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Success for local triallists

There was plenty to celebrate for Gisborne and Wairoa dog triallists last week, rounded off by several final placings and yet another South Island title win for Waimata's Merv Utting.

Utting won the South Island Short Head and Yard Championship with Fern and came third in the NZ Championship final.

Utting has won six New Zealand championship titles and now 12 at North or South Island championships.

He first qualified for an Island in 1974.

Tolaga Bay's Leo Edginton won the South Island Championship in the zig zag hunt with his dog Robert and came second in the NZ Championship final, scoring a combined 191 over two runs.

Former Gisborne triallist Angus Spence won the South Island Championship in the straight hunt event with Brin and came third in the final.

Wairoa's Tom Manson and Buck finished runner-up in the seven-dog straight hunt run-off.

More than 250 triallists and nearly 500 dogs took part in the Tux South Island and New Zealand championships near Gore last week in what Gisborne dog trial commentator Ross Buscke said was a “very well-run event”.

“Our Gisborne and Wairoa fellas did pretty well over the whole week,” he said.

That was especially good, given the cold and windy conditions at the start of the week.

Buscke also pointed out Manson as a top performer.

“He had one run on the first day and stayed in all week. He did very well there and he got second in the NZ final with 191.”

Another former coast man, John Bartlett, also had a good showing, winning the Class One long head and finishing fifth in the run-off.

“Our other local guy was Merv Utting, the old campaigner, and he won the South Island short head with 96 and in the final he got 94, so he ended up third with 190.”

Results —

Long head: Brian Dickison, Cole 98.00, 97.50, 195.50, 1; Mark Copland, Don, 98.25, 97.00, 195.25, 2; Neil Evans, Tess, 97.50, 95.50, 193.00, 3.

Short head: Ian (Ginger) Anderson, Jet, 95.75, 96.25, 192.00, 1; Eion Herbert, Bell, 95.25, 96.50, 191.75, 2; Merv Utting, Fern, 96.00, 94.00, 190.00, 3.

Zig zag hunt: William Lott, Liz, 96.75, 94.50, 191.25, 1; Leo Edginton, Robert, 97.50, 93.50, 191.00, 2; Robbie Calder, Ned, 95.50, 93.00, 188.50, 3.

Straight hunt: Jamie Shrubsall, Stag, 97.00, 96.00, 193.00, 1; Tom Manson, Buck, 96.25 95.25 191.50 2; Angus Spence, Brin, 97.25, 94.00, 191.25, 3.

TOP PERFORMER: Tolaga Bay's Leo Edginton and Robert won the zig zag hunt. Pictures by Donna Halley
CHAMPION TRIALLIST: Waimata's Merv Utting and Fern won the South Island Short Head and Yard Championship and came third in the NZ Championship final.