There was a close finish in the final of the Southland Tux Yarding challenge with only 1.5 points separating the top three placegetters.

Robin McKenzie, of Clinton, with dog Ken, finished first on 91.5 points, Angela Leslie and Zoom, of Seddon, were second on 90.5 and Ian Broadhurst, also of Seddon, was third with his dog Porche.

The two-day event was held at the Roy family’s Glen Islay property near Mandeville.

Judge John Macdonald, of Roxburgh, said Mr McKenzie did a good job of collecting the sheep and sending them towards the first obstacle.

‘‘He got away well.’’

Towards the end of the course there was a Maltese cross obstacle where the sheep were moved from one end of the cross to the other and then brought back around through the other side of the cross .

Mr McKenzie also completed this obstacle well.

While the points were close it was more getting the competitors in the correct winning order that was more important to him, Mr Macdonald said.

About the time the fifth competitor started, the sheep were starting to be less easy to move around the course but despite this all eight finalists penned their sheep.

Nearly there. . . Gore Sheep Dog Trial Club member Ray Stewart and dog Ally head their three
sheep towards the pen after completing the Maltese cross obstacle during the finals of the
Southland Tux Yarding Challenge at Glen Islay Station on Thursday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Gore Sheep Dog Trial Club event co-ordinator Ray Stewart said about 107 triallists entered the event, which was slightly down on last year. The event was held during Show Week in Canterbury.

‘‘That took at least 15 Canterbury people out.’’

The Perendale Romney-cross hoggets were, for the most part, well-behaved.

A small group of volunteers had done a good job of running the event.

‘‘We had a great team of workers,’’ Mr Stewart said.

Enjoyable day out. . . Gore Sheep Dog Trial Club member Les Roughan
enjoys watching trialists and their dogs competing in the Southland Tux Yarding Challenge
at Glen Islay Station on Thursday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

‘‘It teaches a dog triallist to handle sheep correctly in a small area with a heading dog rather than a huntaway.’’

He had competed in the event with success until about four years ago.

He was placed fifth one year in the New Zealand final.

The secret of competing well in the event was being patient and for the dog to do as it was told.

‘‘It is quite essential to have perfect control.’’

Now he was aged nearly 100 he was happy to watch.

‘‘I still like watching good dogs working.’’

His father gave him his first working dog when he was aged 5.

‘‘I’ve always loved sheep dogs.’’

When he first started trialling at about age 16 he enjoyed the social aspect of events.

However, one day he realised ‘‘near enough wasn’t good enough’’. ‘

“From there on I started winning a few opens.’’

He had qualified for New Zealand finals since 1982.