I (Merv) retired to Lovely Banks, Victoria (near Geelong) in November 2008. I originally came from Tyrendarra in South West Victoria, where I have been a shearer and owner/operater of 'TINTAGEL' a 400 hectare property producing wool, prime lambs and beef cattle. I also ran a Poll Dorset Stud.
I've been involved with breeding and working Border Collies all my life and in 1988 was introduced to Sheep Dog Trialling by my friends John Gallpen and Byn Dinning, John and I were extremely lucky to have had Byn take us under his wing, Byn had been successfully breeding and trialling Border Collies for over 40 years and has passed on his vast knowledge and his proven working bloodlines to us.
I have trialled dogs for many years using mainly Byn's bloodlines with some success, winning the 1996 and 1997 Victorian Championships with a bitch I bred called Tintagel Missie.
Missie and I represented Australia in Test Teams, competing against New Zealand in 1993 and 1994.
We still breed working dogs for farm and sheep dog trialling but over the past few years we have changed direction and have focused mainly on breeding Border Collies suitable for family pets and companion dogs.
We have started doing demonstations in sheep dog trialling and shearing to primary school children living in Melbourne to give the city children a taste of country life. Our first being on Tuesday 8th September 2009 at 'Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Primary School' Cheltenham, where we demonstrated to the children how sheep dogs and their handlers work together in bringing small mobs of sheep into a holding pen and how a shearer take the wool off the sheep.
Our beautiful tri coloured bitch Sal sadly had to be put to sleep on the 10th April 2010. She had the worst type of cancer "Lymphosarcoma" Cancer in the Lymph nodes. She was 10 years old, Sal was bred in New Zealand by prominent trialer and breeder Geoff Allison and his wife Lorraine. I (Merv) bought her as a puppy and had her imported over to Australia. Sal's official registered New Zealand name was Husky, due to her looks.
Sal loved to work on the farm, taking on all comers, sheep, cattle and horses, they were no problem to her. She quickly learned to duck to avoid being kicked by horses and cattle - Sal was my (Merv's) right arm, they'll never be another dog like her, she was an expert at catching sheep that needed attention for fly strike etc, holding them by the wool until her slow master caught up to help ....... She occassionaly competed in Sheep Dog Trials, her best effort being 2nd in the Improvers at the Supreme Australian Championships at Benella, Victoria. She competed with distinction at many other trials.