ROCKLAND Springs was again the venue for the third QWCDTA Futurity.
This event was started three years ago and has attracted large numbers of keen competitors, eager to show off their young dogs' abilities. This year there were 56 pups entered in the initial stage, with 34 making the final cut for the trial. The dogs entered this year were arguably the best working breed dogs that have been entered so far in the event. They are required to be under two years of age by July 1 of that year.
The eventual winner, owned and bred by Steve Biles, was Biles Tim, which is just one year old, and unfortunately for other competitors, will be eligible to compete in the futurity again next year.
He is by Natel Archie out of Mealings Dainty, a mating which Steve used quite often with good results. He has strict criteria for the type of dog he is looking for and many do not make the grade, but this process is ensuring great results.
Steve was the very happy recipient of a beautiful buckle, kindly sponsored by Tom and Marcia Berrie, who have been the sponsors of the futurity since it started. The prize money was paid to 10th place and it is a credit to all those who competed in the futurity to have their dogs trained to such a high competitive level at a young age.
Winner of the open trial was Jamie Sturrock from Dulacca, who has been honing his skills away from the trial arena for quite some time, and all of his dogs are showing remarkable consistency since his return. A very happy Gail Sawtell from north Queensland won the novice in two close run offs with Barrie Hughes from Bundaberg. Stan Dunkley, from Rockhampton, won the Maiden trial.
Competitors travelled to Emerald Ag Grow for the open trial over three days. The cattle donated by Paul and Judy Wroe provided good challenges for triallers and although the course is small, and looks easy, it was essential that the dog be placed in exactly the right position to gain maximum points. Full stands of spectators over the three days and they enjoyed the spectacle of the challenge between man, dog and cattle. The Judge, Wayne Wayte, gave out many well deserved high scores and the eventual winner was Steve Flateley from Casino, NSW, who was rewarded for the many kilometres he had travelled to compete.