Gettin’ behind for 125 years

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Methven Collie Club celebrated its 125th trial and president Bob Brown saw great support from the rural community and sponsors.

The Methven Collie Club ran their 125th anniversary trials last week.

The four class event drew scores of competitors from around the country, but most were from the wider Canterbury region, and many had multiple dogs competing in multiple runs.

Among them were former national champions Steph Tweed, Kevin Lamont, Stuart Millar, Peter Kidd, Andy Clark, and Mark Copland.

Club president Bob Brown, a self-confessed runner’ said the event, held on the farm properties of the Koopmans and Lucas families, along Mt Hutt Station Road, Methven, had been run a few weeks later than usual to suit the landowners and it had been very successful.

There were 358 runs completed in the four classes during the two day event.

The event had drawn great support from the rural community and sponsors, Mr Brown said.

Methven Collie Club judges Willy Ensor, left, and Mark Copland.

A marquee was set up on the grounds for barbecue tea and socialising.

Action during the two day trials.

And commemorative one-off 125th anniversary trophies were being lined up for the open, maiden, district and district maiden winners of each class which would be presented at an official prizegiving dinner in a couple of months.

The kitchen committee members had been keeping the copper fires burning for hot water with hot brews and hearty meals turning over.

Sue Bell adds water to the club’s wood fuelled copper at the rear of the kitchen, It is stoked regularly to keep the water hot.

Committee member Sue Bell said there had been plenty of baked goods for morning teas as well as vegetables and meats donated for the event.

Around 50 meals comprising of cold meat, salads, potatoes and peas would be served for lunch each day.

Sue Bell, Diane Smith and Prue Lamont keep the home fires buring, the tea brewing and the food coming from the club’s kitchen/dining hall.

It was simple but welcomed menu which proved popular with trialists, she said.

The first Methven Collie Club trial was run on August 27, 1897.

The four class event was advertised in the Ashburton Mail.

Original advertisement for the trials ran in the Ashburton Mail.

It cost members at the time 2s 6d for each entry and saw three merino wethers, or five crossbreds, used in the classes.

A book called Whistles in the Wind, by Christine Wright, was written for the club’s centennial celebrations, and club member Prue Lamont is putting together a book about the last 25 years to celebrate the 125th anniversary.

It will include last week’s results and be available for purchase in the coming months, Mr Brown said.

Sign up board for trialists.
Methven Collie Club secretary Robyn Copland, left, registers former national champion Steph Tweed, of Rakaia Gorge.