Moyston Sheep Dog Trials to celebrate 90th anniversary in March 2018

Moyston Sheep Dog Trials will mark its 90th year this week as some of the best working dogs in Australia had for the Grampians region.

The events will run on March 15th, 16th & 17th at Moyston Oval, Ararat-Halls Gap Road, Moyston.

Moyston Sheep Dog Trials are possibly the longest continuously running trials in Victoria and possibly Australia.

With the early establishment by the Wills family of ‘Lexington’ Station, the district surrounding Moyston soon became established as a major wool producing area.

Lexington was quickly followed by other major sheep runs including Barton, Crochan, Burrumbeep and many more.

As the country became more closely settled wool production increased and pastures became more intensively grazed with increased flock numbers and while the area was predominantly a wool growing area it quickly became a very traditional area for good working sheep dogs.

This deep rooted affection for working sheep dogs inevitably led to claims and counter claims among breeders and workers as to who had the best dog.

It all came to a head in the late 1920 in the bar of the “Local” when Billy Mason of Tommy Maidement’s property, ‘Barton’, bet Jim Murphy of Alex McDonald’s property “Crochan” that he had a better trial dog.

So the day was named and the two rivals lined up their dogs one Saturday afternoon on the flat near the creek to work their sheep over a course in the presence of an interested throng. 

Murphy’s dog Toby proved the winner over the challenger Rowdy, the bet was settled and the two parted good friends and there the matter might have rested. However, the idea of the dog trials had taken on and the following year (1928) a meeting was called and this time a number of workers and their dogs came forward.

This year, events start 9am March 15 and 8am on March 16 and 17.

Brace Dog Trials (dogs working in pairs) commences at 6.30pm.

There will be catering with entertainment from 6-9pm. Spectators via gold coin donation.

Enquiries: 0419 382 315.