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Trials Results 2023
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South African National Sheepdog Championships

28 September – 1 October 2023

Kweekkraal Farm, Riversdale

The running of our 62nd National Championships took place on the farm Kweekkraal of member AJ van Wyk and family just outside the Western Cape town of Riversdale. The family run a very large mixed operation of crops, livestock and also a quarry producing bricks for the local building trade.

 

The field was mainly flat, about 800m in length with subtle undulations and a gully running diagonally through the middle. A good covering of lucerne after recent good rains softened the going under foot. For the event AJ provided a flock of 320 dry merino ewes. Hennie Ferreira judged the novice event on the first day with Elaine Portch and Pippa Philip in the hot seat for the main event.

 

Proceedings got underway on Thursday with the novice championship. This event is open to any beginner dog capable of doing a 200m outrun or any dog currently in the junior class.

 

The course consists of a 200m outrun, full drive and a pen, total 90 points. The handler may leave the post on the drive but is penalised the more assistance they provide. Time limit was 10mins.

 

We had hot and humid weather for the event. The top scores were very close but Johan Nel and his Kelpie Tommy eventually came out as champions.

 

Results for the novice championship as follows;

  1. J Nel Tommy 64 – SA Novice Champion

  2. J vd Vyver Skye 63 – Reserve Novice Champion

  3. P Strydom Roy 58

  4. AJ van Wyk Roxy 57

  5. J Nel Cheese 56

 

On Thursday evening the society held its AGM. Pierre Strydom was elected as the new President with Bridget Lloyd being re-elected as vice-president.

 

Friday saw the running of the qualifying round which incorporates the junior championship. Dogs which started the season in the junior class are in the running for this award.

 

The course was lengthened to a 300m outrun, full drive, shed any 2 sheep and a pen. Total 200 points and a time limit of 12 minutes.

 

The day was predominately overcast with a light breeze and some light rain. The top 30 dogs qualify for the semi-finals.

 

The top five placings were as follows:

  1. H vd Merwe Jem 186

  2. A Philip Mirk 180

  3. M Trollip Diesel 172

  4. R Pretorius Fia 172

  5. WA Hugo Sally 170 – SA Junior Champion

 

WA Hugo and Sally won the junior championship and WA was also runner up here with his young dog Mac.

 

On Saturday this course was lengthened to a full international qualifying course for the semi-finals. A 400m outrun, full drive and a marked shed, pen and single with a time limit 15 minutes, total score 220 points.

 

The weather worsened from the previous day with intermittent heavy showers but fortunately the wind was at the handlers back so sound wasn’t a problem. The top 15 dogs progressed to the finals on the Sunday.

 

Top placings for the semi-finals as follows:

  1. Y Fourie Kwagga 193

  2. P Strydom Mac 188

  3. WA Hugo Mac 187

  4. A Philip Mirk 186

  5. H vd Merwe Jem 184

 

Saturday evening was our annual gala dinner and prize-giving. The event was held at the wonderful Kweekkraal conference facilities and we were treated to a superb 3 course meal.

 

 

Major awards for the season were as follows:

Best Beginner N Bowie and Skye

Junior Dog of the Year A Philip and Zap

Senior Dog of the Year P Strydom and Jill

Reserve Dog of the Year H vd Merwe and Jem

SA Dog of the Year M Trollip and Diesel

Most consistent dog over 2 years M Trollip and Diesel

 

For the finals on the Sunday, the course was once again lengthened to 550m for the first outrun which was to the left. Casting left, the dogs could go wide until the 350m mark where the boundary fence threw them in slightly, they would then need to widen out again and for a time the sheep would be unsighted.

 

The turn back to the right was 450m with the sheep being unsighted to the dog but once on their way the sheep came into view. Once gathered the two packets of ten were combined and a full drive was completed before the fifteen un-collared ewes were drafted off and the 5 remaining collared ones penned, a time limit of 25 minutes was set.

 

The rain had fortunately stopped but we had a cool breeze blowing into the handler’s face which got progressively stronger and blew intermittently throughout the day. When the breeze was up the dogs simply couldn’t hear at any sort of distance leading to a couple of retirements.

