The Hawke's Bay Sheep Dog Trial Centre has staged its annual prizegiving night after a 2020 season which was cut in half by the impacts of both the drought and the Covid-19 crisis.
The schedule of 13 club trials was cut to just six, with late-season cancellations as the country went through the alert levels to lockdown in March.
The Taradale trials, which were tentatively postponed to the spring, have now been cancelled, with the club hoping to go ahead with its 2021 trials in a new season set to start at the end of March.
The honour of top heading dog for 2020 went to Chris Redmond and Watch, although the pair did not win a trial in Hawke's Bay.
They had second placings at Waimarama-Maraetotara, Omakere, Takapau and Wairoa, to overcome the claims of such other pairings as Jeremy Berry and Turbo, and Dave Wallace and Slug, which each managed two wins.
The champion huntaway was Clark Chrystal's Duke, which won both hunts at the Waimarama-Maraetotara trials at Kahuranaki.
Among the other awards was that of the Vet Associates Cup to Tikokino club member and Smedley Station staff member and Parks Peak block manager Kim Rorrison as Most Promising Triallist, for a season in which the highlight was a first centre championships title, in the Zig Zag Hunt with Dae as the season opened at Waikoau in January.
Triallists are now looking forward to the Tux Handy Dog Series, starting with a round at Raetihi in the Whanganui Centre on Friday and Saturday, including a Hawke's Bay event hosted by the Wairoa and the North Island semifinal and national final at Aratiatia Station, near Taupo, on January 14-16.
There are also the A&P show trials and the new club trials season in which the centre
championships are at Mohaka, probably in March.
Awards at the prizegiving night were:
Centre season: Champion heading dog (K Black, S Douglas, A Lopdel, I Lopdel Tray), Chris Redmond, Watch; champion huntaway (WA Taylor Tray), Clark Chrystal, Duke; long head (Hastings RSA Tray), Jeremy Berry, Turbo; short head and yard (Hastings RSA Tray), Chris Redmond, Watch; zig zag hunt (Hawke's Bay RSA Tray), Dave Scragg, Jill; straight hunt (Hastings RSA Tray), Bex Scragg, Jazz, and Stu McNeill, Spur; most successful first-season dog (Rex Berkahn Memorial Tray), Rocky Hawkins, Prince; most points with 1 heading dog and 1 huntaway (Barry Wallace Cup), Rocky Hawkins, Jean and Box; most promising triallist (Vet Associates Cup), Kim Rorrison.
Centre championships: Long head (W.Tucker Cup), Dave Evans, Spur; short head and yard (Hawke's Bay Centre Cup), Bob Bruce, Susan; zig zag hunt (RS Booker Cup), Kim Rorrison, Dae; straight hunt (Hawke's Bay Centre Cup), Jono Neilson, Jack; highest qualifying run, any class (Alex Stead Memorial Trophy), Stu McNeill, Spur; top club (Hawke's Bay Centre Trophy), Te Aute, 23pts.