Yard dog trials on this weekend

Numeralla locals Libby Stewart and Stephen Sellars have been preparing for the upcoming sheep working dog trials in Jindabyne this weekend.

Between them they practise five times a week for about an hour at a time.

Ms Stewart has only recently got into the yard dog trials but her partner Stephen Sellars has been involved for about nine years.

"I started last year. I've been to a few trials and thought I'd have a go," Ms Stewart said.

"Stephen and Neil [Lynch] trained me at home and I got help at Neil's."

Ms Stewart works with a black and tan Kelpie called Doc, and has already had some good results with him.

"I won the Encourage class at Bairnsdale on my firist trial," Ms Stewart said.

She also won the Encourage class and got the highest scoring female handler at Jindabyne last year.

"Everyone is willing to help you," she said.

"It's good to know when you've made it around the course and the hard work has paid off."

Stephen Sellars' interest in yard dog trials started about the time he was working at Maffra Station in 2005 and needed a dog to work with sheep.

"Neil Lynch got me into it and taught me a lot. I also went to the Steve Condell school in Wagga," Mr Sellars said.

Mr Sellars has been quite successful and has collected a few ribbons over the years, winning in the top Open categories as well as being involved with judging and training.

"I've competed locally for about nine years and go to a trial nearly every weekend over summer.

"I try to get to most of them," Mr Sellars said.

Mr Sellars said he enjoys the mateship and on the trial circuit and is working towards the NSW Championship trial this year.

"You end up becoming pretty good friends and everyone helps each other out."

The Monaro Utility Dog Club is hosting its third annual sheep working dog trial at Jindabyne Equestrian Resort this Saturday. Twenty-six handlers and 87 sheep dogs coming from the local area and interstate, will be competing in over four classes of competition: the Encourage, Maiden, Novice and Open categories, with the finals of the Open class to be held under lights on Saturday evening.

One of the event organisers Neil Lynch, of Cooma - who is a dog handler - competitor, trainer and judge is encouraging locals to go along to see some of the talented handlers and their dogs put through their paces, in the comfort of the indoor arena.

Refreshments are available at the venue and entry is free.

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