SHEEPDOG Patch has come a long way from her first dog trial.
The border collie and her owner, Mick Ryan, of Dubbo, lasted just 10 minutes on their first attempt six years ago.
“She was just nine months old when we had our first crack at it, but she got tired quickly,” he said.
“We only lasted 10 minutes and we had to walk off.”
But it’s a different story these days.
“She is now making finals all around NSW and Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
The pair made the top seven yesterday and were waiting for the finals of the Pedigree Pal Sheep and Yard Dog Trials in the afternoon.
Handlers start with a perfect score of 100, and points are deducted by the judge for each mistake or obstacle not completed in the allocated time of 15 minutes.
The event attracts the cream of the nation’s working dogs.
“It’s a terrific sport, a good social event for farmers,” Mr Ryan said.
“It’s our first time here and it’s been great — everyone is very friendly and coming up and wanting to meet Patch.”
Mr Ryan said it didn’t matter to him if they won or lost on the day.
“You have testing sheep sometimes,” he said.
“I only care that she does her best.”