FORMER Tamworth woman Sarah Mortimer and her dog White’s Dixie leapt into the record books at the weekend winning the 2014 Australian Yard Dog Championships.
Ms Mortimer, 27, is the first woman to ever win the championships and the first Queenslander – she lives at Dirranbandi.
“It’s taken a bit of time to sink in,” she said yesterday.
“I didn’t realise how big it was until I’d done it.”
This year, the championships were held in Lucindale, South Australia.
Ms Mortimer took two bitches with her, both of which she bred – White’s Dixie, 6, and Dixie’s daughter Catie, 2.
“I’ve done a lot of smaller trials but it was the second time in the Australian championships,” Ms Mortimer said.
Last year, she came third with White’s Dixie at the championships, held in Goondiwindi.
This year, the championships ran from Wednesday last week to Saturday in a rigorous process.
The first round, with 80 dogs and called the Lucindale Open, was on Wednesday.
“Then, the top 25 dogs went through into the first round of the Australian Championships,” Ms Mortimer said.
“From there, the top 10 went into the final.”
Ms Mortimer ran off her jitters by competing with the younger bitch first; they got through to the top 25, but did not make the top 10.
“She didn’t have the experience to go all the way (but) that was a good effort for her,” she said.
Her interest in yard dog trials “just sort of developed” via woolclassing – she was the youngest ever woolclasser in the nation when she qualified through TAFE at 14.
She was national champion merino judge at 18 in 2006 and was working on properties with Dixie’s mum, White’s Beckie, from which she bred a litter.
Renowned kelpie breeder John White, from Nyngan, NSW, who Ms Mortimer bought White’s Beckie from, said she should do yard dog trials, so she registered her own stud, Culgoa Kelpies, at Dirranbandi.
She’s now very keen to keep competing in yard dog trials.
“I was keen before this – but it means you’re keen to go on with it,” she said.