Victorian Farm Dog Championship winner GoGetta Kelpie’s Joe Spicer nailed the finer points of trialling, in taking out the prestigious title, according to judge Roland Pell.
Mr Pell said the final six competitors in the Championship round were very strong, but Mr Spicer and GoGetta Basil stood out.
“They were tough sheep to get around,” Mr Pell said.
‘It’s a tricky course but those top six guys knew how to handle their dogs and get the sheep in the right position.”
He said Mr Spicer was paid attention to detail when his dogs were working, calling his handling in the “one-per center”.
“Everyone can see when things are going right and when things are going really badly – it’s those little areas in between that Joe doesn’t let go that easily,” he said.
Steward and Strathkellar dog breeder, Ian O’Connell, said GoGetta Basil was a very experienced trial dog.
“He is quite calm and respects the stock. He has a natural ability,” Mr O’Connell said.
It was a first and second finish for Mr Spicer in the Coprice Farm Dog Championships, at Sheepvention.
Mr Spicer, Glenthompson, won the championship for the fourth time with GoGetta Basil, which also won last year. He also took out second place, with GoGetta Clue, which was first up in the championship round of six competitors.
Third place was won by Damian Clifford, Woorndoo, with Myamba Larry.
“The last four years I have been at Hamilton, I have been lucky enough to win the Championships,” Mr Spicer said.
“It’s a good test and the better dogs come to the fore in the end.”
Basil, by Boanong Buster, out of GoGetta Elle May, is a multiple title winner, having taken out Australian and Victorian Yard Dog and Farm titles.
“He was won the Victorian championship three times.”
Mr Spicer said he put his success down to breeding and temperament.
“He can take command and wants to work with and for me, rather than working against me. He communicates and watches his stock.”
Mr Spicer said Basil got the sheep relaxed, but looking in the right direction, so they were easier to move.
“It’s not all about force, and pushing the stock, its about guiding them in the right direction.”
Basil, a seven-year old, was bred from champion bloodlines and one of GoGetta stud’s main sires.
“Champions come from champions – good dogs come from good dogs whether you want a farm dog, or trial dog.
He said there was a lot of prestige, which went with the Sheepvention trials, and required handlers and their dogs to work with 16 sheep.
“You have the paddock work where the sheep might not want to come down towards the crowd. You have the yards, then the drenching race and draft, before loading them onto the trailer,” he said.
Mr Spicer said he took four dogs to the titles to “hedge my bets”.
”You might draw bad sheep, or things might not quite go your way,” he said.