Woman in a man's field

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 31/05/2014
Nicky Thompson
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE / Fairfax NZ

LONE FIGHTER: Nicky Thompson, from Omihi, is one of the few women participating in the New Zealand and South Island Sheep Dog Trial Championships.

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Nicky Thompson believes you have got to have the hunger to be better than the best.

Women taking part in sheep dog trial championships in New Zealand was unheard of 50 years ago.

These days, however, Thompson, from Omihi in North Canterbury, is living proof of an ever-changing farming community.

Thompson is one of the competitors at the New Zealand and South Island Sheep Dog Trial Championships at Waihi Station, near Geraldine, throughout this week.

"I have been competing in the championships for 13 years and when I started there weren't that many women taking part, but things have changed. More girls are trying and you see more women on farms," she said.

She has one dog, named Base, taking part in the Huntaway event.

"Base has been competing for seven years. My old man trialled and that's where my interest comes from."

She believes preparing for the competition involves a lot of hard work.

"There is time training involved and you have to make sure you are gameday ready."

Thompson is a stock manager and runs the day-to-day operations of a farm.

"The whole working industry has changed," she said.

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