Sheep dog trial renamed to remember the late Sam Strahan

Award-winning sheep dogs and their human counterparts will compete in the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games Sheep Dog Trials.

Following the unexpected death of former New Zealand Rural Games Trust Board member and former All Black Sam Strahan, the event has been renamed The Sam Strahan Memorial Sheep Dog Challenge brought to you by Powerco.

Strahan’s son, Ian Strahan, said most people knew his dad as an All Black but that was only a small part of his life.

“He was an All Black for five years, but a farmer for life. He worked with sheep dogs and in agriculture for 60 years.”

“While he wouldn’t tell you,” said Ian, “I think he’d be quietly pleased to know the event has been named in his honour”.

Sheep Dog Trial Organiser Paul Evans said the sheep dog trials at the Rural Games is one of the largest publicly attended sheep dog trials in New Zealand.

“2020 will see competitors and the crème de la crème of Kiwi sheep dogs from Whanganui and Hawke’s Bay go head to head.”

“We have some real champion sheep dogs competing,” said Paul.  “Richie is the current NZ Yarding Champion, Raid is the South Island short head and yard champion, Grit is the current New Zealand and North Island Champion and Rex and Bonnie are New Zealand titleholders.”

Paul Evans said the Whanganui team will be bolstered by Steph Tweed – an expat from Taihape and Hunterville who now lives in Waipara.

As the first woman to win the New Zealand Dog Trial Championship, Steph is a finalist for the Skellerup New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year Award, which will be announced during the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards on Friday 13 March at Awapuni in Palmerston North.

Team Whanganui

  • Paul Evans with Richie
  • Jamie Shrubsall with Whip & Lash
  • Steph Tweed (ex Taihape/Hunterville) with Flirt & Grit
  • Alex Matthews with Rex & Bonnie

Team Hawke’s Bay

  • Laurie Horsfall with Raid
  • Bob Bruce with Jaco & Susan
  • Peter Williams with Star & Frankie
  • David Evans with May & Rose.

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Sheep dog trial renamed to remember the late Sam Strahan

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