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New Zealand Team Set For Home Nations Test

New Zealand Team Set For Home Nations Test

If experience counts for anything, the first NZ Sheep Dog Trialing team to travel away to a World Championships is well on its way.

With a combined 140 years of involvement in dog trialing, the NZ team has been putting in plenty of time and effort addressing the differences in the course they will be facing at the championships.

The team gathered for a training day in Dannevirke on June 18 and 19 to put their dogs through their final paces on a course replicating the one they will face in Ireland.

The World Championships are taking place on the grounds of Charleville Estate, one of the oldest oak plantations in Europe, which lies on the outskirts of Tullamore.

County Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland.

The event runs over four days (Thursday July 7 ­ Sunday 10 July), with 242 sheep dogs and handlers having qualified from 21 different countries around the world.

Qualifying rounds take place on the Thursday and Friday where trialists compete for a place in Saturdays¹ Semi Finals. The top fifteen pairings from the semi-finals qualify to compete in the Enfer World Sheep Dog Trial Grand Final on the Sunday.

With the team and their dogs leaving on Monday for Ireland, Selwyn Dorward, the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association (NZSDTA) President says it has been an interesting and drawn out process getting the dogs to Ireland and back to NZ without the need for the dogs to go into quarantine.

And much like the All Blacks, the New Zealand Team is expecting tough competition especially from the Home Nations.

³Traditionally they are very strong, and of course it is essentially a home test for them, as the course is their lay out but we have put in plenty of work and we¹ll give them a good run.²

The team gathers in Auckland on Monday, before flying out to the championships on Tuesday.

Long time dog trial supporter, TUX, is the major sponsor of the trip to the World Championships, building on a relationship with the dog trailing community that goes back 37 years.

This will be the second-ever open World Sheepdog Trial Championship. The first was held in 2002 in Bala, Gwynedd, Wales with over 160 competitors from 13 countries taking part. More than 18,000 people watched the trials over the four days.

ENDS

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