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TRIAL OF SHEEP DOGS.

A Mai of iheep dogs was held on the station of MetStrt Holmes and Campbell, Wanaka, on Wednesday, the 18th instant, which was entered into with great spirit by the shepherds. We also observed a few of th« fair sex present. The trial was only one of many which would be required to show a really good dog for all work, but as this it the first thing of the kind in the district, no doubt another year other trials will be added. The entries were numerous, and the running such as would disgrace no man or dog in any country. The following was the trial : — " Eaoh shepherd, with his dog, was required to drivo three wild hill wethers, turned out of a yard, about * quarter of a mile, put them in a yard of five' hurdle*, without a wing, and return them to the starting place within 30 minutes. The shepherd doing this best, and to the satisfaction of the judges, revsired a prize of L5, the second L3. The entries were: — John Craig's Swisep, lit O. M'Callum'« Keilder, 2nd It. Anderson's May, commended H. Broughton's Trim, commended "W. Little'* Bet, commended R. Watson's Clyde R. Watson's Chance J. Gtoldie's Roy J. Goldie's Yarrow O. M'Callum's Bent H. Broughton's Tweed W. Martin's Hope J. M'Donald'B Bot J. Ednionston's Ben <J. Robson's Bella Itfr B. P. Bayly, Clyde, and Mr T. Allan acted as judges, and Mr H. Campbell as referee, and gave every satisfaction.

following letter accompanied the foregoing Report : — I have forwarded you a report of a Sheep Dog Trial, which was held on Messrs Holmes and Campbell's station at Wanaka, on the 18th instant, which I hope you will favor ma by inserting in your paper. As that is the first trial of the kind I have heard of in Note Zealand, I truat I shall not be thought too bold if, as » nhepherd of considerable experience in Scotland and in Otago, I offer a few remarks on the benefit to be derived by runholders following Messrs Holmes and Campbell's example, and encouraging these trials* On every run Hire th« Wanaka — hilly, and in places rough — a shepherd, however good he may be, u comparatively useless on the hills without a thoroughly good and well-trained dog, on which he can place every dependance. If ho has not such a •dog, he runs great ritk of either leaving a few sheep behind him on the hills when mustering — and this will generally happen in the highest and roughest pieces of country, where they remain cut off from the rest of the flock, and probably escape the ■hearers' hands for a year or more, — or if found in future musters they have such a weight of wool on that they cannot travel with the rest, at all events •re brought in with considerable difficulty ; or if chasing a mob over some rocky precipice or "ieep ferny gully, where many are either smashed to pieces or smothered. Now, sir, we have matches and trials of almost every kind to encourage and perfect the breeding of other useful animals, while the sheep dog, •one of the most useful, is totally neglected, or nearly so, by the majority of flockowners and shepherds. In my humble opinion, it would be greatly to the benefit of masters to see that their shepherds had really good animals to work with ; and to shepherds it would be a great advantage and ease to thorn to keep nothing but well-bred and carefully-trained xiogs, since they are condemned by Government to pay a heavy tax for each one, a tax which I never was even asked to pay in one of tho most heavily taxed countries in the world, and one which I am lure every man who gives the subject any consideration must admit is at once oppressive and unfair, and one which, in an almost purely pastoral country like Otago, every man should do his utmost to abolish. In conclusion, I will say a word or two on employers ; and now I knOw I am touching on " kittle" ground. It seems to mo that the majority of employers make but little distinction between the man ■who is really a shepherd — who has been brought up •to it, I may say, from childhood, and nevor followed any other occupation — and tho man who, with a good stock of what is colonially termed " cheek," gets a long stick in his hand, and any kind of a mangy cur at his heels, and calls himself a shepherd, -at the same time knowing as much about sheep as ho does of the " man in the moon." For I notice that •one stands an equal chanco of employment by tho majority of flockowners, and at an equal rate of wages, as the other. I think if employers gave a greater preference to merit in shepherds it would be much to their advantage, and incite men to strive and become shepherds in something more than name. I am, &c.j Dummies.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NOT18670430.2.14

Bibliographic details

TRIAL OF SHEEP DOGS., North Otago Times, Volume VIII, Issue 202, 30 April 1867

Word Count
842

TRIAL OF SHEEP DOGS. North Otago Times, Volume VIII, Issue 202, 30 April 1867

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