Boyd Tisdall is on the lookout for ladies ... dog trial ladies that is.

Tisdall, who farms at Lee Stream and is the judges convener for the Strath Taieri Collie Club, thought it would be a novel idea to attempt to secure what he believed would be a New Zealand first: an all-female judging team for this year's club trial on February 21 and 22.

Tisdall said he had tried to get all four classes judged by women "just for something a bit different", but unfortunately had so far come up short, finding it hard to fill the fourth judging position with a woman on the heading dog course.

"We just can't quite make it happen at this stage" he said.


"We had hoped to make it an all-women judging line-up, but so far it isn't to be. Three out of four is pretty good. The ladies we have got are all into it, they were keen to get involved and thought it would be a bit of fun" he said.

The three female judges he has confirmed are Nicky Thompson, Jackie Sarginson and Pip Wilson.

Tisdall said although historically the dog trialling sport had been dominated by men, women were showing up at both island and national level and some had achieved some excellent success.

"I judged a run-off last year which had three women all in the one run-off — which is quite unique.

"It's been quite impressive to see some of those women run a dog, actually.

"Women dog trialists don't tend to have the same manner with their dogs like us blokes do. They're a bit quieter, I guess you'd say".

Tisdall said he had "no problem" filling the fourth position with a male judge but was open to a last minute shift around if a viable female judge "came out of the woodwork".

While an all-female, or mostly all-female, judging line-up might encourage a bigger turnout of women new to the sport and keen to have a go at a maiden course, Tisdall did not think it would boost the club's turnout any more than previous years.


"I doubt it would make too much of a difference to be honest — men and women are very much on an even footing when it comes to dog trialling".