 

Also, a handful of dogs did not take the turn-back leading to more retirements. Nonetheless there were some good runs but Pierre Strydom with Mac, fresh from their trip to the World Trial in Northern Ireland, were the clear winners on the day, with an exceptional run.

 

The top 5 scores were as follows;

  1. P Strydom Mac 275 – SA Champion 2023

  2. R Pretorius Tess 230 – Reserve SA Champion

  3. A Philip Mirk 216

  4. P Strydom Kyla 215

  5. H vd Merwe Lisa 211

 

Our sincere thanks to AJ van Wyk and family for a well run and testing event. Also to all our sponsors - we are truly indebted to you.

Western Province Sheepdog Club

Dog of the Year Trial – 26 & 27 August 2023

Grootvlei Farm, Caledon

The last trial of the 2023 season saw us return to the familiar field on the picturesque Grootvlei farm in the Caledon district. Host Andrew Philip had turned the field around so the handlers post was were the set out was last year.

 

The junior and senior classes would cast downhill through two contours but the sheep were clearly visible all the way. Beyond the senior cast at 300m, the field narrowed before widening out again, uphill to the top dog set out at 420m.

 

The top dog cast was a good test, if sent right the dogs would come in and then have to bend out again at a point where the sheep weren’t visible. Sending left the dogs could either go around a dam at the 350m mark or if they came in front of the dam they’d also have to bend out again but at that point they also weren’t visible.

 

Andrew gave us a flock of fit and healthy Dohne Merino yearlings for the trial. On the first day they were flighty but worked really well if the dogs kept off. The second was definitely more challenging with the packets taking off on the lift at speed and were heavy to the side where the exhaust pen was located. Shedding and penning was also a lot more difficult on the second day. On the first day Pippa Philip and Nan qualified out of the junior class.

 

Thanks to farm owner Ross Philip for the use of his wonderful venue and to hosts Andrew and Pippa Philip for their efforts in making the event a great success. Also, thank you to our sponsors for their generous support throughout the year.

 

Day 1

Juniors (90) – Judge : A Philip

  1. P Philip Nan 80

  2. P Strydom Roy 74

  3. J Nel Tommy 69

  4. B Lloyd Zac 59

  5. J Swart Kate 59

 

Seniors (100) – Judge : M Trollip

  1. A Philip Zap 88

  2. P Strydom Jill 85

  3. J vdVyver Missy 84

  4. B Lloyd Plaidy 81

  5. B Greeff Maya 78

 

Top Dogs (110) – Judge : P Philip

  1. M Trollip Diesel 94

  2. A Philip Mirk 89

  3. Y Fourie Kwagga 86

  4. A Gunter Molly 85

  5. H vd Merwe Jem 84

 

Day 2

Juniors (90) – Judge : A Philip

  1. B Lloyd Zac 70

  2. S Harriss Aila 68

  3. J Nel Cheese 68

  4. J Nel Tommy 65

  5. J vdVyver Cap 64

 

Seniors (100) – Judge : M Trollip

  1. R Pretorius Tess 82

  2. R Pretorius Elke 81

  3. B Greeff Maya 80

  4. J Swart Bourne 78

  5. B Lloyd Plaidy 77

 

Top Dogs (110) – Judge : A Gunter

  1. R Pretorius Penny 85

  2. M Trollip Diesel 82

  3. R Pretorius Fia 81

  4. A Philip Mirk 80

  5. Y Fourie Kwagga 73

Western Province Sheepdog Club

Dog of the Year Trial – 23 & 24 August 2023

Klein Wolwegat Farm, Tesslaarsdal

The Western Province club hosted the final set of trials for the season, the first of which was held on the farm of Bertus Greeff in the beautiful hamlet of Tesselaarsdal. The field was adjacent to the one used last year and sloped down from left to right as one looked up to the set out posts.

