Charity dog trials to be held indoors

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Indoor dog trials, thought to be the first in the South Island, will be held at the Waimumu Southern Field Days site. The Southern Indoor Charity Dog Trials are expected to attract topflight competitors from throughout New Zealand. The event is to be held in the CowHouse Construction Agri Centre on August 10 and 11. It will also be a fundraiser for the Hokonui St John station rebuild. Southern Indoor Charity Dog Trials chairman Mike Joyce, of Wendon Valley, said it was the dog trialling off-season and an ideal time for the event. ‘‘We thought it would be a pretty good idea,’’ Mr Joyce said. The agri centre was also perfect for the event to be held in. This would be the first time dog trials had been held indoors anywhere in the South Island. Dog trialling under cover had taken place in the North Island, he said. The idea had been talked about for a couple of years. Since making the decision to host the two-day event, the concept had been met with enthusiasm. Businesses were behind the initiative, he said. ‘‘We’re giving everything to St John.’ Southern Field Days secretary Sharon Paterson said the trials would take up an area of 60m x 45m of the 100m x 50m shed. There would be food outlets and a bar, and 15 5m x 5m sites available for businesses to display their wares. Organisers had started selling sites only last week and already about seven had been taken, Mrs Paterson said. The timing of the event was perfect as it was just before farmers came into a busy season. ‘‘The most important thing is it’s free for the public.’’ The trials would include a club team challenge with the team consisting of one open dog, one maiden dog and one novice competitor. The challenge was ideal for budding dog triallists. The idea of the challenge was to get new competitors into the sport, Mrs Paterson said. Novice competitors would be allowed to have someone walk the course with them. The course would be specially designed for the indoor venue, she said. It was hoped tomake the event a regular event at the site. The sheep which grazed the site would be used in the trials, Mrs Paterson said. The event would bring economic benefits to area as a result of the influx of competitors. ‘‘It will be good for the whole area.’’