Dogs determined, despite the drizzle

Jessica Wilkinson, 13, and Border Collie, Snap, shelters from the rain the Southland Dog Training Club Agility in Invercargill championships on Saturday. Photos: Toni McDonald and Liam Murphy

THE persistent drizzle during the weekend did nothing to deter South Island dog trainers from travelling to Invercargill to support the Southland Dog Training Club’s 60th anniversary competition on Saturday and Sunday.

Competitors, from as far as Amberley and Christchurch, were well wrapped up against the wet, sheltered between heats in gazebos designed normally to protect against the sun.

More than 30 dogs were put through their obedience paces testing them for retrievals, sendaways, heel and lead work.

Sixty dogs were entered each day in the agility competition where they were tested on their dexterity and mastery of the course.

Trainers would guide dogs to negotiate a series of obstacles, tunnels, jumps and ramps in a race against time and accuracy.

Southland Dog Training Club secretary Dawn Barry said the 30 members involved with the club were incredibly fortunate to have received an ILT grant which had allowed the club to buy 10 new wing jumps for the competition.

She expected the colourful wing jumps to brighten up the course during any rainy weekend.

While the agility competition was held outdoors, the masked competitors were mindful of the Alert Level 2 Covid-19 restrictions which required people to maintain a 2m distance from other people and recommended wearing face coverings.

‘‘We are grateful to still be able to hold shows as we come under the 100 people attending
criteria’’ she said.