THIS year's SE Field Days was particularly significant for Avenue Range couple Rex and Kay Hocking.
The Pedigree/Elders Australian Yard Dog Championships, held in Lucindale for the fourth time, resulted in SA Yard Dog Association life memberships being presented to the local convenor and secretary.
It was an honour that came as a complete surprise for both of them.
"We certainly weren't expecting it," Mrs Hocking said.
"It was kept a secret, all the members knew except for us.
"It was such a surprise and is a most wonderful honour to be honoured by our peers."
Lucindale has regularly hosted the State championships but to be able to hold the national event is a huge coup for the town.
The opening of a second set of yards last year enabled the organising committee, ably led by the Hockings and SA president Lee Mickan, to successfully run the event.
"It was an outstanding success," Mrs Hocking said.
"It was more than we could have ever asked for. All the members and volunteers pitched in...it just went smoothly and the results were great with place-getters seen across all the states."
More than 100 dogs competed from all over Australia in the seven championship events.
This meant there was non-stop competition on not only the Friday and Saturday, but also the two preceding days.
The highlight was the Australian Championship on the Saturday, with last year's State winner and also reigning Australian champion Joe Spicer, from Glenthompson, back to defend his title.
It was standing room only as a large crowd gathered to watch.
In the end Sarah Mortimer, who travelled 1600km from Queensland, became the first female winner of the prestigious event which dates back to 1982.
Furthermore, she is only the second Queenslander to win after John Greenwood took the title in 1989.
Ms Mortimer said she loved the challenge of the yard dog competitions and working as part of a team with such an intelligent animal.
Her "teammate" and star working dog was Whites Dixie - a six-year-old who has been a constant partner in her six years of competing.
"Dixie is our number one farm dog on our 10,500ha property and it is her consistency, balance of caution and aggression when necessary, and ability to read stock that makes her such a special working dog," she said.
Ms Mortimer placed third last year in her first ever national final, but came through for 2014 with a fantastic score of 185.5 points out of a possible 200.
Mr Spicer, last year's winner with Gogetta Package, had to be content with second this time around and was just six points behind Ms Mortimer.
A further point back in third was Mitch Duffy, from New South Wales, followed by SA's highest placegetter Lee Mickan on 177 points.
Peter Darmody, New South Wales (176 points) and Simon Bowden, Tasmania (172.5 points) rounded out the top six place-getters with all competing states represented.
In the other six competitions - from the Novice class to the Open final - Paddy Mulquinny (SA), Jason Crockford (SA), Adam James (Victoria), Greg Watson (New South Wales), Rex Hocking (SA) and again Ms Mortimer (Queensland) all tasted winning success.
To have such a huge event run so smoothly and on time was a credit to all the organisers, helpers and sponsors, as well as the producers who allowed their sheep to be used.
SE Rural Contracting Encourage: 1 - Paddy Mulquinny (SA) and Max 175, 2 - Paddy Mulquinny (SA) and Smokey 158, 3 - Darren Holmberg (Victoria) and Saltpan Roley 142, 4 - Darren Holmberg (Victoria) and Gogetta Princess 71.
Naracoorte Hotel Motel Maiden: 1 - Jason Crockford (SA) and Raimar Trouble 255, 2 - Robert Copping (SA) and Pomanda Jack 232, 3 - Travis Ware (SA) and Red 169, 4 - Rex Hocking (SA) and Washpool Turbo 157, 5 - Paddy Mulquinny (SA) and Kelly 153, 6 - Kevin Howell (New South Wales) and Karana Tom 149.
Pedigree SEFD Classic Placings: 1 - Adam James (Victoria) and Tundarbardi Buster 175, 2 - Joe Gerritson (SA) and Waramara Hank 174, 3 - Greg Walton (New South Wales) and Karana Jed 174, 4 - Phillip James (Victoria) and Samie 165, 5 - Lee Mickan (SA) and Eulooka Wanna 164, 6 - Luke Crouch (Victoria) and Nacooma Jackie 159.
Jase's Fencing Novice: 1 - Greg Walton (New South Wales) and Karana Jed 174, 2 - Joe Gerritson (SA) and Waramara Hank 173, 3 - Steve Robinson (SA) and Barcoola Hank 163, 4 - Rod Forsyth (Western Australia) and Binnaburra Milo 163, 5 - Paul Pierce (Victoria) and Karana Emma 150, Jason Crockford (SA) and Raimar Trouble 142.
RJC Evans and Co Improver: 1 - Rex Hocking (SA) and Washpool Tom 175, 2 - Brian Leahy (Victoria) and Roustabout Kuda 174, 3 - Joe Spicer (Victoria) and Gogetta Basil 170, 4 - Rex Hocking (SA) and Washpool Kiri 170, 5 - Gary Sharrock (Victoria) and Gogetta Bruno 132.
Lucindale Engineering Open: 1 - Sarah Mortimer (Queensland) and Whites Dixie 182.5, 2 - Peter Darmody (New South Wales) and Condover Strike 180, 3 - Lee Mickan (SA) and Eulooka Diesel 171, 4 - Simon Bowden (Tasmania) and Scoriochre Diesel 164, 5 - Joe Spicer (Victoria) and Gogetta Basil 161, Rex Hocking (SA) and Washpool Kiri 86.5.