Dogged success for Ali, Frank and Holly at Port Fairy

Terry Sim, February 13, 2023

Ali Davies with her Farmers-Encourage trial winner Hilton’s Holly.

MACARTHUR Kelpie trialler Ali Davies and her dogs had a good week in three sheep trialling in south-west Victoria last week.

Ali’s dogs won first and second places in the Farmers-Encourage trial at the Commonwealth Championship Sheep Dog Trials at Port Fairy.

She won with eight year-old Hilton’s Holly, placed second with Kinghayes Gidgee and fourth with Hilton’s Frank. Holly also put up a 77-point run in the Trans-Tasman event. Third place was taken by Neil Whyte with his Barker Vale Cobber, also a Kelpie.

Ali Davies and Hilton’s Frank.

Ali’s Frank then followed this up by making the top 15 in the Novice trial with a score of 88 points, making him the Kelpie with highest first-round score of all classes in the entire week-long event, comparing his performance to the runs of more experienced Kelpie competitors and open trial winners like Gary White from New South Wales and Ken Atherton from Western Australia.

“I love Frank, he is a really enjoyable dog to trial,” Ali said.

Ali said Port Fairy was her best trial to date, after just two years of three-sheep trialling. The experienced yard dog trialler said three-sheep trials are more challenging, but the judging is more consistent and understandable.

“You have to have more of a handle on your dog.

“We just like good paddock dogs as well.”

She said the atmosphere of three-sheep trials is also more relaxing for the dog and handler.

“At a three-sheep trial, when someone pens, everyone claps.

“I just find it a friendlier environment and more relaxed.”

Ali’s husband Richard’s best score at the trial was an 81-point run with his dog Roxy in the Open event, missing out on the final by a few points.

Richard posted an appreciative post on Facebook, congratulating his wife.

“You should be so proud of yourself and you’re team. We sure are proud of you legend. ❤️👍”

The big winners in the Border Collie-dominated Commonwealth event included Doug Taylor and MGH Zeela in the Improver, Jim Dodge with Viewfield Sam in the Novice, Mick Hudson with MGH Rabbit in the Trans-Tasman, Queensland’s Roy Potticary with Delrae Eddie in the Open event and the  Australian Dog of the Year.


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