17 photos from Mansfield's Stock Dog Challenge

Best working dogs put to the test


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Some of the best utility dogs from across Australia were put to the ultimate test at the Stock Dog Challenge.

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Some of the best utility dogs from across Australia were put to the ultimate test at the Stock Dog Challenge at Mansfield over the weekend.

And it was a dog owned by Ben Coster, Yass, NSW, named Coopendale Lucy, who took out the top honours in the encourage section.

Another of Mr Coster's dogs, Rhettlenash Jock, took home the second-place ribbon, while Myamba Moss, owned by Adam James, won third place.

In the novice section, Tundabardi Mick, owned by Campbell Smedley, won first place, while Mr Coster's Rhettlenash Jock won second and Craig Ogier, Gisborne, took out third with Roustabout Darcy.

There were three elements involved to determine the final score - the sheep paddock work, sheep yard work and the cattle yard work.

Each dog and owner had to compete in the three components of the trial to receive a final score to reveal the successful competitor for the day.

The event, organised by the Australian Utility Stock Dog Society Inc, had a non-traditional judging system; instead of deducting a point for every misdemeanour, a point score is given.

Points are based on the ability of the dog and how objectives are being achieved.

For example, if a dog crosses between the sheep and the handler during the cast out in the paddock, but still collects the sheep, that dog retains a given assessment for that section, and is not disqualified.

Judges for the encourage section were Rod Cavanagh for the paddock and Rod Cavill for yard and cattle.

Novice judges were Tully Williams for the paddock and Mr Cavanagh for yard and cattle.

The Manning family of Mansfield loaned weaner cattle for the competition, and Stuart Fox loaned sheep.

Shaws Transport provided cartage of the livestock.

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