AELEC played host to more than 160 dogs over the weekend as competitors from as far as Darwin to Tasmania battled it out at the 2017 Australian Cow Dog Challenge (ACDC).
The ACDC open trial event boasted $18,000 in prize money, making it the richest dog trial in the southern hemisphere.
Robert Johnston was declared the Cobber Open Trial winner with his dog Shady Acres Zac, taking home $10,000.
The challenge also featured the Australian Cow Dog Sale, for pups born October 1, 2016, or later, and the Australian Cow Dog Working Dog Sale.
The inaugural event, established to promote the breeding, training and welfare of Australian working cow dogs, is the brainchild of Attunga dog breeder Ian Cox, Texoma Working Dogs, Tamworth vet Tim McVey, and former Tamworth woman Maree Balmain, now based at Julia Creek, Queensland.
Mr McVey said the inaugural event boasted 163 trial dogs and 111 dogs up for sale.
“We have people here from Darwin to Tasmania,” he said.
Among them was 80-year-old judge Warren Jenkins from Julatten in North Queensland, who spends his time judging similar competitions across the sunshine state.
“It’s been good here,” Mr Jenkins said of the calibre of competition in Tamworth.
“Good handlers and good dogs.”
Mr Jenkins has no plans to hang up his judging hat any time soon.
“I’m too young to retire,” he said. “I’ve got too much to do still.”
Cobber Open Trial Results:
- 1st Robert Johnston with Shady Acres Zac
- 2nd Peter Crowe with Capree Blue
- 3rd Dave Bennett with Benrose Spring
- 4th Paul Wroe with Brutonvale Jatz
- 5th Craig Ervine with Shady Acres Tab