ONE of the last acts of legendary Australian sheep dog trialler Greg Prince was to find homes for his remaining 13 dogs.
He didn’t want to sell his sheep dogs, so homes were found for them with friends in Victoria and New South Wales.
“He placed them with people they matched,” Mr Prince’s wife Jan said.
Australia lost one of its greatest sheep dog triallers and mentors with the passing of the New South Wales sheep dog trainer, trialler and mentor aged 73 at the weekend.
Mr Prince was the winner of 16 national sheep dog trials, nine supreme Australian championships and represented the national six times against New Zealand in trans-Tasman tests.
He also represented New South Wales several times and won every state championship at least once, apart from the Tasmanian title, because he didn’t like boats, according to SA Working Sheepdog Association treasurer Simone Cross.
He won his last supreme in 2013 in Warwick, Queensland and represented New South Wales for the last time at Seymour in Victoria in October last year.
Mr Prince died early Saturday morning after being diagnosed with cancer in June last year and is survived by his wife Jan and sons Bob, Brad and Greg and their families. His passing has prompted numerous comments from sheep dog enthusiasts across Australia on his Facebook page and those of the NSW Sheepdog Workers and the SA Working Sheepdog Association.
Mrs Prince said her husband competed in his first trial at Murrurundi in New South Wales in the late 80s and his dogs were his life.
“I reckon he might have been a bit half-dog myself.”
For the past 25 years, the couple conducted up to 22 working dog schools across Australia and Mr Prince competed in about 10 trials annually. He first worked dogs as a boy on the family sheep property near Cobar and his trialling career spanned about 30 years.
“He loved helping people, passing on that knowledge,” Mrs Prince said.
A true legend of sheep dog trialling
Mrs Cross said in a Facebook post that Mr Prince was “truly a legend in the sport of sheep dog trialling.”
“He represented Australia both as a worker and as a judge-manager, and was a fierce competitor.
“His name is well known all around Australia for the working dog schools that he ran. His techniques are used today all over Australia,” she said.
“He will be sorely missed. Our love and deepest sympathy is extended to Jan and their family.”
NSW trialler Alison Burrell said Greg Prince would be the most successful trialler Australia had ever seen.
In a NSW SheepDog Workers facebook post, Ms Burrell extended her condolences to the Prince family and said Mr Prince was the most influential dog trialler the country has seen.
“Greg was not only an outstanding dog trialler, he was also a gentleman, friend, teacher, role model and an inspiration to many people in many areas.
“His name will forever be remembered among the working dog community all over the country and will be written in many record books forever. RIP Greg Prince.”
Commonwealth Championship Sheep Dog Trial organiser Bill Paton said Mr Prince won the Dog of the Year at Port Fairy last year and won many other trials.
“He’s got to be the king of Australia in dog trialling I would say.”
Victorian Working Sheepdog Association vice president and treasurer Jean Moir said Mr Prince was a very humble man and an excellent sport. He was also known for his dog-friendly training methods.
“He lifted sheep dog trialling to another level.”
Mrs Prince said her husband enjoyed the many phone calls, emails and visits in Dubbo from sheep dog people from across Australia in the last six months.
A private family funeral will be held for Mr Prince on Friday.
So saddened by the news of the passing of Mr Prince. I was just a fan that loved to see he and his dogs in action. Always a joy for me, he always made it look so effortless. My condolences to his family.
Condolences to Jan and sons. I had the pleasure of meeting Greg and Jan for the first time in 2016 and was lucky enough for Greg to part with ‘China’ for my benefit.
In the short time I knew Greg, you just knew he was a truly great person and was held in extremely high esteem by so many. Rest in peace Greg.
Sad to hear the news of Greg’s death. I have been associated with sheep dog trialling since 1953 and Greg would be the best handler I have ever seen. I have judged him in Qld, NSW, Victoria and the ACT.You are a legend mate. Sympathy to Jan and family. Always be remembered.
On behalf of the Parr family I wish to pass our condolences to the Prince family. My brother Bill Parr competed on many occasions with Greg and had great respect for him as a person and competitor. Also my dear old dog trialling dad Jack Parr — who passed away three years ago — held Greg in high esteem. May you rest in peace Greg.
It is with great sadness I have just learned of Greg’s passing. I met Greg and Jan at the Horton Valley Sheep Dog Trials in 2014. His devotion to his dogs, the supreme team work, mutual respect and expectation between Greg and each dog when competing or demonstrating is cemented forever in the minds of those who were fortunate enough to witness his patience and expertise. I have told many people of one particular event in which Greg was the first to pen the three ‘wild mountain’ sheep with his dog imperceptibly approaching the sheep on seemingly silent commands. Truly amazing. Horton will always be visited with wonderful memories of Greg Prince. Rest in peace.
