Utting back in the game after injury

A further five finalists were found at the Tux sheep dog trials at the Spring Show yesterday and they include Waimata triallist Merv Utting in his first competition since a bad injury earlier this year.

The multiple national champion and New Zealand representative injured knee tendons and ligaments in February. He was mustering and moving his horse through a gate.

Yesterday he was the second-top qualifier with Prince in the 70-odd runs at the Show, with a score of 97.5 points out of 100.

“It felt really good with Prince. On the first day on Wednesday I ran two other dogs and didn’t feel that confident,” Utting said.

“But yesterday I felt better and was really pleased with the performance. It’s good to be back.”

The top qualifier yesterday was Dave Shaw and Troy from Taupo with 98, third was Graeme Cook and Glen from Te Karaka, 97.25, followed by Peter Williams and Trump from Hawke’s Bay, 97, and Rod Mead and Gem from Te Karaka 96.5.

That means Mead will have two dogs in the final 15-dog run-off tomorrow morning.

“It’s a thrill to have two in the final, with all these young fellas chasing me down,” Mead said.

Speaking as head steward, he said the competition was not as hot as on Wednesday, but it was still a very good day’s competition.

“The sheep loosened up a bit in the afternoon and some were a bit hard to handle.

“Overall, though, we are very happy with the trials so far,” Mead said.

A further five finalists will be found today from close to 80 runs, all of which involve visiting competitors.

“We are expecting a really hot final tomorrow morning from 9am.

“The sheep are getting well prepared and the 15 finalists will all be good operators with good dogs.”

A further five finalists were found at the Tux sheep dog trials at the Spring Show yesterday and they include Waimata triallist Merv Utting in his first competition since a bad injury earlier this year.

The multiple national champion and New Zealand representative injured knee tendons and ligaments in February. He was mustering and moving his horse through a gate.

Yesterday he was the second-top qualifier with Prince in the 70-odd runs at the Show, with a score of 97.5 points out of 100.

“It felt really good with Prince. On the first day on Wednesday I ran two other dogs and didn’t feel that confident,” Utting said.

“But yesterday I felt better and was really pleased with the performance. It’s good to be back.”

The top qualifier yesterday was Dave Shaw and Troy from Taupo with 98, third was Graeme Cook and Glen from Te Karaka, 97.25, followed by Peter Williams and Trump from Hawke’s Bay, 97, and Rod Mead and Gem from Te Karaka 96.5.

That means Mead will have two dogs in the final 15-dog run-off tomorrow morning.

“It’s a thrill to have two in the final, with all these young fellas chasing me down,” Mead said.

Speaking as head steward, he said the competition was not as hot as on Wednesday, but it was still a very good day’s competition.

“The sheep loosened up a bit in the afternoon and some were a bit hard to handle.

“Overall, though, we are very happy with the trials so far,” Mead said.

A further five finalists will be found today from close to 80 runs, all of which involve visiting competitors.

“We are expecting a really hot final tomorrow morning from 9am.

“The sheep are getting well prepared and the 15 finalists will all be good operators with good dogs.”

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