EXCLUSIVE: Taranaki Sheep Dog Trials

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Taranaki Sheep Dog Trials – Exclusive to Country TV

We are thrilled to announce that Country TV will bring the 2017 Taranaki Sheep Dog Trials to the big screen in 5 Episodes from Wednesday, 23 August – 30 September at 7.30pm!

The annual event will be held from 7-9 July with more than 100 competitors and 240 sheep dogs taking part to show off their skills at the Hawera Showgrounds.

The event attracts a broad audience each year and is a must for farmers, vets, animal trainers and psychologists. But the sport also expanded its audience over the past few years with more and more passionate dog lovers competing in the Trial.

The entrants and their dogs must run three sheep within 10 minutes through seven obstacles on the showground floor. But it’s not all about time! Flair, obedience and skill of both, the trainer and the dogs are judged, with points deducted for biting the sheep or causing them to do a full 360° turn.


Highlights of this Year’s Event

With 240 sheep dogs entering the competition, this year’s event registers a record number of competitors taking part in the challenge!

The competitors are coming from all over New Zealand, reaching from Kaitaia in the Far North, to Martinborough in the South, as well as Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Waikato, Wanganui! The Taranaki Region itself will be represented by 40 dogs and their trainers.

Another exciting highlight of this year’s event is the strong representation of female trainers with 25 women alongside their 50 dogs competing in the Trials. And, for the first time ever in the history of the event, the Taranaki Sheep Dog Trial will have a woman as a judge for the competition: Wendy Schmidt, who is well-known in the dog community; she and her dog Polly were crowned the winners of the event back in 2015.



Be ready for New Zealand’s Top Dogs

The annual event attracts many of New Zealand’s top herding dogs: Paul Evans from Ohingaiti and his dog Bryte will be competing in the show. Together, they recently claimed the winning title of the North Island Longhead at the NZ Sheepdog Trial Championships in Whangara, Gisborne.

Further competitors to watch out for are Murray Child with his well-performing herding dog Dice, herself a title-holder from Northland. And Graham Wellington with Murphy coming from Wanganui. Both dogs placed at Whangara in the Longhead Event. And last but not least, Bob Bruce and his dog Cheat from Hawkes Bay, who are first-time winners of the NZ Longhead event will be part of this year’s exciting line-up.



For the Community

With the help of some very generous sponsors, amongst others, Mighty Mix Dog Food, Taranaki Steelformers and Taranaki Farmlands, the event has supported vital rural services for the past five years. This year the event provides sponsorship back to the community by donating $3000 to the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter. With prize money in excess of $4000 over all classes, it promises to be an exciting and quality competition!