Is this the start of a new era?
Over many years, Gary White and Kevin Howell have dominated the National Kelpie Field Trial Championship (NKFTC). In 2017 that has all changed. A young man (Adam James with Tundabardi Buster) from Victoria not only won the trial but managed to get three dogs into the final. Adam remarked at his winning speech that he had been too busy on the farm, before the trial, to do any special training with his dogs. A remarkable feat. Hopefully we see more of Adam and his excellent dogs in years to come.
The 2017 NKFTC was held at the picturesque Alexandra Showgrounds, hosted by the Upper Goulburn Working Dog Group from the 3RD to the 5th of March. There were 22 competitors working 67 dogs in the trial, with representation from WA, SA, NSW, Tas and Vic.
The weather was excellent all through the trial with beautiful autumn mornings, warm days and cool nights.
The ewes supplied by Fox Pastoral at Merton were very strong and consistent throughout but were touchy through the mid afternoons of each day.
The Course was first-rate and the length of the cast was 140 meters. The cast was a little tricky with some natural obstacles (trees) to negotiate, the three ewes were brought through a nine-metre delivery circle and then into a holding pen. The yard work was then completed with twelve ewes worked through a simple drench and draft race. The three sheep that were picked up on the cast were then let out and worked around the course comprising of a gap, Y race and pen.
Throughout the final, the sheep were very sensitive to the position of the dog and did become very difficult if not treated well.
The Judge, Norm Severs from Bairnsdale Victoria did and exceptional job over the competition and his scoring was consistent over the whole tournament. Congratulations are in order for doing a remarkable job in consistent 30-degree heat.
The members of the Committee and the organizers of the provisions must be thanked for the excellent food provided for the trial. All the food made available throughout the day plus hot food for breakfasts and lunches were excellent. They also catered for dinner each night. All dinners were an excellent standard.
Finally, the let-out people and the organizers in the yards did a skilful job with first-rate releases.
Bradley Sisters Memorial Trophy
Unpolished bronze Kelpie Head, cast, stylised map of Australia in wood. Perpetual trophy awarded to Best Type of Kelpie competing in WKC National Trials' . The trophy was donated by the WKC to perpetuate the work and memory of Joan and Eileen Bradley who had been associated with the formation of the WKC and given unbroken service on the committee and who had devoted a considerable amount of time, in association with Barbara Cooper, to the analysis of the connection between conformation (body framework) and efficient and sustained movement. The trophy is awarded to the dog which possesses sound conformation and pleasing ‘Kelpie type’ appearance.
Highest scoring Novice dog worked by a Novice handler outside the final. Ice Bucket donated by the late Mike Donelan who conducted the well known ‘Bullenbong’ Kelpie Stud at the Rock, NSW. The trophy was designed to encourage participation in the trial by novice handler.
CJ Butler Memorial
'Rounded type' shield. In memory of the WKC Foundation President. Originally presented for competition at the Australian Championship Trials, when the trial was conducted annually at Nyngan the home town of the late CJ Butler. Originally awarded to the Kelpie gaining the highest aggregate score it was re-allocated in 1970 to the National Kelpie Trial for awarding to the Kelpie with the highest individual score.
Capree Stud Perpetual Trophy
(Formally Bayer Trophy) Awarded for the fastest time over the completed course - Donated or competition in 1981 by the Bayer Company, manufacturers of Veterinary products.
Coleman Noakes Memorial Trophy
Highest scoring Novice Dog - 3 Columns, laurel wreathe with head imposed on an 8-sided wooden base. Donated by the Noakes family in memory of the late R C ‘Pat’ Noakes who conducted the very well known ‘Woombi’ Stud. The late ‘Pat’ Noakes was highly respected as a Sheepdog Trial Judge and President of the NSW Sheepdog Workers from the time it reformed after World War ll until approximately 1952. The trophy was originally donated to the NSW Sheepbreeder Association. for awarding to the highest scoring Novice dog in the NSW Championships at Sydney. When the trial was no longer conducted by the NSW Sheepbreeders the trophy remained out of competition for some years before being re-allocated to the WKC It is awarded to the highest individual score by a Novice dog.
Frank Scanlon Perpetual Trophy
Best Cast, lift and draw - Silver Tray. Donated by P S L Austin in recognition of the part Mr Frank Scanlon has played in the development of the Kelpie breed. The Scanlon bred strain is highly regarded for possessing naturally good cast, lift and draw.
Lorna Brown Trophy
Awarded to the lady handler working the highest scoring individual dog in the NKFTC
Silver tray. Awarded for the most effective yard performance. Donated by John Gedye of the Scoriochre Stud, Dundonnel, Vic. to provide recognition of dogs who possess effective yard working ability in addition to their ability in the field.
Tarrent Rockybar Trophy
Awarded for the ‘Best Outside’ work in the opinion of the Judge.
W Prendergast Memorial Shield
Bronze Kelpie Head. Perpetual shield: Awarded annually to the Breeder of the winner. Donated by the Prendergast family in association with the WKC - in memory of the late W J ‘Bill Prendergast who's ‘Cudgee’ Kelpie Stud was founded before the turn of the century.
TUNDABARDI BUSTER - A3M-22003-11
Red/Tan Born 18 Aug 2011
Sire: NEALS DEN- A3M-16453-05 (NEALS BUCK x PUDS KATE IV)
Dam: TUNDABARDI CASSIE - A3F-16320-07 (CREEKVIEW JOCK(LEO) x TUNDABARDI KRISTY II)
Bred by: Tim & Rod Cavill
Owned by: Adam James