A family affair

The 33-year-old grew up on a small farm in the Manawatu and now runs Mangaheia Station.

The 33-year-old grew up on a small farm in the Manawatu and now runs Mangaheia Station.

EVERYONE MUCKS IN: Leo Edginton is grateful for the support and help he gets on the farm from his wife Lydia and his two boys (not pictured). Photo by Paul Rickard

DOG trialling has been a way of life for Leo Edginton since he was a teenager and he is already passing that on to his two young sons.

It all started when he offered to help at the Feilding Dog Trial Club and a few of the older guys took the schoolboy under their wing. His first trials were at the Moawhango Dog Trials in Taihape. He was just 16.

He’s come along way since then, and earlier this year was the ‘baby’ of the New Zealand team at the Australian Championships where the Kiwis sealed a hat-trick of wins of the Wayleggo Cup.

He and heading dog Skip were second top scorer over two days of competition while in Australia.

“It was a real privilege to be there,” he said. “Everyone else had represented numerous times.”

Gaining the silver fern for the transtasman clash was a highlight for the 33-year-old who grew up on a small farm in the Manawatu and, now, with his young family, runs Mangaheia Station, near Tolaga Bay.

But he has had a few other highlights, including winning the New Zealand huntaway title in 2013. He has also won numerous North and South Island championships and is often placed in competition.

“I love the competitive side of dog trialling,” says Leo, “just testing yourself and your dogs.”

Dog trialling has always been a big part of Mangaheia Station.

“It has always been part of the culture here and strongly encouraged. A lot of young shepherds, including myself, came to work here for Howard Ingles because he was such a great stockman and dog trialist. We hope in the future we can help others and get more young guys keen on the sport because it also has a big flow-on effect, making them better shepherds.”

His boys William (six) and Albie (three) are keen helpers on the farm.

“They are both keen to own their own dogs and love to help feed and look after them all with me,” says Leo. “They also like to come and help train my dogs, especially the pups. I would love to see them getting into farming and dog trialing when they are older.”

And he is quick to add how grateful he is for the support he has from Lydia.

“The support and help I get from Lydia and the family in running the station and for my dog trialing is huge, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it or even do it without them.”

It is very much a family affair on Mangaheia Station where his wife Lydia is far happier out helping with the drenching, crutching and yard work than in the kitchen cooking and cleaning.

A keen horsewoman, she competes in showjumping and dressage.

“I am no top-level competitor, but I do enjoy breeding my own horses and starting them from scratch,” she says. “I love training them to be nice, young, all-round horses that can be ridden in a range of disciplines. The best part about it is hearing back from the people who have bought them and how much they love them.”

Horses are used extensively on Mangaheia — only 800 acres of the 7500 acre station is on the flat, so horses are the preferred mode of transport. The vast and varied terrain is perfect for Lydia to train and produce horses.

“Travelling to competitions is the hard thing,” she says.

Her 13-year-old daughter Imogen stays in town during the week for school too.

Leo was head shepherd at Mangaheia in 2000, and the family returned in 2011 to take the manager’s job when Howard Ingles retired. For the past few years, their steers have topped the local sale.

Lydia is the secretary of the Tolaga Bay Dog Trial Club and she likes to watch Leo compete at the local events. It is a long season, which starts at the end of January and runs through to early June.

It is a busy life on the farm, so family time is precious, and they’re likely to be found sleeping under the stars and eeling at the river or bolting to Whanarua Bay.

“Spending time together is really important to us, so it’s nice just to disappear for a night or two when we can.”

DOG trialling has been a way of life for Leo Edginton since he was a teenager and he is already passing that on to his two young sons.

It all started when he offered to help at the Feilding Dog Trial Club and a few of the older guys took the schoolboy under their wing. His first trials were at the Moawhango Dog Trials in Taihape. He was just 16.

He’s come along way since then, and earlier this year was the ‘baby’ of the New Zealand team at the Australian Championships where the Kiwis sealed a hat-trick of wins of the Wayleggo Cup.

He and heading dog Skip were second top scorer over two days of competition while in Australia.

“It was a real privilege to be there,” he said. “Everyone else had represented numerous times.”

Gaining the silver fern for the transtasman clash was a highlight for the 33-year-old who grew up on a small farm in the Manawatu and, now, with his young family, runs Mangaheia Station, near Tolaga Bay.

But he has had a few other highlights, including winning the New Zealand huntaway title in 2013. He has also won numerous North and South Island championships and is often placed in competition.

“I love the competitive side of dog trialling,” says Leo, “just testing yourself and your dogs.”

Dog trialling has always been a big part of Mangaheia Station.

“It has always been part of the culture here and strongly encouraged. A lot of young shepherds, including myself, came to work here for Howard Ingles because he was such a great stockman and dog trialist. We hope in the future we can help others and get more young guys keen on the sport because it also has a big flow-on effect, making them better shepherds.”

His boys William (six) and Albie (three) are keen helpers on the farm.

“They are both keen to own their own dogs and love to help feed and look after them all with me,” says Leo. “They also like to come and help train my dogs, especially the pups. I would love to see them getting into farming and dog trialing when they are older.”

And he is quick to add how grateful he is for the support he has from Lydia.

“The support and help I get from Lydia and the family in running the station and for my dog trialing is huge, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it or even do it without them.”

It is very much a family affair on Mangaheia Station where his wife Lydia is far happier out helping with the drenching, crutching and yard work than in the kitchen cooking and cleaning.

A keen horsewoman, she competes in showjumping and dressage.

“I am no top-level competitor, but I do enjoy breeding my own horses and starting them from scratch,” she says. “I love training them to be nice, young, all-round horses that can be ridden in a range of disciplines. The best part about it is hearing back from the people who have bought them and how much they love them.”

Horses are used extensively on Mangaheia — only 800 acres of the 7500 acre station is on the flat, so horses are the preferred mode of transport. The vast and varied terrain is perfect for Lydia to train and produce horses.

“Travelling to competitions is the hard thing,” she says.

Her 13-year-old daughter Imogen stays in town during the week for school too.

Leo was head shepherd at Mangaheia in 2000, and the family returned in 2011 to take the manager’s job when Howard Ingles retired. For the past few years, their steers have topped the local sale.

Lydia is the secretary of the Tolaga Bay Dog Trial Club and she likes to watch Leo compete at the local events. It is a long season, which starts at the end of January and runs through to early June.

It is a busy life on the farm, so family time is precious, and they’re likely to be found sleeping under the stars and eeling at the river or bolting to Whanarua Bay.

“Spending time together is really important to us, so it’s nice just to disappear for a night or two when we can.”

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