Ken Atherton from the WA Working Sheepdog Association and head of the Wagin Woolorama Sheep Dog Trials Xavier White in the upgraded sheep yards.WAGIN residents are in for a treat, with the Midalia Steel National Australian Yard Dog Championships being held in Wagin from today until Sunday.
This is the first time the event has been run in Wagin, with the event last hosted in WA in Northam in 2005.
Hosted by the Australian Yard Dog Association, the event is a yard only competition which is held in a different state each year.
Ken Atherton of the WA Working Sheepdog Association pushed for the event to be held in Wagin, saying that it came down to either Wagin or Northam and Wagin was the successful town.
The four-day competition, which is open to all working breeds, will comprise of three events; a novice trial to be held on Thursday, an open trail held over Friday and Saturday and the National Yard Trial to be concluded on Sunday.
During the competition, the dogs are put through a range of activities including gathering sheep, working the sheep into a small yard, packing a drenching race and forcing sheep through a drafting race.
The rules of the competition state that the farmer must leave their hand on the drafting gate at all times as an anchor point, with points deducted if it is moved.
Head of the Wagin Woolorama Sheep Dog Trials Xavier White has been busy upgrading the new Woolorama sheep yards with the required elements for competition.
“We used to borrow sheep yards for the Woolorama three sheep competition, but we built new yards recently, with the National Yards Trials in mind,” he said.
“Recently we have added another two races and a drafting box.”
The National Yard Trial event will include two representatives from each state in Australia, as well as the top 13 scoring dogs from the open final, seeing 25 dogs contending for the title of the 2012 National Yard Champion.
The competition, which will be held at the Woolorama showgrounds, is expected to attract a large contingent of competitors from around Australia and promises to be an exciting event with some of the country’s best yard dogs in action.