 

There were also some subtle undulations and a small dam on the right hand side. The senior and top dog classes had the same cast of 300m but the top dogs had an added challenge of a second set of gates on the away drive. Sending left would see the dogs lose sight of the sheep as they went up the hill causing a number of dogs to go very wide. The right hand cast had the dogs below the sheep but if they went behind the dam they’d be unsighted for some of the way and if they came in front of the dam they’d have to bend out again so as not to upset the sheep.

 

Adding to the challenge was the weather with the first day being bitterly cold and windy with intermittent rain. Fortunately for the second day the rain stayed away and the wind was down to a light breeze.

 

Bertus provided a mixed flock (ewes and lambs) of Dohne Merino ewes for the event. Setting out was the first challenge as they were very skittish and difficult to get settled. If they weren’t pushed, the ewes worked very well but a deceptive cross drive gate caused many a good run to lose a number of points. They were also very tricky at the pen and had little respect for the handler. Despite these challenges there were a number of good scores with Johan Swart and his Kelpie Pennie qualifying out of the junior class on the first day and Ragni Pretorius and Tess qualifying on the second.

 

Thank you Bertus Greeff and our sponsors for a well-run challenging trial.

 

Day 1

Juniors (90) – Judge : A Philip

  1. J Swart Pennie 82

  2. R Pretorius Tess 74

  3. P Philip Nan 68

  4. J Nel Tommy 66

  5. J vd Vyver Cap 63

 

Seniors (100) – Judge : M Trollip

  1. J Swart Bourne 80

  2. J vd Vyver Missy 78

  3. B Lloyd Plaidy 75

  4. A Gunter Zara 66

  5. R Pretorius Elke 63

 

Top Dogs (100) – Judge : P Philip

  1. H vd Merwe Jem 86

  2. M Trollip Diesel 82

  3. A Gunter Connie 79

  4. P Strydom Kyla 71

  5. R Pretorius Fia 71

 

Day 2

Juniors (90) – Judge : A Philp

  1. R Pretorius Tess 82

  2. J Nel Tommy 79

  3. B Lloyd Zac 76

  4. P Philip Nan 76

  5. J vdVyver Cap 72

 

Seniors (100) – Judge : M Trollip

  1. R Pretorius Elke 86

  2. J vdVyver Missy 84

  3. J Swart Bourne 83

  4. B Greeff Maya 81

  5. A Philip Zap 73

 

Top Dogs (110) – Judge : A Philip

  1. A Gunter Faffa 95

  2. A Gunter Molly 95

  3. A Gunter Connie 94

  4. R Pretorius Fia 93

  5. M Trollip Diesel 93

Western Province Sheepdog Club

Dog of the Year Trial – 22 & 23 July 2023

Rhenosterfontein Farm, Witsand

As with the previous venue, the trials field had a good covering of greenery which also softened the hard ground below. The field is ideal for trialling, large and almost square (about 800m), sloping gradually down from the handler’s post.

 

Owner Attie Gunter provided us a flock of Merino ewes for the event. With the abundance of food and the cold conditions the ewes were in excellent condition and true to Merinos, moved freely but getting close enough to shed was a challenge. Penning could also be tricky if they managed a break! The cross drive caught many a handler as well, being very deceptive. We still however had some high scoring runs on the second day with Gerry Staegemann and Cait winning the junior class with a qualifying score.

 

Thank you to Attie, his staff and our sponsors for another great testing trial!

 

Day 1

 

Juniors (90) – Judge: A Philip

  1. B Lloyd Zac 76

  2. WA Hugo Mac 72

  3. J Swart Penny 72

 

Seniors (100) – Judge: M Trollip

  1. A Gunter Zara 81

  2. WA Hugo Sally 78

  3. P Strydom Jill 73

 

Top Dogs (100) – Judge: M Trollip

  1. H vd Merwe Jem 83

  2. WA Hugo Adam 82

  3. A Gunter Connie 80

  4. P Strydom Mac 79

  5. A Philip Mirk 71

 

Day 2

 

Juniors (90) – Judge: A Philip

  1. G Staegemann Cait 77

  2. AJ van Wyk Roxy 72

  3. J Swart Penny 71

 

