About the Trials
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 79 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?
Sarah Sydrych (Taylor)
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 VI and Uncle of Queen Elizabeth II.
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.