Tributes continue to flow for Dubbo’s Greg Prince, who passed away on Saturday morning.
The much-loved family man has been hailed as a “hero of the dog trialling world”, with people from across Australia taking to social media to share their memories of Mr Prince.
Bredbo dog trialler John Perry, who had competed against Mr Prince since 1984, said he “raised the bar” in the dog trialling world.
“He was always a big threat, right from the start. He started off with kelpie dogs and then once he switched to border collies he became a very, very tough competitor,” Mr Perry told the Daily Liberal of the man who took out the Supreme Australian Dog Trial Championships a total of nine times between 1999 and 2012.
Mr Prince also took out the National Sheep Dog Trials at Hall, ACT in 2016 and 2017, giving him 16 national trial titles.
“He raised the bar on dog trialling,” Mr Perry said.
“When I first started, if you got a 74 you’d be guaranteed to be in the final. Since Greg started teaching people, you’d get a 94 and not be guaranteed to get in the final so he’s raised the bar about 20 points.
“He’s won more than any other dog trialler ever, that I know of.”
Mr Prince passed away on Saturday morning after being diagnosed with cancer last year.
He leaves behind his wife Jan, sons Greg, Brad and Bob and their families.
Mr Perry said Mr Prince “meant a lot” to Australia’s sheep dog trialling community, and would have a lasting legacy on the sport.
“He wasn’t only a hard worker, he ran heaps and heaps of schools and taught young people how to teach dogs and read sheep. He meant a lot,” Mr Perry said.
“He was always a good, easy bloke to get along with. Everybody liked him and all the younger people especially looked up to him and tried to pick his brain and get a few tips off him.
“He ran schools all over Australia … he taught a lot of people how to work dogs.”
People from across Australia have also taken to social media to share their memories of Mr Prince, and to say goodbye.
“Our deepest sympathies to his lovely wife, Jan, and family,” wrote Yeoval’s Justin and Amy Dickens, of JAD Agriculture.
“Greg was a hero of the dog trialling world - arguably the best three-sheep dog trainer and trialler the county has seen, as demonstrated by his tremendous list of competition successes over many years (16 times Australian Sheep Dog Trialling Champion).
“He was a friend of our family … The world is less of a place without him in it.”
“There wasn't anything Greg could not do with a dog,” wrote Widen Kelpie Stud owner Josh Marshall.
“To him it wasn't just a hobby it was his pride and joy he truly enjoyed working and trialling dogs and he showed that in the work he put in.”
Mr Perry said winning would be a lot easier now, but less sweet.
“He will be missed around the trials, that’s for sure,” he said.
“Just competing against him, you know if you go to a little trial and there’s no competition, you win it but you don’t feel the same … [you’ll think] what would have happened if Greg had been here?
“He had a dog called Clyde – one he bred himself – and he was a real good dog. I think Greg thought of him as the best dog he’d ever bred. He wouldn’t have suited a lot of people but Greg was capable of handling that type of dog.”
Mr Perry said Mr Prince was arguably the best their ever was – and possibly the best there ever will be.
“He was a respected dog trialler. Very respected. He was the best and a very, very hard man to beat,” Mr Perry said.
“It will take a jolly good fellow to get up there and beat his record.”