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76th National Sheepdog Trials Championship

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by Vanessa (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
Event: -
Come and support this heritage sport

For 76 years, the National Sheepdog Trials Championship has been providing an annual link between the Capital and Rural Australia.

Join in the festivities at this year's exciting event, which will be staged at Hall Village Showground, from 11 to 17 March 2019.

This previous event showcases the highly-competitive, heritage sport of sheepdog trials. Around 55 top handlers and 200 dogs from all around the country will be participating in this year's championship including state champions from Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. Handlers come from large rural properties across Australia, from smaller farms, towns and cities and this year, an unprecedented 19 women will be competing.

Spectators can expect an extraordinary display of teamwork between the handlers and their amazing dogs and a compelling and nail-biting competition!

The first trial was at Manuka Oval in 1945 at the end of World War II as a fundraiser for Legacy. The following year, the Duke of Gloucester, who was Governor General, had a magnificent embroidered sash made as the award for the Champion trialling team (an art reproduction of the sash will be awarded this year).

Queen Elizabeth II visited the trial and endured the cold conditions at the Epic Showground to watch the dogs and handlers and present the awards. In the Jubilee year, a silver tea service was awarded as part of the celebrations. The history of the trial contains plenty of local characters who have continued its legacy.

This is a wonderful opportunity to experience Australian rural life and adding to the family-friendly atmosphere is a selection of food and beverages. Hall restaurants will be providing delicious meals at the Showground. Kynefin will provide breakfast, Daughters of Hall morning and afternoon tea and a coffee cart all week. The restaurant 1882 will be providing lunch.

Due to the drought, many sheepdog trials around Australia have been cancelled as farmers have been forced to sell their stock to survive. Finding enough sheep to stage a trial is a challenge, so come and support this heritage sport where the three species - sheep, dog and person - endeavour to work together to complete a course of three obstacles in fifteen minutes. Every competitor starts with 100 points - after that anything can happen!

Entry is by donation on weekdays and costs $5 per adult and $15 per car on the weekend. Dogs are welcome (please ensure all dogs are on a lead).

Start planning​ your trip to the National Sheepdog Championship. It's sure to be a wonderful day out for all the family.

For more information on the draw and what to expect, please visit www.nationalsheepdogtrials.org

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When: 11 March to 17 March
Where: Hall Village Showground, Hall Showground, Hall ACT 2618
Cost: Donation during the week or $5 per person / $15 per car on weekend
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