Dog trial glory for McMahon
CONDONG’S Kevin McMahon celebrated success at the recent dog trials at Murwillumbah Showgrounds.
McMahon won the novice category which helped open the gateway to compete in the open division – as this win, coupled with a previous victory, gave him the ticket.
Initially, McMahon took up the sport in 1999 through tragic circumstances when he was working on the border tick gate and a friend had a fatal car accident.
“It’s a long story but my mate was returning home from a dog trial and got killed in a car accident ... that’s kind of how it all started,” McMahon said.
“I had the idea of the trials for a while and I have had dogs around me my whole life and in 1999 I decided to get a bitch.
“I called her Christine and reared her up ... but then I got bowel cancer, so things went on to the backburner for a while.
“Then she had pups, so I had a mother and daughter, but now I have six working border collies I can trial.”
At the Murwillumbah trial, McMahon took Rose as the pair had previous success when they won the New South Wales championships two years ago.
The New South Wales championships were a mark of achievement for McMahon, whose dog Beau came second in the novice category and overall three dogs scored in the high 80s.
For the three novice dogs, two made the finals.
McMahon said a lot of people say if you get the right dog breed, they will be ready to go but you do still need to make sure they do not make mistakes.
During a trial, contestants have five minutes to cover a course which is marked out with four pegs. It starts off with a cast where the dog moves to the other end of the cast and brings the cattle forward in a straight line through obstacles.
McMahon said this was difficult for the dogs because it was not a natural command for the dogs to take cattle away from their master.