Seniors (100) – Judge: I Thompson

  1. J vd Vyver Missy 84

  2. B Lloyd Plaidy 84

  3. A Philip Zap 84

 

Top Dogs (100) – Judge: J vd Vyver

  1. P Strydom Mac 92

  2. H vd Merwe Jem 88

  3. M Trollip Diesel 86

  4. A Gunter Connie 85

  5. WA Hugo Adam 83

Western Province Sheepdog Club

Dog of the Year Trial – 19 & 20 July 2023

Watergat Farm, Riversdale

Being in the middle of an extremely cold wet winter the trials field was unusually soft under foot with a good covering of greenery. Owner Jurie vd Vyver provided a flock of healthy SA Mutton Merino ewes, which had just come from grazing in the mountain, for the event.

 

Mutton Merinos are a large framed dual purpose sheep and these were by far the biggest ewes we’ve trialled on. Despite their size the ewes moved freely but some proved difficult at the pen where they had to be “pushed” in. The weather throughout the event was cold with intermittent light showers but thankfully no high winds.

 

The field is rectangular, virtually flat and bounded by fences and comfortably allowed for a 400m outrun for the top dogs. Being a flat field and the ewes moving freely the cross drive proved a challenge. Despite this there were good scores throughout with Andrew Philip and Zap qualifying out of the junior class on the first day and Attie Gunter and Zara qualifying on the second.

 

Thanks to Jurie and his staff and to our sponsors for a well-run and enjoyable event.

 

Day 1

 

Juniors (90) – Judge: M Trollip

  1. A Philip Zap 78

  2. P Strydom Roy 74

  3. P Philip Nan 71

 

Seniors (100) – Judge: A Philip

  1. A Gunter Faffa 82

  2. J Swart Bourne 72

  3. P Strydom Jill 71

 

Top Dogs (100) – Judge: P Philip

  1. A Gunter Connie 94

  2. A Gunter Molly 89

  3. P Strydom Mac 85

  4. M Trollip Diesel 78

  5. M Trollip Nikita 75

 

Day 2

 

Juniors (90) – Judge: A Philip

  1. A Gunter Zara 85

  2. AJ van Wyk Roxy 84

  3. J Swart Penny 76

 

Seniors (100) – Judge: M Trollip

  1. A Gunter Faffa 94

  2. J vd Vyver Missy 91

  3. A Philip Zap 90

 

Top Dogs (110) – Judge: I Thompson

  1. Y Fourie Kwagga 98

  2. H vd Merwe Jem 97

  3. A Philip Mirk 96

  4. P Strydom Mac 96

  5. P Strydom Kyla 94

WITS Sheepdog Club

DOY Trial – 17 & 18 June 2023

Bordercrest, Muldersdrift

The DOY was originally was originally scheduled for 30 June / 1 July 2023. In order to facilitate entries of competitors travelling North from the Lamberts Bay trial, the date change proved a success. The club thanks each competitor for making it such a success.
 

25 and 26 official entries made up each of the 2 days. The trial was held on Elsie’s little farm “Bordercrest” in the Cradle of Humankind Muldersdrift near Krugersdorp. The course was very visible and the field was short eragrostis land – soft underfoot. Gates, shedding ring and pen were a striking white. The pen had a metal gate at the back and for the closing gate for the sheep to pen more easily! Weather was typical Gauteng winter days. Sunny, mild and hazy.
 

The sheep were Letelle Merinos separated in 2 groups. One group were young ewes with close to yearling ewes for Beginner and Juniors. Second group were a mixed bunch of young and slightly older ewes for Seniors and Top Dogs. All sheep were in good condition. On the first day they were flighty as Letelles can be. Dogs had to take time and keep off for them to settle into a steady pace. Saturday runs were a test for Beginner Junior and Senior dogs. Top Dogs coped well. The second day they proved to be wily and clever at the pen causing time for the team.
 

Thank you to everyone for making another “Townie” DOY a success despite the challenge of sheep. Well done to our judges, sheep stewards, and competitors.

Till another time in Gauteng, good training, happy trialling, and the best of luck. Love your dog and your sport!

