WINNING WAYS: Anthony Attard, Hawkesbury Working Kelpie stud, Young, with his dog Buck (over left shoulder) and progeny by Buck.
A TRIP from Young in NSW to Bendigo has paid dividends for a yard dog enthusiast.
Anthony Attard and his kelpie Buck earned the top honours in the yard dog trial at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show.
The event –which holds pride of place as one of Australia’s premier sheep and wool shows –also played host to some of the country’sbest working dogs and their handlers.
It was Mr Attard’s first trip to the event and the overall win, which earned points of 91 and 92 over two rounds, made the journey extremely worthwhile.
He said Buck –aeight-year-old kelpie –was one of the main sires in the breeding program at his Hawkesbury Working Kelpie Stud.
“He has been competing since he was about 15 or 16 months,” he said.
Mr Attard said the standard of competition at Bendigo was good.“It was a fairly tight competition,” he said.
A pen of Merino wethers was used during the yard dog trial and he said the sheep were good.“I was just so happy to do well …over the moon,” he said.
Despite the high scores for Buck Mr Attard said the dog had scored as much as 98 in NSW competitions.
Initially the trip to Bendigo was to support a stud Merino breeder from Wallendbeen and see what some of the Victorian working dogs were like.
Exhibitors Winston and SueMcDonald of the Royalla Merino Stud made the trip to Bendigo to show their sheep.
“I do a fair bit of work at Royalla and I thought it would be good to go along to support them too,” he said.Mr Attard said the overall demand for working dogs was solid.
He said there was keen interest for dogs which were already started.
“There is always a call for started dogs, a lot of farmers don’t seem to have time to break in young pups and get them going,” he said.
He said there was also growing interest from show societies and agricultural field days to provide working dog demonstrations and educational sessions.In fact, Mr Attardattends up to 20 events a year to run demonstrations with his kelpies.
Mr Attard has been involved with working dogs for most of his life and started competing in yard dogs more than 10 years ago.
His partner Jenny also competed with her dogs in the yard dog trial at Bendigo during the Australian Sheep and Wool Show.