The First prize at the first National Sheepdog Trial held a Manuka Oval was the Lord Gowrie Cup. Lord Gowrie was the Governor General during the war years and immediately prior to the Duke of Gloucester. The first trial raised 1100 pounds for patriotic purposes.
The Lord Gowrie Cup has been lost. We would be very interested to hear if any family has memories of it or might have a photo of it being presented. As so many Triallers have a long history with the National you may be able to solve the mystery of what happened to it.
Not the actual cup
All the entries in and we are working on the Draw and it will be ready in the next week. It will be available on this website home page.
With the passing of Greg Prince, sheepdog trialling generally, and the National Sheepdog Trial specifically has lost an outstanding influence on our sport and craft.
I consider that Greg's input into dog trialling over his too few years makes him the most influential figure in all aspects of working dog trialling, breeding, dog education and handler training that we have had in Australia.
When we look at his absolute dominance in three sheep trialling, his competitiveness at yard dog trialling, his genius at training dogs and his ability to communicate his ideas to many other handlers through his many schools, then he certainly stands out. Considering that Greg ran a livestock carrying business often with the same dogs he trialled, indicates the depth of his ability to maximise the usefulness of the sheepdog.
Greg made no secret that the National was the trial to win. the trial's significant historical importance in Australia's sheepdog community, and the records that have been kept since 1942, were important factors in his support of the National The fact that all the previous top handlers, breeders and trainers seem to think of the National with the same regard and respect is supported by the many names that appear on the National Open Winners shields.
When we look at these results of the 74 Nationals that have been decided, Greg has won sixteen times (21% of all the Nationals Opens held) with eleven separate dogs, six of which carried the 'Princes' prefix. Equally impressive is his record of sixteen wins in 27 years (60%) since he won his first National Open with Rosedale Lady in 1989.
Many of these trial dogs went on to have a huge influence on the breeding of our present trial and working dogs. Dogs like 'Princes Clyde' and 'Princes Smudge' and many others come to mind.
As a trailer, Greg was the ultimate, committed competitor, no favours asked or given. When the trial was finished he was very good at what he had a lot of practice at - winning; and equally good at what he didn't practice very often - not winning.
It seemed to me that when the pressure was on and he needed a top score he could 'put it all together' and produce the outstanding performance. I have witnessed this more than once at National finals. I thought that in 2016 working 'Tippers Brigalow' Greg's run in the final showed this ability very well.
I hope these few observations show what an influence Greg Prince has had, and will continue to have for many years, on working sheepdogs. Will his records ever be bettered? I think not, but having said that I remember when it was believed that Geoff Jolly's record of six wins could not be bettered.
It is with sadness, and a sense of loss to the world of working sheepdog trialling that we bid Greg Prince Farewell.
1st Queens Trophy JOHN PERRY WITH BOCO RAFFA
2nd Barry Paton with Patons Sting (equal second)
2nd Mick Hudson with MGH Jess (equal second)
4th Geoff Gibson with Swampoak Myah
5th Charlie Cover with Oakdean Bloke
6th Barry Paton with Dodgers Sting
7th Tony Elliot with OK Cooper
2018 National Improver Champion
1st The National Improver Trophy BILL DAVIDSON WITH MGH BLUE
2nd Laurie Slater with Zeefree Troy
3rd Charlie Cover with Windeyer Reba
We know everyone is desperate to know how the day went but the Results haven't arrived. I am blaming Satellite internet.
The Maiden raffle was won by Bow Cover. Still time to get tickets for two more draws on Sunday. Great odds with maximum 30 tickets per draw.
First: Mick Hudson with MGH Rabbit 183
Second: Bill Davidson with MGH Bluey 179
Third: Carol Trainor with MGH Wisper 172
Fourth: Geoff Gibson with Gibsons Luci 171
Fifth: Leigh Foster with Me Mate Mildred 86
Charlie Cover was born in Coonamble in 1938 and started Sheepdog Trialling as a young man, but his career took him on other paths until he and wife Bow moved to Yass in 1988, where he took up Sheepdog Trialling seriously. The Windeyer prefix was registered by Charlie's father Ron in the 1950's, since that time there has always been a Windeyer dog competing in sheepdog trials somewhere in the eastern states and this continues to this day.
Charlie worked at ANU in Canberra and during this time he trained many athletes in High-jump and Hurdles. He now brings his passion for training and Sheepdog Trialling together to educate both dogs, men, and women in the art of Three Sheep Trialling. Charlie claims this sport is the most challenging because of the involvement of three different species-- human, sheep, and dog.
Charlie has had an active and continuing role in the sport, running the Henty Trial in the Riverina for many years. He has been the NSW Secretary for 10 years, and President of the National Sheepdog Trial for 6 years. This is now renamed the Greg Prince Memorial National Sheepdog Championship in memory of Greg Prince, winner of 16 National Sheepdog Trials.
Come along to the Trial and see these three species interact and the great team work between these magnificent dogs and their handlers.
Contributed by Bill Chalmers.