Home' Waitomo News : North King Country Farmer - Jun 2016 Contents 14 NKC Farmer Tuesday, June 7, 2016
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from page 14
“Everyone has a different way of doing
things and if others are prepared to share
something at least try it, and if it does or
doesn’t work, you have learnt something.”
He says being mentored by both his father
and Les and being able to pass on the skills
the two taught him, was foremost in his mind
when he was approached to offer assistance at
a dog training day in Taumarunui.
This was where he met up with Julie Hancox
from Pirongia who asked Wallace to assist her
with breaking in a new pup.
Julie says: “I was extremely green in regards
to all things rural including sheep and sheep
“Wallace was immediately welcoming and
encouraging to my idea of learning a bit more
about the sport and took me under his wing.
“He gave up many hours during the week
and weekend to teach me and my very green
heading dog pup ‘Tyke’.
“There was never a time when he would
express doubt that a woman could do as well
as any man in the sport. That decision he said
“would be up to me and how much I wanted it.
“As my skills developed and that of my
dog, Wallace stood beside me – sometimes
literally – through that first year and beyond
still teaching, sometimes telling me off for the
silly mistakes but supporting me all the way,”
She feels Wallace has a very unique blend
of ‘tough and tolerance’ in the way he teaches.
“This is a man who knows exactly what he
wants from a dog, and who was equally as
tolerant of my pace of learning and ability to
take on information,” she says.
“What Wallace saw in sheep
behaviour so clearly, I
still only grasp in the
broadest of senses.”
Julie’s first dog
‘ Tyke’ competed to
before injuring his
gave her one of the
pups out of fellow
Shanks ‘Sue’ by his dog
‘Card’. The pup – named
‘Gaze’ – a blue-eyed heading
dog achieved intermediate status
“He’s one of those very special dogs all
trialists yearn for,” says Julie.
For Raglan’s Nicola Rowlandson having
Wallace as her mentor was a similar
experience and one she treasures.
Although she has slowed down from
competing in the past few years, Nicola was
guided by Wallace as an open competitor.
In 2011, she and ‘Jan’ placed third in the
final of the New Zealand Championships
in Gore after winning the North Island Tux
The same year she had more success winning
the Waikato Tux yarding competition with
‘Jan’ on 99.8 points, and also picked up third
place on 99.7 points with ‘Poppy’.
Nicola attributes her success to Wallace
who she describes as a very good
communicator and incredibly
“In saying that I did
however, get quite a few
telling offs and smacked
hands at the end of
runs – all done with
love, of course!
“He really cares
about the people he
helps, and is always
calm and reasonable,
explaining what needs to
be done, how it could be better,
never belittling you.
“He is such a good teacher because you
never feel afraid to show your ignorance.”
Another of Wallace’s proteges, Hamilton-
based veterinarian Katrina Crowe says: “It’s
difficult to measure how much knowledge
and time Wallace has gifted to me over the
past few years, but one of the greatest gifts he
has given me is my dog ‘Dream’.”
Katrina and ‘Dream’ qualified for the North
Island Tux Yarding Challenge maiden final
held in Taumarunui in January. They went on
to win the final.
“This qualified us for the New Zealand final
in Gore, which unfortunately I was unable to
attend, due to ‘Dream’ being only a couple of
weeks off whelping her first litter at the time,”
“As well as mentorship and knowledge,
Wallace has given me the confidence
and opportunities to compete in a sport
traditionally frequented by males, and also by
farmers, which I am not.”
Katrina says some of the “gems” Wallace
has passed on about sheep dog training and
l Always make your dog walk when pulling
sheep, never let them trot or run.
l Don’t just stand there like a log in the
ring – trialling is a team sport, help your dog
with the sheep.
l Driving up and down the fence line
with your dog on sheep around and around
the paddock, although tedious at the time, is
very beneficial in the long run.
l Go out there with the mindset that you
are going to win.
“This last one I still have difficulty
following,” says Katrina.
“I have enjoyed teaching these women,
they are great pupils because they have been
prepared to listen and take on board any
suggestions made,” says Wallace.
These days he admits he has had to slow
down because of a sore hip and ‘dodgy’ ankle.
He’s not as fit as he would like to be, but it
hasn’t stopped him running dogs and sheep
on his 4ha (10ac) block just outside of Te Kuiti.
“I’ll keep competing as long as the body
will allow me. Even after all these years I still
Mentoring the dog trialists
“Wallace has given
me the confidence
to compete in a sport
frequented by males,
and also by farmers,
which I am not .”
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