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Australian trial culture/norms


Pippin's person
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I'm looking for some information about Australian stockdog trial culture and am having a little trouble. Specifically:

 


  •  
  • Are there large open field trials (with say 400+ yard outruns)?
  • Do trials have multiple classes (e.g. Open, Nursery, Ranch, Novice)?
  • What's the difference between 3-sheep trials and yard dog trials?
  • Are there Australian trials with an International Shed (and thus more than 3 sheep)?
  • What's the rough ratio of men/women involved in trialling at the highest levels? For instance, at the US finals last year, there were 7 women and 9 men in the double lift. In the top 40 it was 18 women and 19 men. Is that comparable to what we might see at Australian trials (roughly)?
  • Do most people use Border Collies at trials or are there a good number of Kelpies as well?

 

Many thanks in advance and a PM is fine. Also, pointing me to a relevant website would be great if there is one (my own search skillz appear to be lacking in this area...)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be interested to hear the answers to these questions too. My guesses and from what I've heard are:

 

[*]Are there large open field trials (with say 400+ yard outruns)? Not usually.

[*]Do trials have multiple classes (e.g. Open, Nursery, Ranch, Novice)? Yes but different: Open, Improver, Novice are some of them.

[*]What's the difference between 3-sheep trials and yard dog trials? 3-sheep trials are usually with Border Collies and held in a smallish field. Yard trials are more Kelpies and are like a AHBA Ranch course.

[*]Are there Australian trials with an International Shed (and thus more than 3 sheep)? I've seen YouTube with gate sorting & backing by Kelpies but not shedding.

[*]What's the rough ratio of men/women involved in trialling at the highest levels? Way way fewer women. 100-1 maybe. lol

[*]Do most people use Border Collies at trials or are there a good number of Kelpies as well? Some use both - Simon Leaning trials both. But generally they hold separate events.

 

There are lots of trial video on YouTube - just search for 3 sheep trials or kelpie trials:

 

 

 

I may be wrong so stand corrected if anyone has first hand experience.

cheers Lani

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I will try and answer a few questions to the best of my limited ability. I am hoping to start trialing my BC and Kelpie next year. The best person on this board to answer who trials regularly hasnt weighed in yet. She could answer all your questions.

 

They have the encourage class - where you can go in the ring with an experienced person, novice, improver and open. In my state they have 3 sheep trials, yard trials and utility trials which is a mix of both. Border collies and kelpies trial together. There is usually a mix of both breeds at the trials. I will be taking both my kelpie and BC to the same trials. The outrun would possibly be about 100m but not sure, just from watching.

 

There are quite a few women trialing and they do well from what I see.

 

There are trials held for kelpies only ion other states but I dont see that in the state that I live where everything trials together. I have a Koolie and I could trial him too if I wanted too and indeed there has been the occasional koolie. The dogs just have to be registered on the working registry and there are sometimes kelpie and BCs mixes.

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If anybody besides me has not heard of Koolies, here is a Wikipedia page on the subject.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koolie

 

I liked that it said, "The Koolie Club of Australia defines the breed based on its ability to work rather than on its conformation. However, most Koolie breeders refer to the Koolie as a breed rather than as a type, and assert that it "breeds true", with various types or strains within the breed."

 

Emphasis mine.

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Yes my Koolie is registered with the Working Koolie Club of Australia which is a split from the Koolie Club due to differences of opinions about breeding practices and ethics on registration of the Koolie. They are not recognised as a breed by the ANKC which is good. They come in a range of different colours and sizes, ears and coat lengths. One old timer and guru of the breed and working club president tells me they went over to America with a boat load of sheep many years ago, 50's I think cant remember what he said and the Americans called them Aussies, and were foundation dogs for the Aussie Shepherd.

 

They are a smart, hard working dog and very keen to please and work both sheep and cattle.

 

Norms Koolies are a well known strain where Norm has bred his type for many years and doesnt allow other people to use his genetics, so all dogs he sells are sterilised. Apparently they are very good dogs according to peole who own them.

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Interesting about the coolies. On another list someone suggested to a poster looking for an old-fashioned farm dog that they get a coolie and posted a link to a breeder. If you just saw the pictures and didn't know otherwise, you'd think most of them were border collies. This particular site said that merles are preferred, but they had reds and B&W, rough and smooth....

 

J.

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They can also look a bit like kelpies, the black and tan shorthaired ones. Merles are preferred but they try and keep away from too much white in the merles they use for breeding and solid colours are also used in the breeding program. My koolie is a big athletic, short coated red merle and looks quite different to a BC or kelpie. They tend to be upright workers although can show varying degrees of eye. Mine has some eye.

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> Are there large open field trials (with say 400+ yard outruns)?

 

Yes in some field or utility and three sheep trials.

 

> Do trials have multiple classes (e.g. Open, Nursery, Ranch,

Novice)?

 

In yard and utility trials here there are Encourage for beginner

handlers, Novice, Improver and Open. In some states they have maiden

and junior classes. Your friend would need to look at the rules for the

different states.

 

> What's the difference between 3-sheep trials and yard dog trials?

 

Too numerous to list here. Your friend should go to some of the websites

and read the rules.

http://www.wkc.org.au/

http://vyufda-inc.com/

http://www.yarddogsnsw.com/

http://www.vwsda.org/

http://www.asdwa.org.au/

 

> Are there Australian trials with an International Shed (and thus

more than 3 sheep)?

 

Not under ASDWA rules but I think there have been a couple of unofficial

ISDS trials. I really don't know anything about them as I do yard dog

trials.

 

> What's the rough ratio of men/women involved in trialling at the

highest levels?

 

Depends on the area but there are a lot more men than women trialling.

I've been to plenty of trials where I was the only woman competing.

 

> Do most people use Border Collies at trials or are there a good

number of Kelpies as well?"

 

Border Collies in 3 sheep trials (which were invented for them) and

Kelpies in Yard and Utility trials. Occasionally you will see a dog of

the other breed competing successfully but there is a real divide

between the groups of people and dogs competing in each type of event. A

few people have both Kelpies and Borders and do both types of trial.

>

 

>

Hope this helps.

Cathy from Oz

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> Border Collies in 3 sheep trials (which were invented for them) and

Kelpies in Yard and Utility trials. Occasionally you will see a dog of

the other breed competing successfully but there is a real divide

between the groups of people and dogs competing in each type of event. A

few people have both Kelpies and Borders and do both types of trial.

>

 

>

Hope this helps.

Cathy from Oz

 

 

I think in my state it must be different as there would appear to be plenty of collies that compete in utility and yard trials along with the kelpies and there is not the divide, with the same core of people frequenting the different types of trials with various dogs.

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