Information for Triallers

Thank you to everyone who came to the 80th National sheep Dog Trial Championships and congratulations to all our winners.

We look forward to seeing you in 2024!


Open ChampionshipMr. Colin Reid, Victoria

Maiden ChampionshipMr. Bailey Knight, QLD

Dress Code

All finalists are asked to wear a tie and/or blazer.


When arriving please book in with Tony Morris (PH:0427302317) to be directed to a suitable camping spot. Powered sites are $20 per night, capped at $100 for the week. Unpowered sites are $15 per night, capped at $75 for the week.

Camping will be available in two (2) locations.

  • Powered camping within the show ground

A limited number of powered sites will be available within the show ground beside the Pavilion.  The amenities are in the pavilion.

  • Powered and Unpowered camping on the Polocrosse grounds

Powered and unpowered sites will be available on the shady polocrosse grounds, a short stroll across the creek. An amenities block is located on the polocrosse grounds.

Entry to the polocrosse ground is via Victoria St, from Hall, it is the first left after the turn off to the Showground, heading towards Canberra.

All campers please nominate on your entry form the date of arrival and date of departure.

All power leads will need to be covered if on the ground. 

Exercising of Dogs

Dogs must only be exercised on the polocrosse side of the grounds. Due to changes in the ACT dog regulations regarding off lead exercise, the curated oval adjacent the event ground is strictly not to be used for exercise or toileting of dogs.

All handlers MUST clean up after their dogs within the Showgrounds.

Prizes and Fees

The National Open Champion 2023
Entry Fee $20

1st  —  $5000, the Queens Trophy – portrait of the winning dog by artist Linda Dening, a framed replica of the Duke of Gloucester Sash, Greg Prince Memorial Watch

2nd  —  $1500 and Sash

3rd  —  $800 and Sash

4th  —  $600 and Sash

5th  —  $500 and Sash

6th  —  $400 and Sash

Top 20 Finalists    $100          

Champion of Champions  —  $1000, Sash and Trophy


The National Improver Champion 2023
Entry Fee $10

1st  —  $1000 and Sash and trophy

2nd  —  $600 and Sash

3rd  —  $400 and Sash

4th  —  $200 and Sash


The National Maiden Champion 2023
Entry Fee $15

1st  —  $2000, The New Zealand High Commission Shield, Sash and Trophy

2nd  —  $800 and Sash

3rd  —  $600 and Sash

4th  —  $300 and Sash

5th  —  $200 and Sash

6th  —  $100 and Sash


2023 Additional Prizes and Trophies

George Westcott–  $50 and Sash
for the dog scoring the most points in the first round of the National Maiden Championship.

Lawrie Tong Memorial  —  $50 and Sash
for the dog scoring the highest points in the first round of the National Improver Championship.

National First Time  —  $50 and Sash
for the highest points scored by a handler competing at the Nationals for the first time, in the first round of either the National Open, Improver or Maiden Championships.

Mellissa Gillard Memorial Shield  —  $50 and Sash
awarded to the highest scoring competitor in the first round of either the Maiden, Improver or Open Championships working the dog that the competitor has bred and owns.

Trial Eligibility

Please read before completing your entry form.

The National Maiden Championship is open to dogs that have not won any 3 sheep type of sheep dog trial up to the closing date of entries (15th February 2023)

Maiden dogs are ONLY eligible to enter the Improver Trial if they are the first FOUR dogs in the Maiden Final. These 4 finalists will be given free entry into the Improver Trial and may be entered in the Open Trial on payment of the Open entry fee.   If entered in the National Open these dogs will be eligible for the Top 20.

The Maiden Final will comprise of the six [6] highest scoring dogs and will be held immediately after all runs in the Maiden Championship have been completed.

The National Improver Championship is open to dogs that have won a Maiden/Novice Trial but have not won any type of improver or higher class of 3 sheep dog trial up to the closing date of entry.

The Improver Championship will be conducted in conjunction with the Open Championship. Improver dogs may be entered in the National Open Championship and are eligible for the Top 20.

The Improver Final will consist of the four [4] highest scoring Improver dogs.

The National Open Championship:  The final will comprise of the six [6] highest combined scores from the first round, and Top Twenty scores in the National Open Championship.

Champion of Champions: Please indicate on the entry form if your dog, is the 2022 National Open Champion, Current Supreme Australian champion, 2022 State champion or Commonwealth Champion. These will be last to compete in the Open Trial and will compete for the Champion of Champions prize and sash.

Rules and Conditions of Entry

1: NSWSDWi rules will apply to The National Championship course with 4 exceptions-

  1. Sheep must be delivered into the D Shape around the starting peg.
  2. The handler must be standing in the obstacle set/ring before the sheep have cleared the obstacle.
  3. The gate at the pen is parallel to the opening.
  4. 10 point pen.

2: All dogs must be registered by the state controlling body.

3: All handlers must be a financial member of the state working sheepdog association.

4: It is the responsibility of each owner to ensure their dogs are fit and healthy, before entering the trial ring.

5: The Judge or the trial manager may terminate the run of a dog if it is considered that the dog or the sheep are injured or stressed.  This constitutes disqualification, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE NUMBER OF POINTS DEDUCTED BY THE JUDGE.

6: The Judge’s decisions are final.

7: No entry fee refunds will be made after the close of entry. If the committee cancels an entry, the fee will be refunded or if the competitor is unwell and tested positive for COVID 19, their entries fees will be refunded.

8: The committee has the right to instruct the judge to ring dogs off at any time.

9: The committee accepts no responsibility for injury, loss or damage to the owner, their property or their dogs.

10: Entry fees must accompany entry forms.

11: The Trial time for each dog, over a 3-obstacle course will be 15 minutes.

12: Any dog not in attendance when called upon to compete in the order set out in the draw, EXCEPT WHEN THE OWNER is carrying out duties for the NSDTA Canberra Inc, will be scratched and not readmitted to the event, being conducted.

14: In the case of a tie or any other dispute, all competitors must agree to accept the decision of the Trial sub-committee as final.

15: On entering your dogs and signing the entry form, you are agreeing to the rules and conditions of the championships and consenting to abide by the constitution and Rules of the National Sheep Dog Trial Association Canberra Inc. and the decisions of the Committee.

16: Competitors should note that under this constitution, the national association has the authority to refuse future entries from any person whose conduct or comments are deemed detrimental to the National Sheep Dog Trials Association Canberra Inc, or any other sheep dog trials.

17:  Dogs may not be substituted.

18: In the event of a tie in The National Open, Improver or Maiden, further runs will be given until a winner is decided.

19: Camping may be from Sunday prior to the start of the event, to the last day of the event.

20: As a courtesy to other trialler’s and to ensure the smooth running of the championship, competitors are asked to notify the trial office of any scratching’s as soon as possible.

21: A registered vet will be onsite.

22: Bitches in season, may be worked.

23: Please contact the trial manager if a dog you have entered in a Maiden/Novice and or Improver trial, wins a trial prior to close of entries.

Entries for 2023 are now closed.

Thanks Mate, we shut the gate.

For 150 years or so stockmen and women have been lining up to prove that their dog is the best in the district. These impromptu local events have become the sheepdog trials of today. Part of our rich pastoral heritage of competition at Agricultural shows and field days. Showcasing the very best of rural Australia and helping keep the genetic base of stock dogs strong.

In 2023 we celebrate 80 years of sheep dog trialling in Canberra.