Experience won over youthful enthusiasm in the 2020 Coprice Australian Yard Dog Championships at Lucindale on the weekend where one of the oldest dogs in the field clinched the title.
Eight-year-old kelpie Sunraysia George and his handler Justin Tombs, Armidale, NSW, had previously won two state yard dog titles and the Ultimate Stock Dog in 2016, but Saturday was George's moment of glory, crowned top dog from an outstanding field from five states.
After the first two rounds the duo had a combined average of 83 points to qualify in the top 11.
They came home strongly in the final run with 87.5 points to win the trophy.
Mr Tombs, who is a Dohne breeder, said it was the black and tan dog's "heart" that was his biggest asset moving the sheep through the course.
"Winning this is certainly a highlight with this dog and because he is a bit arthritic this was his last trial," he said.
Mr Tombs - who has been trialling dogs for more than 20 years - said he used George most days on his property but enjoyed meeting great people at trials.
"It is a good test to see where your dogs are at and teaches you a bit too," he said.
George has sired many good dogs too including Donald, owned by Chris Stapleton, Newbridge, NSW, which won the Maiden class at Lucindale.
Despite the South East Field Days being cancelled due to the coronavirus ban on mass gatherings the championships went ahead with only one entrant unable to attend- albeit with a much smaller crowd.
Nearly 500 runs were completed across the four day event.
NSW handlers and their dogs dominated the national championships claiming three of the top four placings.
Runner-up was Adam James, Coolac, NSW, and his dog Myamba Moss on 167 points, while local Travis Ware, Lucindale and his dog Woodja Lace rounded out the top three.
More to come
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