studying at Massey University — Western District); Dairy Cattle — Georgia Whitworth (Tuakau, Mid Northern District).