Sheep dog trial contestants pitted their skill against the best at Henty MFD 2023

If you are looking for a new sheep dog perhaps one of these working dog entries at the Henty MFD would be an ideal fit

Judges stand with the winner and placegetters in the Hypro Henty Three Sheep Trial 2023 from left HMFD Chairman Nigel Scheetz, Paul Darmody, judge Ken Robinson, winners Paul Elliott, John Perry, Mick Hudson, Tony Elliott, Peter Oxley, Will Goggin and Paul O’Kane

It was no mean feat for a new Henty resident to capture the top prize and make the Three Sheep Trial his very own at the Henty Machinery Field Days, taking out the tough event against the cream of the nation’s best trialers.

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

Last year’s winner Mick Hudson from Cobar and MGH Rabbit was third on 170 points,  while Tony Elliott Gundagai and Gundagai Frosty landed in fourth place with 161 points.

Just behind the pack in fifth spot was Australian representative Peter Oxley from Orange and Rivlin Caesar, while equal sixth place went to Will Goggin from Bredbo and Vaimari Triton on 150 points and Paul O’Kane from 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.

Paul Elliott from Henty and Brisket take a well deserved rest after winning the Hypro Henty Three Sheep Dog Trial at Henty 2023

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

Sponsored by Hypro Pet Foods, the three sheep and yard dog trial drew 268 entries and was run over the three days of the Henty Machinery Field Days in September 2023.

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

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 added.

Five-year-old Brisket who worked with Paul is out of a homebred bitch and by a sire carrying genetics from Kevin Bell. He rolled off a win in a cattle dog trial at Molong in August.

Trialling for 30 years, Paul 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.

Paul Elliott also added, “A top dog displays loyalty and confidence, Brisket is the go-to dog at home, if I’m in trouble he is the first one we let go,” Paul concluded.

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

Dale Thompson from Benalla and Broken River Jake won the Murray Valley Yard Dog Championships at Henty in 2023

Dale Thompson of Broken River Kelpies 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,” Dale Thompson added.

“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.

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

“Jake 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 happen,” Dale Thompson concluded.