RESULTS 


Wits I – 17/06/2023

Beginners: / 75        C Taylor
1.  N/A

 

Juniors:  / 90                  E Portch    
1.  BRIONY *  E Jammy        71
2.  REN         R vd Ruit         71
3.  WHISKEY  J Ludick          70
4.  TESS        R Pretorius      67
5.  SKYE         N Bowie         64
       

Seniors:  / 100        E Portch
1.  ELKE        R Pretorius        86
2.  MAXIM *   E Jammy          67
3.  N/A
4.  N/A
5.  N/A

 

Top Dogs:  / 110    E Portch
1.  HEMP       R vd Ruit        88
2.  JACK        R Pretorius      82
3.  PENNY     R Pretorius      80
4.  PIP           R vd Ruit        66
5.  SPRITE     J Ludick       45


Wits II – 18/06/2023
Beginners: / 75        C Taylor
1.  MAX        D Coleman        55

 

Juniors:  / 90                  E Portch    
1.  HEMP        M Portch            77 COM & Qual
2.  TESS         R Pretorius         75
3.  SKYE         N Bowie             75
4.  BLU          W Hundermark    71
5.  WHISKEY   J Ludick             66

 

Seniors:  / 100        E Portch
1.  SPOT         C Armand        67
2.  MAXIM *    E Jammy         65
3.  ELKE          R Pretorius      57
4.  COLA          J Ludick          54
5.  MEG *        M Portch         41

 

Top Dogs:  / 110    C Taylor
1.  PIP          R vd Ruit        91
2.  JACK        R Pretorius     91
3.  PENNY     R Pretorius     77
4.  HEMP       R vd Ruit       67
5.  SPRITE        J Ludick      66

 

Best Beginner/2 days MAX        D Coleman
Best Junior/2 days     TESS        R Pretorius
Best Senior/2 days     ELKE        R Pretorius
Best TopDog/2 days   JACK        R Pretorius

 

West Coast Sheepdog Club

DOY Trial – 10 & 11 June 2023

Betties Ville Farm – Lamberts Bay

For the second time this season we headed to the west coast town of Lamberts Bay but to a new venue, Betties Ville, where farm owner Hugo Louw had offered a wonderful venue and a flock of Dohne Merino yearlings.

 

The field is also a centre pivot land that’s been fallow for the past season and after the unseasonally good rains had a good coverage of greenery. The field sloped slightly up from the handler’s post but from about 300m there were undulations making visibility for the top dogs very tricky.

 

Added to this there were power boxes which obviously resembled people and caught many a dog, with the dogs casting on them. They had to be re-directed and a number crossed their casts.

 

The cross drive also caught a number of handlers in the higher classes. In the junior class where the handler may leave the post on the drive scores were higher with host WA Hugo and Sally qualifying into seniors on the first day.

 

On the longer gathers in the senior and top dog classes getting the yearlings to flow proved a test, not to mention keeping them on the straight line.

 

Thanks to the West Coast club for a testing but most enjoyable trial and to Hugo Louw for the venue and sheep. Thanks also go to Optimizor dog food for their generous sponsorship of the event.

 

Day 1

Juniors (90) – Judge: M Trollip

  1. WA Hugo Sally 83

  2. A Philip Zap 72

  3. J vd Vyver Skye 71

 

Seniors (100) – Judge: A Philip

  1. P Strydom Jill 75

  2. A Gunter Faffa 70

  3. B Greeff Maya 52

 

Top Dogs (110) – Judge: WA Hugo

  1. H vd Merwe Jem 90

  2. M Trollip Diesel 85

  3. R vd Ruit Pip 70

  4. P Strydom Kyla 60

  5. A Gunter Molly 58

 

Day 2

Beginners (75) – Judge: A Philip

  1. D Coleman Max 56

 

Juniors (90) – Judge: M Trollip

  1. A Philip Zap 75

  2. J Ludick Whiskey 71

  3. R vd Ruit Ren 68

 

