Whistle works for cattle dog whisperer Ethan
DOG TRIALS: Ethan Davis has defied the odds to deservingly win the accolade of GDSC Junior Sportsperson of the Month for April.
Pitted against more than 400 working dog trial competitors of all ages across two weekends, the 14-year-old won the NSW Novice at Pinkett near Glen Innes with his purebred border collie Lass and followed it up with his kelpie collie cross Trudy to finish equal second in the Australian Novice at Red Range, also near Glen Innes.
Ethan is the son of Mitchum Davis, who was a Senior Sportsperson of the Month winner last year when he won the Maiden and was second in Novice at the Australian Working Cattle Dog Trial Championships near Rockhampton with 'Rango'.
"It was Ethan's first win and he does it at the championships," Mitchum said.
"Ethan's probably one of the youngest going around. There's not too many young kids doing it. Unless you grow up on a farm with working dogs they're not introduced to that environment.
"He's just getting right into it and putting a lot of work into training them after school.
"He does the work on all our dogs and helps me with the cattle on the weekends and the homework's paid off for him."
The Maclean High Year 8 student competed against 180 dogs for the state title and 223 in the Australian titles. The format of both sees a run off between the top 14 scores in the final, with dad one of the prized scalps.
"The young fella had four dogs and I had six, including a couple of my dad's (Happy Davis) who passed away last year. One of those was 'UL' and I made the final with her, but was beaten by Ethan.
"UL is what the previous owner called her. I don't know what it stands for - some say unleaded and some unlucky."
As for former champion Rango?
"He went from the penthouse to the shithouse," Mitchum said. "At Pinkett he piddled on the course so that cost me five points. He had tough cattle at Red Range. But he's going alright. I haven't sacked him yet, he's still part of the furniture."
Ethan topped the vote ahead of three other strong nominees for April.
Nine-year-old Swan Creek superfish Jack Leeson was nominated for his outstanding summer in the pool which included seven all-time Grafton Swim Academy age records.
Another swimmer, 11-year-old Jamie Plunkett from Grafton, swam personal best times in all five multi-class events she competed in at the recent NSW PSSA State Championships.
Grafton's Georgia Breward is making inroads at AFL and was recently selected in the NSW/ACT Under 18s Female representative side despite being only 15.