MORE than 100 sheep dogs will converge on the Korumburra Showgrounds this weekend for the 65th annual South Eastern Victorian Sheep Dog Trials.
Among those working their dogs around the obstacle course to pen three sheep will be an Irish-born student vet, Conor McConnell; Catholic priest, Father Peter Kerin of the Don Boscoe Centre in Brunswick and a woman who has travelled from Tasmania with her eight dogs to compete in a series of trials in Victoria.
South Eastern Victorian Sheep Dog Trials secretary Louise Reilly said the three-day event had been moved to a weekend for the first time in a bid to make it more accessible to competitors and spectators.
The trials kick off at the Korumburra Showgrounds at 7.30am this Saturday, November 9, with 49 dogs already registered for the novice category. There are also categories for local farmers to enter their dogs.
The action continues on Sunday and Monday with 65 dogs contesting the open and improver categories.
Ms Reilly said spectators would be treated to the sights of men and women handlers working in 15-minute blocks to send their dog and three sheep around four obstacles set up all over the showgrounds and into a pen.
Last year’s open winner, Barry McKenzie of NSW, will be one of the judges.
Ms Reilly said the event relied heavily on volunteers like her “right hand man” Ed Thompson from Benison who supplies the obstacles, setting them up and packing them down, and organising the judges. She also praised the efforts of Ricky McNaughton who secured many sponsors for this year’s trials.
Most of the 55 competitors and their partners will camp at the showgrounds where the Korumburra ladies will serve morning and afternoon tea as well as lunches.
Another first this year will be a spit roast dinner and live entertainment with a local, two-piece band.
Entry is by gold coin donation and light refreshments will be sold on-site.