Toys & Training

Threat and reward for Liam Park at New Zealand Sheep Canine Trial Championships

Liam Park, initially from Palmerston, is working as a inventory supervisor within the King Nation. Photograph / Equipped

The hunt programs on the New Zealand Sheep Canine Trial Championships have been dominated by North Islanders and, on day one, Palmerston lad Liam Park discovered himself on the chief board of the zigzag course. And there he stayed proper to the tip.

The week began off moist on the occasion within the King Nation. Moist-weather gear was a should as opponents squinted up by way of the drizzle to the hilltops, whistling their canine on.

Day one was significantly damp and the sheep have been sulky, however Liam (25) and his huntaway bitch Threat have been fortunate to be drawn three “affordable” sheep within the afternoon.

“I knew Threat had it in her to do properly, she has been going properly at work, nevertheless it all the time simply relies upon how issues go on the day.

“I used to be tremendous rapt to make the chief board, and I assumed it could be fairly cool to remain on for a day or two. However every day my identify stayed on, the extra nervous I acquired,” Liam stated.

He was requested to assist liberate the sheep on the zigzag course later within the week.

“I watched fairly a couple of runs that have been fairly tidy and puzzled every time if that was the run that was going to bump me off.”

The runoff on the ultimate day was probably the most nervous Liam reckoned he had ever been.

The course had a difficult “leveller” on the high which was make-or-break for a lot of opponents, however Threat did an excellent job, and the pair went from seventh after their first run to fourth after their second.

“It was fairly surreal, to be trustworthy. I’m nonetheless fizzing from the entire expertise,” he stated.

The camaraderie of the week had been a spotlight.

“I’ve had my hand shaken, properly and actually.”

Not initially off a farm, Liam completed college at East Otago Excessive Faculty and went to assist his good friend Logan Clulee contract gorse spraying at Mt Watkins Station, close to Waikouaiti.

He found there was a shepherd job occurring the property and approached house owners Dave and Sarah Smith. They took him on, and with the job got here an previous huntaway.

He rapidly gained farming data, grew his staff of canine, and loved 4 years working for the couple.

Liam Park and huntaway Risk finished fourth in the zigzag at the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Championships recently. Photo / SuppliedLiam Park and huntaway Threat completed fourth within the zigzag on the New Zealand Sheep Canine Trial Championships not too long ago. Photograph / Equipped

He attended a canine coaching day hosted by Lloyd Smith and have become good mates with Tom McIntosh, a neighbouring shepherd from the North Island and a eager canine triallist.

“We did plenty of canine coaching collectively and he taught me a good bit.”

On shifting to the North Island, initially to work as an informal, Liam stated the change in canine work up there was “night time and day”.

“The nation is simply a lot steeper. You virtually all the time have to hunt the replenish hill. There’s much more room for error and there is all the time a component of stress.”

The farms additionally tended to hold extra inventory items per hectare so the workload relative to the world of land could possibly be fairly excessive.

It’s this constant huntaway work that Liam attributes to the domination North Islanders present on the chief board, significantly within the hunt programs.

“Lots of younger guys are getting loads sharper of their coaching, too; actually nailing good sides on their canine and simply working exhausting to get a canine with actually sturdy steering gear,” he stated.

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