A KELPIE with natural no-nonsense get-the-job-done purpose has won the CopRice Victorian Yard Dog Championship at Casterton at the weekend.
Livestock contractor Travis Scott’s said six-year-old Broken River Kev used his natural instinct and work to score 98 in his final run for an overall winning score of 275.5 points.
“The sheep had been around before so they were a little bit more stubborn this time, but his work that he does every day for my contracting business is what shone through.
“He picked those flows for me and he got in the right spot and got those sheep to flow for me and made it real easy for me.
“I just had to ask him to stop for me very now and then.”
Glenthompson breeder Joe Spicer placed second with Go Getta Basil with 274 points, and equal third on 271.5 points with his Go Getta Clue and Travis’ dog Hilton’s Pin.
Travis said Kev has won about 13 open utility and yard trials. He was placed second in last year’s state yard championship and was the 2016 Victorian Dog of the Year with the Victorian Yard Utility and Farm Dog Association.
“I didn’t really start trialling him until he was nearly three.
“He had won one novice trial and got kicked by a bull and rupture his bowel and had 40 centimetres removed,” Travis said.
“But he got a secondary infection and nearly died, he got down to 11 kilograms and so it was a 12 month recovery.
“I just eased him back into trialling and I didn’t think he would go back to work.”
But Kev won his first trial back, an open Ballarat and then another at Stockdale, then two others.
“That was when I realised I had a pretty handy dog, OI better go home and train him a bit better.”
Travis said Kev can be pretty arrogant.
“There’s nobody else but him in his life really, he only concerns himself with Kev and that’s it; around the camp he doesn’t get involved or play with other dogs, he just does his own thing.
“But that shines through later on in work, when I need him to think for himself and do his own thing,” Travis said.
“He does his best work while my head is down and crutching or drafting ewes and lambs, he just deals with it down the back, I don’t have to say ‘left or right and stop or anything’, he just keeps the sheep flowing to me.”
Travis also gave credit for his performance to veteran Kelpie stalwart Nancy Withers who gave him some advice gleaned from an old handler friend who could hardly be heard directing his dog.
“She told me to just shut up and stop talking and get the job done.”
Score of 98 clinched victory for Kev
Championship judges Gary Sharrock and Matthew Johnson gave Kev a score of 98 out of 100 in his final run, giving him the points to outscore the other finalists, particularly second placegetter Go Getta Basil.
Mr Sharrock said Kev was a dog that worked with purpose in the championship final and throughout the trial.
“He was a dog that had plenty of purpose and what he did, he did right the first time.
“He took the most of every opportunity and just made things happen; he didn’t wait for things to happen,” he said.
“That was the main thing that stood out to us and in my opinion the top five dogs in the championship were all dogs with a lot of purpose and it’s something people don’t talk about much nowadays.
“A lot people have sort of forgotten about it,” he said.
“A dog with purpose is a dog that comes up the race and he knows which sheep to topknot or which sheep to bark; he doesn’t have to be told, it is just natural instinct and purpose.
“That’s probably what got the dog through on those tougher type of sheep.”
Mr Sharrock said the ability to have ‘purpose’ is a genetic trait.
“It is not something that you can put into a dog.
“A good yard dog is not different to a good paddock dog,” he said.
“A good paddock dog knows exactly where to be and he breaks of his stock and does all those things right and a good yard dog with purpose they know where to position themselves and when to come up the race and which sheep to topknot or bark at.
“They stay there until they’ve completed the job and then they get back and go and mind their business,” he said.
“A calm dog with strength and purpose was the type of dog you needed to win that type of trial.”
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