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Waugh ready for battle at charity sheepdog trials

More than 150 dogs from around the North Island will compete in the Poverty Bay J and T Hickey Charity Sheep Dog Trial here next week.

Entries are on a par with last year but up on most previous years.

There will be just over 60 local dogs competing, with outsiders coming from as far away as Kaitaia, Whanganui, Te Kuiti and Taihape.

“Of the 150 runs, 33 of the triallists are women, including Jo Waugh, the current South Island titleholder,” said trials secretary Lynda Spence.

Mrs Spence said among the 11 novice competitors were six women, including two from Taihape.

The trials will be feature individual and team sections.

“All novice competitors team up with an open competitor for the team event. A team event was introduced last year to try to help novice competitors by providing them with a more experienced competitor to give them guidance leading up to and during the event.”

The three-day competition is being held at the Gisborne Riding for Disabled pavilion at Showgrounds Park from 10am on Thursday and 7.30am on Friday and Saturday.

“We will select 10 qualifying runs for Saturday’s final run-off,” Mrs Spence said.

The event last year raised $9000 for four local charities — Gisborne Riding for Disabled, the Eastland Rescue Helicopter Trust, IDEA Services and CCS Disability Action.

The J and T Hickey Charity Dog Trial Club has raised approximately $250,000 over the 52 years it has been running.

ON TRIAL: A field of more than 150 dogs and their handlers will compete from Thursday next week in the annual J and T Hickey Charity Sheep Dog Trial at the RDA complex. Among them will be South Island champion Jo Waugh, of Matawai, pictured in action at the charity trial last year. File picture