MIKE Hudson, of Cobar, NSW, and his father Pip are hoping to make Australian sheepdog trialling history.
They are at Campbell Town this week to compete in the Supreme Australian Sheep Dog Championships for single handler-dog combinations. They will also represent NSW in the three-round Ted Gaby Interstate Challenge, held as part of the championships.
The top four handlers in the challenge will form the Australian team to compete against New Zealand at the 2016 Trans-Tasman Test series in northern Western Australia.
Mike said that if successful, they will be the first father and son team to represent Australia.
The signs are looking promising as Mike won yesterday’s novice championship, but the Tasmanian pairing of Malcolm Taylor, of Deloraine, and Bernard McGlashsan, of Hamilton, will be out to rain on the New South Welshmen’s parade.
Mike said that he took up trialling as a 16-year-old and continued into his 20s before stopping for about 20years because of time constraints.
‘‘And while we’re here to represent NSW in the interstate challenge, I’ll be trying to beat dad, and he’ll
be trying to beat me,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a competition and we’re here to compete – the dog trialling community is one big family.
‘‘When we’re on the oval, we compete, but once we’re back through the gates, we’re all mates.’’
Pip has worked dogs since he was about 15.
‘‘The children travelled to the occasional trial with us and were born and bred on the land, so they had to do a lot of the work,’’ he said.
‘‘Going to dog trialling was a way of meeting other people and doing something they liked, working stock.
‘‘I don’t really attribute Mike’s success to anything that I put into him.’’
■The trials continue daily from 9am at Campbell Town football ground until Sunday, October 18. Entry is free.