Still keen to see who's top dog

'I can't give it up'

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2014
clark crystal
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

TRIALS ACTION: Clark Crystal from Tutira competes in the short head and yard course (class 2) at the New Zealand and South Island Sheep Dog Trial Championships at Waihi Station, near Geraldine.

Peter Boys
OLD HAND, NEW TRICKS: Peter Boys is competing in the New Zealand and South Island Sheep Dog Trial Championships again this year.

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Peter Boys has been dog trialling for 50 years and he is still going strong.

Timaru man Boys has been competing for as long as he can remember and he does not have any plans to quit soon.

"I am going to compete for as long as I can - I still have about 10 years left in me," he said, as he finished his turn in this year's New Zealand and South Island Sheep Dog Trials Championships, at Waihi Station near Geraldine.

Boys' dog, 4-year-old Jem, is not quite as old a hand at the championships as her owner, and according to Boys, she has maybe another six years of participating in these events.

"She took part in the Huntaway event and she performed well," Boys said.

His participation in the championships year after year comes from his sheer love of the sport.

"I can't give it up. I love my dogs and this keeps me in touch with good people. You can be the owner, trainer, and breeder, and it can be incorporated in your farm work - you can't do that with horses!"

The championships have not changed much over the 50 years he has been participating, Boys said.

"The entries are larger and the overall standard is very high. But the top dog 50 years ago would still be top dog today. Back in my days, you had to work out coaching yourself. These days, the competitors give you tips if you ask for them."

More women are taking part in the championships and Boys believes it's because the roles women play have changed over the years.

"Women, 50 years ago, stayed at home and cooked and cleaned, now they are out there, doing the same jobs men do."

The trials began on Monday and, weather permitting, will conclude on Sunday.

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- The Timaru Herald

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