So sad to hear about Greg’s passing. My husband Joe, who died 18 months ago from cancer, was also a dog trialler and we had a little bitch from Greg in 1995. She started our line of tri-coloured and white on blacks. I have just trained my last pup from the line. He’s 3.5 years-old and is a great little cattle dog. I kept all Joe’s dogs because I am still running the farm, but they are getting old now. Greg was a legend.
So sad to hear of Greg’s passing. He was a household name in our house and a good friend to my dad Brian Harrington, who also passed away. May they now be trialling up in the heavens with the dogs and loved ones gone before them. My thoughts and prayers are with Jan and the family.
I realize Trev has already put a message on here, but I wanted to add how much Greg and his dogs amazed me, especially Clyde. The first time I saw this amazing animal work I saw him dancing covering his stock like a ballerina. It sent shivers down my spine; a feeling I have never had with any other dog. I was hooked and I was the horse person. I see the moves of Clyde, Turbo, Bill, in our dogs every day. You were an amazing person. Rest in peace.
Jan and family, our sincere sympathy to you all. A great man and top dog trialler taken way to soon. R I P Greg. Kevin and Kay Howell.
Condolences to Jan and her family. Greg was the true master and friend. He has been the greatest influence in both breeding and working dogs that Al and I have known. Our breeding of dogs has been totally based on our friend Greg Prince’s bloodlines and we have been blessed to be able to call Greg and Jan our friends. R.I.P. Greg, thinking of you and your family Jan. Trev and Al.
Greg will always be somebody my brother John and Sos Ryan chat about our exploits on the cricket pitch playing for Red Bend College, when we were students there. John and I have fond memories when we spent time with him on his property in Cobar. I have followed his career from Sydney, always feeling proud that we were friends and I could say I knew a champion person.
My condolences to Greg’s family. He was indeed “Prince of the sheep dog world”. I had the privilege of judging Greg and his dogs and can truly say his workmanship was second to none. He had many a battle with my late father-in-law in the trial ring. Vale Greg Prince.
It was an honour to meet you and even greater one to run a dog school with you. Bye old friend.
I was at school with Greg at Red Bend College Forbes where he established himself as an outstanding sportsman,
especially in rugby league. He was truly gifted in all that he did. RIP Greg.
Our condolences to you Jan and family. Our memories of meeting and watching Greg at trials and training days will always be remembered. His knowledge will live on. Will be thinking of you at this sad time. Karl and Cate.
Our dear friend Jan. Our thoughts are with you at this most sensitive time in your life. We’re sure that you will have lots and lots of loving family and friends around you to give you the solace that you need right now.
We are all better people, having had you and Greg in our lives. It’s made us all better people. Greg’s memory will live long in the minds of everyone who was fortunate to have known him. Debbie and Billy Stoppani.
The second school I ever did, I was lucky enough to be with Greg. I will always remember the most important thing to start with your dog is stop and call off. Without that you have nothing. I too this day have his 10 steps written on my white board and often look at them to see where I have to go back too. I was fortunate to know Greg for a very small time. And unfortunate to know Greg for a very small time. He was a lovely man.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Greg. He was and outstanding schoolboy sportsman at Marist Brothers in Forbes. He was a fierce competitor and a gentleman who will be missed by many, R.I.P.
I played rugby at Dubbo in the early ’60s and we regularly got belted at Cobar by the the locals with Greg at 10. He was superb and did play for NSW – could have gone even higher for sure. He came to Dubbo and played for Roos for a few seasons. A real gentleman.
Rest in peace Greg. It was always good going to a trial and watching the master at work in any situation most people wouldn’t be able to handle. You made it look easy. it will be sad not being able to chat or catch up at trials, but we will again one day meet up. Until then, rest in peace. Thoughts to Jan and the rest of the family.
Rest in peace Greg Prince. You are a legend, you helped so many people in and around dog trialling. Your knowledge will live on, in and around dog trialing. You will live on in our memories and our hearts. RIP. Our thoughts to Jan and family.
Condolences to Jan and families. We have lost one of the best dog handlers we have had the pleasure to meet; an all-round nice man and always ready to offer a helping hand with so many questions. We are thinking of you all at this time of great sadness. Fred n Gail.
To Jan and family, sincere sympathies to you and family. Love thoughts and prayers from the Schroder families.
RIP Greg, thanks for your incredible knowledge of working dogs ?.
We have lost a wonderful dog trainer, great dog trialler and all round lovely man. Condolences to all his family and friends RIP Greg.
I will never forget you Princie. You were the best of all. Deepest sympathy to you Jan and your family. Wilco.