About the Trials

National Sheep Dog Trial Championships

About the Trials

The National Sheep Dog Trial Championships have been held in Canberra since 1943.

It is a highly-competitive and challenging sport and a fascinating insight into Australia’s rural life. Trialling is a compelling, sometimes nail-biting, spectator experience and an example of extraordinary team work!

The national trials began in 1943 and were held at Manuka Oval as a single day event to raise funds for Legacy during World War II.

Over the past 77 years, the sport has given dog-handlers a chance to share their knowledge while offering entertainment to people of all ages. From 1964 to 1977 the Trials were held at the Canberra Showground at what is now Exhibition Park in Mitchell. In 1978 the trials moved to the Hall Village Showground.

Who are we?

2021 Committee 

President:
Sarah Sydrych (Taylor)
Vice President:
Charles Cover
Secretary:
Kate Holland
Treasurer:
Marion Whalan
Assistant Treasurer:
Eileen Moriarty

General Committee:

Liam Cotter
Linda Dening
Derek Gillard
Peter Howard
Anne Lomax
Jonathon Palmer
Barry Paton
Ralph Southwell

Lauren Vest
Tony Morris
Barb Kessler 

1958 National Sheep Dog Trials in Canberra ACT

1958

1964 National Sheep Dog Trials in Canberra ACT

1964

National Sheep Dog Trials in Canberra ACT
1973 National Sheep Dog Trials in Canberra ACT

1973

Queen Elizabeth presenting 1970 National Sheep Dog Champion
Queen Elizabeth presenting 1970 National Sheep Dog Champion
Queen Elizabeth presenting 1970 National Sheep Dog Champion

The Duke of Gloucester Sash 

The Duke of Gloucester Sash was presented to the National Sheep Dog Trial Association in 1945 by His Royal Highness, Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester during his tenure as Governor General of Australia from 1944 to 1947. The Duke was the younger brother of King George 6th and Uncle of Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

The Sash is significant in Sheepdog Trialling history – a unique, historic, velvet, hand embroidered piece, 25cm wide and 115cm long. The embroidered coat of arms is from the Royal House of Windsor. Over the years, the velvet has faded to a beautiful antique brown but the original colour was the colour of Kings, royal purple.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh attended the National Sheep Dog Trial Championships on Finals day, Saturday 26 April 1970 and witnessed the Finals competition. The Queen then presented the Sash to the winner of the National Open Trial, Mr. Bob Ross and his dog Yulong Russ.

The replica sash

The first presentation of the replica of the original sash happened in 2019. The replica sash has been restored to what would have been the original colour, and the size halved, for practical reasons. The reproduction is a photographic art print on archival photo art paper, mounted and framed in a similar way to the original sash, with a brass plaque attached to the frame presenting the name of the winner.

The Duke of Gloucester Sash