Women make an impression in dog trialling
A couple of female dog triallists gave their male counterparts something to think about at the Oxford Collie Club's Dog Trials.
In a historically male-dominated sport, the top two places in the zig zag hunt, judged by Perry May, went to Nicky Thompson and runner-up Steph Tweed.
The trials have been held by the club for the past 94 years.
This year's event was held in near-perfect conditions, barring some late southerly rain on day two, when most courses were nearing completion.
Club president Lionel Whitwell said the decline in sheep farming had affected many dog trial clubs, and the triallists were fortunate that good-quality sheep had been sourced from local farmers Alan and Wayne Feary.
"The sheep were trucked in and trucked out as the property at Burnt Hill, where the trials are held, has been converted to a dairy farm. The club gratefully acknowledges the support from the owner, Merv Todd, and manager, Duanne Smith, for considerately farming the area to ensure the trials can be held."
The courses provided enough of a challenge to ensure the competitors and their dogs had to work hard to get the sheep through a complete run, he said.
The long head, judged by Steve Pilcher, was won by Kerry Pauling from Springfield. The short head and yard, judged by Paul Ross, was won by Garry Woods. Jed McAlley led the field in the straight hunt, judged by Tony Kinzett.