The annual Ohingaiti Tux Yarding Challenge was finally run thanks to the generosity of a farming couple from the other side of the island.
Cancelled in early June because of Covid-19 issues, the event was rescheduled when Bernard Arends and Maree Palmer agreed to host it at their Te Oranga Farm on Graham Rd in Dannevirke.
The move proved popular, attracting record entries from Kaitiaia, Gisborne, Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui and Hawke's Bay.
The offer to host the event was a wonderful gesture and a huge amount of work to take on in a short time to get it off the ground.
With 50 club trials across the country and the national champs being cancelled for the first time since the World War II, it was delight all round from triallists all over the North Island that a trial was actually going to happen.
The camaraderie and desire by everyone who attended to make the event a success was palpable.
It was a team effort between secretary of the annual event Kathryn Oliver from Reatihi, co-host Maree Palmer in Dannevirke and Wanganui Centre publicity officer Brenda O'Leary pitching in to help where she could with entries and getting the draw out.
Lindsay and Wendy Schmidt, former stalwarts of the Wanganui Centre now living out from Dannevirke, got in behind Bernard Arends and helped make it happen.
Whanganui triallists Ian Burling, Wayne Falkner, Rob Mather, Graeme Strawbridge from Kairapiro, Rocky Hawkins from Havelock North and others helped work the sheep leading into and during the event.
The weather on the first day was the first real blast of winter for many, but improved over the next two days with the runoff of the 15 finalists taking place in the sunshine on Sunday.
Cadets from Pukemiro Station, James Noble Campbell, Jayden Patterson, Connor McIntyre, James Waterson, Zane Rodgers and Alex Argyle all did a turn helping liberate sheep over the four days.
Campbell ran a dog for the first time and was the overall maiden/man maiden /dog winner with Bry.
All of these young chaps have been mentored by Bernard Arends and are stars of the future.
The event was well supported by Whanganui competitors with four making the final.
Ian Burling and Mate from the Parapara/Makirikiri Club, Gary Walker and Lace from Feilding, Graham Wellington and Rachel, also from Parapara/Makirikiri Club, and Kathryn Oliver and Shy from Raetihi, the only woman to make the final.
The ewe lambs in the runoff were pretty challenging with Burling and Mate placing 4th overall. Only six of the 15 finalists yarded.
Guy Peacock, another former Wanganui Centre triallist, with Slim, put up a brilliantly controlled run to head off well known NZ triallist Merv Utting and Fern from Gisborne to take the top prize.
Bo Milner from Dannevirke, assisted by his wife Donna, judged the event in his first Tux trial, a pretty gruelling effort with last runs on dark each night.
Last but not least, the local Ruahine Primary School provided the caterers who did a wonderful job keeping everyone fed and watered over the four days.
The next event on the calendar will be the Raetihi Tux Handy Dog Challenge on September 11-12 at Papahaua Station, Matahiwi Track off SH4.
Results Open: 1, G Peacock & Slim 94.5; 2, M Utting & Fern 93.5: 3, B Bruce & Jaco 92.5; 4, I Burling & Mate 92; 5,B Arends & Jazz 90.5; 6, L Schmidt & Jed 87.5; 7, H Ingles & Lou 72; 8, R Mead & Gum 61; 9, J Wilson & Jed 58; 10, G Walker & Lace 57.5; 11, K Oliver & Shy 56.5; 12, J Wilson & Cap; 13, G Northcott & Jay 55.5; 14, G Wellington & Rachel 48; 15, L Philburn & Meg 51.
Maiden Dog Thursday: Noble Campbell & Bry 88
Maiden Dog Friday: Morrison & Dazzle 84.5
Maiden Dog Saturday: A Savage & Queen 93.5
Overall Maiden/man maiden dog: James Noble Campbell & Bry 88.