Seniors (100) – Judge: A Philip

  1. WA Hugo Sally 80

  2. J Ludick Cola 72

  3. B Greeff Maya 59

 

Top Dogs (110) – Judge: WA Hugo

  1. H vd Merwe Jem 96

  2. A Philip Mirk 90

  3. M Trollip Diesel 78

  4. R vd Ruit Pip 77

  5. J vd Vyver Sissy 72

Sheepdog Association of Zimbabwe

Dog of the Year Trial 25 & 26 March 2023

Strathlorne Farm, Enterprise

28 & 29 March 2023

Bramber Farm, Ruwa

The second set of trials for the 2023 season took us up north to Zimbabwe.  I (Mark Trollip) was flown up to judge the two events.  The first two trials took place at Strathlorne Farm, north of Harare, where Hector and Jenny Ludick farm with tobacco, sheep and some row and cover crops.

The trials field was bounded on both sides by trees and sloped slightly downwards from the bring gates making visibility at the top of the 380m top dog set out limited.  The field was wide enough to allow for a good cross-drive and for the lower classes visibility was good all the way allowing for either a left or right-hand outrun.  The field was soft under foot, being Rhodes grass that had recently been cut.  Jenny provided a flock of healthy Sabi/Dorper crosses for the event.  Sabi is an indigenous breed of fat tailed hair sheep.

The ewes moved well if not harassed but were heavy to the right with many a handler missing the bring gates.  They also moved well for drive and penned relatively easily on the first day.  On day two penning proved nearly impossible with only two or three handlers managing to close the gate.  Because of the way the sheep “velcro” themselves together, it was decided to shed after the pen in the top dog class.

Thank you to Hector and Jenny for a well run and enjoyable event!

 

Day 1

Beginners (75)
1. V Render        Rogue        61
2. V Render        Bee        47
3. N Bowie        Skye        44


Juniors (90)
1. J Ludick        Cola        67
2. R vd Ruit        Ren        59
3. C Armand        Spot        55

Top Dogs (100)
1. R vd Ruit        Calla        84
2. R vd Ruit        Pip        82
3. J Ludick        Sprite        69
4. R vd Ruit        Hemp        48

Day 2

Beginners (75)
1. N Bowie        Skye        59
2. I Kilpert        Jodie        56
3. V Render        Rogue        52

Juniors (90)
1. J Ludick        Cola        66
2. G Armand        Riley        61
3. J Ludick        Whiskey    57

Top Dogs (100)
1. R vd Ruit        Hemp        72
2. J Ludick        Sprite        44
3. R vd Ruit        Calla        43
4. R vd Ruit        Pip        43

 

Sheepdog Association of Zimbabwe
Dog of the Year Trial – 28 & 29 March 2023
Bramber Farm, Ruwa

We moved south-east to the village of Ruwa and Bramber Farm of Rose and Stu Van de Ruit.  Rose had set up a course on her familiar field but reversed the direction to allow for a longer cross drive.  Once again the going under foot was soft with the “vlei” grass that had recently been mowed.

With the field being reversed the left outrun for the top dogs would require the dog to bend in round the corner of a fence before moving out again.  For the junior classes there was good space to send either left or right.  Visibility was excellent with the field sloping ever so slightly down from the handlers post before a subtle rise again.

Rose provided a mixed flock of young and old ewes.  They generally moved very well with higher scores the order of the day, had it not been for a number of handlers missing the bring gate on the first day they would have even been higher.  Top dogs had to negotiate a Maltese Cross before penning making their runs out of 110.  

On the second day it was like it all came together, the hours of training Rose had put into the newer handlers, advice taken to heart resulting in wonderful scores and a number of qualifiers.  
In the beginner class, the first four handlers all qualified.  They will now compete in the junior class even with a young dog in the future.  In juniors, Caroline Armand and Spot qualified into seniors, by winning the class and obtaining 85%, with a fantastic run.  Top dog scores were also good.

Thank you to Rose and all the handlers for their hard work making the event a great success.  Also thank you to Montego Pet Nutrition for their sponsorship and presence at the event.

As a judge for the events I would like to thank all the Zim members for their very generous hospitality!

