Collie club celebrating 75 years

Putting on a show . . . Tuapeka West Collie Club president Aussie Wettenhall and his two furry companions will be ready for this weekend’s dog trials in Tuapeka West. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

The Tuapeka West Collie Club is holding its 75th annual dog trials.

The dog trials are being held this Sunday at Kanuka Hill Farm on Remarkable Rd in Tuapeka West.

Club president Aussie Wettenhall has been looking back at the roots of the club’s beginnings.

He said locals had always been heavily involved in the club.

‘‘With our locals, there has always been a Young family member on the committee since the club began.

‘‘They’ve contributed endless support and dedication, including the use of their property for the trials.’’

Mr Wettenhall said the club was a small one, but everyone helped out in their own way.

‘‘We’ve got a lovely little club here. Everyone gets involved and gets jobs done. We always have successful trial days.

‘‘We’re doing this Sunday, so most people can come around and have the opportunity to get involved.

‘‘We like getting all of our members of our club, other locals and visitors from other clubs along as well.’’

Mr Wettenhall has the history of the club from its beginning to the present day, and hopes to create a book to present at the winter prizegiving.

‘‘We’re hoping to have a bit more of an upmarket prizegiving this year for our 75th, and we’ve doubled our prize money for the occasion,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got special things in the works and with the terrific sponsorship we have, we’re able to host these events.’’

Mr Wettenhall said the club had deliberately selected past members for the judging of the four events.

‘‘We’ve got the long pull, hold in ring, then the short pull, drive and yard, then the zigzag hunt and then the straight hunt,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re becoming more of an older club, but we do get young blokes and particularly more females having a go, which has had to get us oldies sharpening up our game.’’

He said heads started at 7am and hunts at 9am, and the public were more than welcome to trickle through during the day.

‘‘Dog trials pretty much began with a couple of blokes saying their dog was better than the other in rounding up sheep, which has made for the fun of it all these years.’’