Rain fails to dampen test of top dogs

DESPITE threats that rains would more than just dampen the competitors, the Supreme Australian Dog Trial Championship and Trans-Tasman Test is under way in Campbell Town this weekend.

The nation’s best sheepdogs have been competing across the course of the week, out from under a cloud that could have truly disrupted the competition.

Competition grounds at Campbell Town avoided the worst of the deluge, it still managed to disrupt logistics of the championship. Closure of commercial shipping in the Mersey River by TasPorts prior to the rain event last week meant many mainland competitors were unable to cross the Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania, putting significant delays and pressures on the competition structure. But come Sunday afternoon, the port reopened and most competitors were in the state by Monday evening.

Australian Sheepdog Workers Association president Michael Grant said the event was now back on track, with the Supreme competition well under way and the potential members of the Australian representative team being watched with a careful eye.

“It’s getting close to being back on schedule now, everyone is here getting a chance to have a run, we’ll be on track by the weekend, Mr Grant said. The New Zealanders and their dogs touched down in Launceston on Wednesday looking to defend the Wayleggo Cup, a title they have held for seven straight competitions.

“The Australian team that will be versing the New Zealanders in the Tasman Test this weekend has been chosen, so they’ll be used to the course come the weekend.” The team selected consisted of Mick Hudson (NSW), Grant Cooke (WA),Milton Cross (SA) and Jeff Gibson (QLD).

The Supreme will continue through until Sunday, when the finals will be held at 8am. The Tasman Test will be held over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, both events being held at the Recreation Ground in Campbell Town.

“Campbell Town didn’t get the rains that the north received, so the ground is looking great, the sheep are looking great and people are out loving the sunshine. “We’d love to see people come along and support,” Mr Grant said.