Day 1
Beginners (75)
1. I Kilpert        Jodi        62
2. V Render        Rogue        60
3. N Bowie        Skye        57
Juniors (90)
1. J Ludick        Cola        72
2. J Ludick        Whiskey    69
3. C Armand        Spot        67
Top Dogs (110)
1. R vd Ruit        Calla        65
2. R vd Ruit        Hemp        60
3. J Ludick        Sprite        54
4. R vd Ruit        Pip        49


Day 2
Beginners (75)
1. K Holme        Poppet    72
2. N Bowie        Skye        71
3. I Kilpert        Jodi        71
4. V Render        Bee        65
5. V Render        Rogue        60
Juniors (90)
1. C Armand        Spot        82
2. J Ludick        Cola        78
3. J Ludick        Whiskey    76

Top Dogs (110)
1. R vd Ruit        Pip        91
2. J Ludick        Sprite        85
3. R vd Ruit        Calla        70
4. R vd Ruit        Hemp        69

West Coast Sheepdog Club

DOY Trial – 17 & 18 December 2022

Steenbokfontein Farm – Lamberts Bay

Our 2023 season got under way with the traditional opener on the farm Steenbokfontein on the South-West Coast of the country. The town of Lamberts Bay lies about 2hrs north of Cape Town on the Atlantic Ocean. With the venue virtually on the sea we’re able to trial in December with the cool breeze off the ocean keeping temperatures around 20 degrees.

 

This year the usual covering of wild fig had been scorched after an exceptionally dry season. The week before the trial had however seen some very welcome rains making the sand soft and green shoots starting to emerge. The resident flock of Dorpers were a bit leaner than usual but that didn’t in any way stop them from being a challenge. They’d often split for no reason with one just taking off, making them difficult to read.

 

The field allows for good outruns with the top dogs having to gather at some 350m. The sheep were clearly visible at the set out posts for the lower classes but for top dogs there were some subtle undulations where the dogs disappeared at various points and the handler had to trust the dog on the lift. A number of top dogs and seniors had to either be whistled in or blown out on the outrun.

 

On the gathers, the ewes were heavy to the exhaust side and if the dog didn’t immediately assert itself they’d take off, but push too hard and they’d run down the course. The cross drive gate also proved tricky as they’d take off on the last part of the cross drive and one had to be spot on line to get the gate.

 

Shedding, penning and singling were some of the easier tasks. Despite these challenges there were a number of very good scores, on the first day Lizette de Waal and Lisa qualified out of the beginner class with a great run and a score of 66/75. On day 2, veteran handler Henry vd Merwe qualified out of the senior class with Lisa, winning with a score of 90/100.

 

Our thanks to host WA Hugo and the West Coast Club for an enjoyable event, and to Nico de Waal who had arranged sponsored prizes.

 

Day 1

 

Beginners (75): Judge – A Philip

  1. L de Waal Lisa 66

 

Juniors (90): Judge – H vd Merwe

  1. A Philip Zap 72

  2. A Gunter Zara 66

  3. WA Hugo Sally 65

Seniors (100): Judge – M Trollip

  1. P Strydom Jill 89

  2. A Gunter Faffa 80

  3. H vd Merwe Lisa 62

 

Top Dogs (110): Judge – P Philip

  1. M Trollip Diesel 94

  2. J vd Vyver Sissy 91

  3. P Strydom Kyla 90

  4. P Strydom Mac 90

  5. A Philip Mirk 87

 

 

Day 2

 

Juniors (90): Judge – H vd Merwe

  1. AJ v Wyk Roxy 67

  2. A Gunter Zara 64

  3. P Philip Nan 59

 

Seniors (100): Judge – M Trollip

  1. H vd Merwe Lisa 90

  2. A Philip Lin 85

  3. P Strydom Jill 82

 

Top Dogs (110): Judge – J vd Vyver

  1. A Gunter Molly 102

  2. M Trollip Diesel 98

  3. A Philip Mirk 97

  4. A Gunter Connie 96

  5. H vd Merwe Jem 95

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