Serious Competition

ImageImageOne of the things I am constantly trying to bring to Robin’s attention are many of the traditions and goings-on that make NZ, NZ. Cannot find it anywhere or not to many other places. Well today was one of those days. Living in a valley surrounded by farms and wineries its not to hard to find examples of that life.

This week Blenheim is hosting the South Island Dog Trails. Dog trails are VERY serious competitions where sheep farmers race the clock to herd sheep up an hill or over/around a series of obstacles using their dog to push the sheep in a certain direction.

Using only their mouth to whistle and some verbal commands these dogs are so well trained working dogs that they rise to the occasion and move these sheep in quick fashion too. Partly b/c they are working dogs they crave the work, but also b/c they have such a bond with their master. Don’t forget they are working animals and if they don’t perform they would be sold or even something worse.

its not all about the competition either these dogs do this on a daily basis its a way or life. Many of these farmers or musterers as they are called have to muster sheep in some very remote and inaccessible parts of the NZ high country. And so a dog is a necessity. Too steep for a bike, even a horse so often just the musterer and the dog.

Here are some photos from today. Also glad to have allowed Robin to have seen and experienced this. check out the color of the sky also.

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