East Coast farmer Leo Edginton was today looking at the possibility of adding to the eastern North Island's strengths at the National Sheep Dog Championships, after ending the third day with dogs on three of the four leaderboards.
Speaking today from the Championships at Omaka, (south of Blenheim), the 35-year-old from Mangaheia Station, (near Tolaga Bay), already had Kim on the long head leaderboard; Dave on the short head and yard board, and Robert still in the race in the straight hunt.
Amid the wait, (which could see them drop out), he had two more hopes with Dave having just trialled in the long head, and Kim set to go again in the short head and yard tomorrow.
The prospects of the places already on the board were much in the hands of the performance of those remaining to run in the championships. However, Edginton said he reckoned Dave had given a good account of himself and was in with a show of making it two from the preliminary stage of the South Island Championships, from which the top seven in each class contest the national title runoffs.
"He went reasonably well," Edginton said, awaiting the next leaderboard announcement at midday.
The third day had been not quite as fortunate for Northern Hawke's Bay trialist Tom Manson who had ended Tuesday with dogs on three separate leaderboards. Manson saw one displaced yesterday, (ironically by his brother Ben Manson, from Little River on Banks Peninsula), and one of those defending the pride of the south.
The North's dominance was most pronounced in the hunts, with with no South Island competitors on either leaderboard.
Edginton explained the North's performances by saying "local" competition in the East Coast and Hawke's Bay region had been "pretty strong" in recent years.
"Good competition helps," he said.
Leaderboards at 4pm on Day 3 of the South Island and New Zealand sheep dog championships being held at Meadow Bank Farms, Omaka, in Marlborough on May 28-June 2, 2018:
Long head (153 runs): Tom Manson (Raupunga) Pip; Murray Child (Maungakaramea), Dice; Leo Edginton (Tolaga Bay), Kim; Brian Dickison (Gore), Ash; Ben Manson (Little River), Billy; Lloyd Smith (Palmerston), Samantha; Eion Herbert (Tapawera), Bell.
Short head and yard (123 runs): Steve Kerr (Fairlie), Ben; Leo Edginton (Tolaga Bay), Dave; Graeme Brier (Piopio), Sumo; Merv Utting (Gisborne), Prince; Guy Peacock (Dannevirke), Chief; Maurice Haakma (Ward), Brian; Kevin Lamont (Cheviot), Trump.
Zig zag hunt (236 runs): Tom Manson (Raupunga), Spud; Scott McRae (Wellsford), Toby; Mark Lourie (Whangarei), Bella; Gerard Brown (Dannevirke), Brew; Alex Matthews (Wanganui), Rex; Clark Chrystal (Tutira), Nell.
Straight hunt (250 runs): Joshua Brennan (Rangiwahia), Hung; Trevor Rumbal (Taumarunui), Thug; Rebecca Baynes (Wairoa), Tom; Alex Matthews (Wanganui), Bonnie; Murray Child (Maungakaramea), Ralf; Clark Chrystal (Tutira), Trix; Leo Edginton (Tolaga Bay), Robert.