At West Cumbria’s final trial of the season, Thomas Longton swept the board in the nursery class, winning the trial and the championship with Oz, while taking the aggregate with Storm. Arthur Temple won the novice class with Jan and Sarina Lopizzo won best new handler running Nell.
In Sunday’s glorious weather, the trial was held at Holmrook where the scenic backdrop to the course was a range of Lakeland Fells, the highestof which, including Scafell on the left, were capped with snow.
With a deep dip in the middle, the course had a fetch of about 350 yards and was gathered either way. The drive was to the right.
After the first obstacle in the trial, the drive continued to a second obstacle before sheep were returned to the pen. Worked in packets of five the Herdwick hoggs ran well over the outfield. But they would not be forced in at the pen. Norman Ireland judged the running.
Second to the post in the trial of 17 entries, Ross Watson and Huthwaite Kep set a good standard gaining 85 points. At 11, Thomas Longton matched the score with Storm and, at 14, he also gained 85 points with Oz (Thomas Longton’s Bonnie and Bruce). Rough-coated Oz had an excellent start.
He lost one point from his outrun before having a clean lift and fetch. Minor line deviations over his drive cost three points and one was dropped at the pen. An out-bye decision put Oz ahead, while Storm was placed second and Kep third.
At 16, Arthur Temple and Jan (R.D. Lambie’s Jaz and Craig) had a clean start before losing two points for minor wavers over their fetch. Nine points were deducted from their driving where they slipped sheep at the second drive obstacle. Losing one point at the pen gave a score of 78 and top place in the novice class over Tom Rome and Meg who were the runners-up on 75. Doing the full course, Sarina Lopizzo had a good start with Nell. She dropped some points over the drive and at the pen to score 69 and win best new handler.
In the championship of five contenders, Thomas was drawn to run first with aggregate winner Storm (C. Cassie’s Gyp, L.A. Amos’ Quories Merlo). Storm dropped seven points from his outfield work, put his sheep through the chute without fault, which replaced the pen, before losing two marks at the shed. His score of 91 points was only beaten when kennel-mate Oz went to the post drawn fourth.
A sharp, mainly black dog, Oz ran out well to lose just a single point from his gather before having a clean lift. Minor line deviations over the fetch cost two points.
For the championship there was a cross-drive and the last obstacle had three hurdles where the sheep had to be worked through the first two and then turned tightly back through. Oz worked extremely well through the drive, keeping good lines and having tight turns to lose only two points. After being clean at the chute he dropped one point at the shed to score 94 and take the championship title with a three point advantage.
The weather was also good on Saturday at Greystoke for the North Westmorland Stephen Relph Memorial Charity Open, where £360 was raised for prostate cancer. Over the flat course the running was on manageable Mule hoggs.
Richard Fawcett judged the entry of 68 and competition was close at the top. Sergio Perello and Rap took the lead at 20, gaining 90.5 points. The winning run came at 33 when Ross Watson and Ricky (J. Fothergill’s Meg, J.
Calderdale Tod) gained 91. A late run by Derek Scrimgeour and Lyn took third place, also on 90.5.
In complete contrast to the weekend, competitors at the Deerplay Charity Open on the previous Wednesday endured sleet, hail, rain, wind and freezing cold conditions. Despite the atrocious weather the trial was well supported and £1,100 was raised for Christies Children’s Hospital on behalf of local boy Kenton Ritson.
Hilda Cleary judged the entry of 53 dogs. The course was set over the lower slopes of Deerplay Hill where the gather of about 350 yards was mainly taken left-handed where the dogs could follow the wall. To the right there was open ground. Over the lengthy right-hand drive the dogs had difficulty hearing and the going was wet underfoot. Running was on Cheviot hoggs which were not easily managed in the difficult conditions and proved tricky to pen.
With a midday run, Jim Cropper and Dan set the standard, gaining 73 points. However they were pushed down into third place by Kevin Evans. With two good runs in testing conditions, Kevin took the title with Kemi Ross (D.K. Evans’ Tess, R. Games’ Roy) with 79 points and second place with Ace on 78.
WEST CUMBRIA, Holmrook, Cumbria, (Judge, N. Ireland, Holmrook) Trial (17 ran) Nursery 1, Thomas Longton (Quernmore) Oz, 85 of 90 OLF; 2, Thomas Longton, Storm, 85 OLF: 3, R. Watson (Millom) Huthwaite Kep, 85; 4, K. Cropper (Shap) Moor Lodge Jim, 84; 5, D. Purdham (Holmrook) Gem, 83; 6, A. Baines (South Stainmore) Tanhill Jock, 82.
Nursery Aggregate Thomas Longton, Storm.
Novice 1, A. Temple (Holmrook) Jan, 78 of 90; 2, T. Rome (Whitehaven) Meg, 75; 3, A. Bradley (Crosthwaite) Glenalla Raven, 74.
New Handler S. Lopizzo (Milan) Nell.
Nursery Championship (5 ran) 1, Thomas Longton, Oz, 94 of 100; 2, Thomas Longton, Storm, 91; 3, A. Baines, Tanhill Sally, 88; 4, T. Rome, Nell, 85; 5, A. Foster (Cartmel Fell) Bill, 83.
NORTH WESTMORLAND, Greystoke, Penrith, Cumbria, (Judge, R. Fawcett, Hardraw) Stephen Relph Charity Open (68 ran) 1, R. Watson, Ricky, 91 of 100; 2, S. Perello (Caton) Rap, 90.5; 3, D. Scrimgeour (Wigton) Lyn, 90.5; 4, R. Hutchinson (Littledale) Sweep, 90; 5, M. Elliott (Lazonby) Pat, 89.5; 6, S. Cropper (Deerplay) Beechwood Ben, 87.5.
The trial was sponsored by Penrith and District Farmers Mart and £360 was raised for prostate cancer.
DEERPLAY Charity Trial, Deerplay, Bacup, Lancashire, (Judge, H. Cleary, Barnacre) Open (53 ran) 1, K. Evans (Brecon) Kemi Ross, 79 of 90; 2, K. Evans, Ace, 78; 3, J. Cropper (Deerplay) Dan, 73; 4, S. Cropper, Beechwood Ben, 72; 5, S. Holt (Brecon) Blake, 70; 6, K. Cropper, Tsavo, 67.
On behalf of Kenton Ritson £1100 was raised for Christies Children’s Hospital.
April 1. NORTH LANCASHIRE, Nursery, Novice and New Handler with Nursery Championship, Lee End Farm, Quernmore, Lancaster, LA2 9EE, 9am start, enter on field. CUMBRIA, Northern Charity Open, field behind Out of Eden on the A685, Cumbria, CA17 4AP, 9am start, enter on field by 1pm, max two dogs per handler, proceeds for Hospices at Home.
April 2. NORTH WESTMORLAND, Stephen Relph Memorial Charity Open, Greystoke, Penrith, Cumbria, 9am start, enter on field by 3pm, max three dogs per handler, contact J. Relph, tel: 07494 443 901. WEST COUNTRY, Maltese cross then Driving, Dave Lewis, Launceston, 10am start, enter on field.
April 5. CUMBRIA, Northern Charity Open, field behind Out of Eden on the A685, Cumbria, CA17 4AP, 9am start, enter on field by 1pm, max two dogs per handler, proceeds for Hospices at Home.
April 8. IORWERTH DAVIES MEMORIAL, Penclyn Farm, Modrydd, Libanus, Brecon, LD3 8ND, open national, two sessions, catering, pre-entry by telephone, contact Kevin Evans, tel: 07814 139 347/ 01874 625 582.