29 September 2023

Hometown handler claims victory in the hotly contested Henty sheep dog trials

| Vanessa Hayden
Start the conversation
The winner and placegetters in the Hypro Henty Three Sheep Trial

The winner and placegetters in the Hypro Henty Three Sheep Trial, from left, HMFD Chairman Nigel Scheetz, Paul Darmody, judge Ken Robinson, Paul Elliott, John Perry, Mick Hudson, Tony Elliott, Peter Oxley, Will Goggin and Paul O’Kane. Photo: Kim Woods.

A new Henty resident made the Three Sheep Trial his own at the Henty Machinery Field Days (HMFD), taking out the tough event against the cream of the nation’s best triallers.

Paul Elliott and his border collie Elliott’s Brisket scored 188 points to win the trial from John Perry of Bredbo, and Boco Raffa on 183 points under judge Ken Robinson of Quirindi.

Last year’s winner Mick Hudson of Cobar, with MGH Rabbit, was third on 170 points, Tony Elliott of Gundagai, and Gundagai Frosty placed fourth with 161 points, fifth was Australian representative Peter Oxley of Orange, and Rivlin Caesar, sixth was Will Goggin of Bredbo, and Vaimari Triton on 150 points, and Paul O’Kane of Cobram, with MGH Billabong Creek.

Benalla trialler Dale Thompson and his dog Broken River Jake took out the prestigious Hypro Murray Valley Yard Dog Championships on 186 points.

Equal second was last year’s winner Dean Incher of Adaminaby, and Rafa, and Shane Maurer of Stockinbingal, with Tom on 183 points. Shane also placed fourth with Stuart on 182 points.

READ ALSO The art of keeping kids entertained: Libraries’ holiday program is where science plus creativity equals fun

Sponsored by Hypro Pet Foods, the three sheep and yard dog trial drew 268 entries and was run over the three days of the HMFD on 19-21 September.

For the yard dog trials, the open judge was Andrew King of Tumut; Dean Incher judged the novice, Olly Hanson of Forbes, the improver, and Peter Darmody of Beckom, the maiden.

A retired shearing contractor, Paul Elliott moved to Henty last September from Eumungerie to help his shearing contractor son.

“We have great support for the sport here with the local butcher being unbelievably good to us and the whole community is behind us,” Paul said.

The homebred five-year-old Brisket is out of a homebred bitch belonging to Paul and by a sire carrying genetics from Kevin Bell. He rolled off a win in a cattle dog trial at Molong in August.

Paul Elliott

Paul Elliott of Henty, and Elliott’s Brisket after winning the Hypro Henty Three Sheep Dog Trial. Photo: Kim Woods.

Trialling for 30 years, Mr Elliott rates Henty as one of the most competitive on the circuit, with his last Henty win in 2017.

“If you win Henty, you’ve won a good trial. It was tough out there today, but the sheep and dog worked well.

“I have pups on the ground by him and he is a good sire. I worked four dogs altogether and got bashed all over the paddock, with Brisket the only one making the finals.

“The sheep were consistent from day one to day three. It is a terrific place to trial with a good crowd.”

Mr Elliott said a top dog displayed loyalty and confidence.

“Brisket is the go-to dog at home; if I’m in trouble he is the first one we let go.”

Dale Thompson

Dale Thompson of Benalla, and Broken River Jake won the Murray Valley Yard Dog Championships. Photo: Kim Woods.

In the yard dog trial, Barry Parker of Nangus, and Jess won the novice class on 180 points, Ben Coster of Reids Flat, and Rip won the improver on 183 points, and Matt Whitley of Wagga Wagga, and Giles Creek Sam won the maiden on 188 points.

Dale Thompson from Broken River Kelpies of Benalla competed alongside his wife Carolyn and their team in the Murray Valley Yard Dog Championships. Carolyn placed equal third in the maiden final with Karana Jed on 177 points and fifth in the novice.

Dale bred the seven-year-old Broken River Jake out of Roustabout Girl and by Go Getta Brew.

Roustabout Girl was the stud’s foundation bitch and won the Henty trial in 2016.

“We have been on the road for the week at a couple of trials at Eugowra and Molong, winning both opens. This is the trifecta for him and the third time I’ve won at Henty,” he said.

“It is always a good trial at Henty and it is super competitive.”

Dale said determination and temperament gave Jake the edge in the competition.

READ ALSO D-Day approaches for the wild horses of Australia’s High Country

“He loves his work and has been very consistent from four years old onwards, giving 100 per cent. He is used every day on the farm on sheep and cattle – sheep are his forte, but he stands his ground with the cows.

“He has a great nature and personality but is the alpha male.”

Serving as a northeast zone representative on the Victorian Yard Dog Utility Farm Dog Association, Dale is now aiming for the Victorian Championships at Bairnsdale in October.

“Henty attracts the cream of the crop and it’s always very special to have success here so hopefully we can keep it going. As competitors we all help out to make it all happen.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.