After being runners-up in 2016, Shirley Cropper and Beechwood Ben won the prestigious Deerplay Hill double gather championship this year. For the first time this annual trial was held over three days. Friday and Saturday were qualifying trials where the top 12 each day went into the championship, along with the highest pointed Holme committee member.
Running was on newlysheared Cheviots. In the qualifying trials the packets of four could be difficult over the fetch as they were reluctant to come down the rough terrain of the steep hillside where three obstacles had to be negotiated.
This year there was a full lefthand drive, then a split after the pen. Once onto flat ground the sheep were more reasonable but they were never easy to pen. Jock Welsh judged the entry of 71 on Friday, allowing 12 minutes per run. It was a 7am start but fog halted proceeding for more than an hour after nine dogs had run.
Running in the late 30s, James Dumbleton and Sid took the lead with 104 points from 120. They stood top only briefly as Richard Hutchinson and Sweep (R. Hutchinson’s Lyn and Wenndale Roy) had an excellent round five runs later to win with 110 points.
Saturday With just an odd shower before brightening up, Saturday’s weather was good and caused no delays for the 64 entries judged by last year’s championship winner, Kevin Evans. With run 24, Sissel Modin, Norway, took the lead gaining 91 points with Storm. In the early 30s, James Magee’s run with Glencregg Silver senior (J. McGee’s Becca and Seth) pushed them into second place when they earned the winning score of 94.
Kevin then judged the championship, allowing 25 minutes and scoring out of 160 points. Running at five, Ross Watson and Ricky set the standard. Going left-handed for three sheep which stood 800 yards away, Ricky had a good start. Instead of coming straight down the hill the sheep had to come diagonally, following a line of white posts.
For being off-line as he brought his sheep down the first fetch, Ricky lost eight points. For not turning back from the correct point and for re-directional commands over his second gather, he lost eight points, before having a clean lift and good second fetch.
Apart from being a little cautious his driving was good and, with a total of six points lost at hand, Ricky scored 130. Shirley ran Ben (N. Bennett’s Beechwood Itsy, C. Dickson’s Scot) at 11. For going marginally wide at the start of his first gather Ben lost one point.
Although the sheep could be difficult, Ben worked well and lifted them with a loss of just a single point. His first fetch was excellent as he held his shearlings on line, again losing only one point. Although Ben turned back from the correct point he was going straight and needed redirecting.
He lost eight points from his second gather before he lifted his second packet of three without fault and then had another good fetch, dropping just one point. Keeping good lines he lost four marks through his driving. In the marked ring Ben split the six sheep into two packets of three at a loss of three points and after the six sheep were regrouped, three further points went at the pen.
Ideally the last sheep had to be singled. Shirley asked Ben to come through to take the last one but as he hesitated the sheep turned and he took the first one to lose seven points. With a score of 131, Ben took the championship title with a single point advantage. Mr Evans said: “Ben handled his sheep well. He had the best fetches and the smoothest, most controlled run in the championship.”
At Crookhill Farm, Tom Weston won the first open trial with Meg, while the second and third were both won by David Wood and Gem (J. Fawcett’s Nan, C. Cutler’s Hillmoor Cap). As the course was set over a steep open hillside where there were boulders, rocks and rushes, the gather was difficult.
Most dogs ran out to the right though they could go wide to the side. To the left the terrain wasCrookhill At Crookhill Farm, Tom Weston won the first open trial with Meg, while the second and third were both won by David Wood and Gem (J. Fawcett’s Nan, C. Cutler’s Hillmoor Cap).
As the course was set over a steep open hillside where there were boulders, rocks and rushes, the gather was difficult. Most dogs ran out to the right though they could go wide to the side. To the left the terrain was steep, making it the more difficult option.
Running was on Cheviot cross hoggs which were reasonable to manage over the outfield, provided they were not upset, but they proved tricky to pen. On May 27 with a score of 75 points, David and Gem topped the entry of 31 judged by Jess Fletcher.
The following Wednesday, when Richard Cottrill judged an entry of 43, they had a clear five-point lead on 87. The Stephen Hepworth Memorial open, where £510 was raised for Manorlands Hospice, Oxenhope, was also held on Wednesday, May 31.
Richard Fawcett judged an entry of 45. Sloping gently down to the lift, the more popular right-hand outrun was tricky as the dogs had to cross a track which brought a good number in. Few chose to go left as the dogs were lost from sight for much of the way.
Running was on packets of five Swaledale hoggs which ran well over the course, were tricky to pen, but good to shed. With a score of 87 points, Sergio Perello and Murguia Jim were the clear winners to take their ninth open title.
HOLME, Bacup, Lancashire (Judge, J. Welsh, Dalrymple) Deerplay Hill Trial, Friday qualifying open (71 ran) 1, R. Hutchinson (Littledale) Sweep, 110 of 120; 2, J. Dumbleton (Bollington) Sid, 104; 3, R. Watson (Millom) Ricky, 101; 4, T. Longton (Quernmore) Jim, 100; 5, J. Magee (Co Donegal) Glencregg Silver Jnr, 97; 6, K. Cropper (Shap) Tsavo, 94. Saturday qualifying open (K. Evans, Brecon – 64 ran) 1, J. McGee, Glencregg Silver Snr, 94 of 120; 2, S. Modin (Norway) Storm, 91; 3, S. Cropper (Deerplay) Beechwood Ben, 90; 4, M. Jones (Llanarthne) Nan,90; 5, R Games (Talgarth) Roy, 89; 6, P. Turnbull (Rothbury) Mik, 88. Best outrun on Saturday, J. Settle (Bacup) Jess. Double gather championship (25 ran) 1, S. Cropper Beechwood Ben, 131 of 160; 2, R. Watson, Ricky, 130; 3, D. Wood (Derwent Valley) Gem, 127; 4, R. Hutchinson, Sweep, 126; 5, J. Dumbleton, Sid, 120; 6, J. McGee, Silver Snr, 119. Best turn back, R. Hutchinson, Sweep. Aggregate, R. Hutchinson, Sweep.
CROOKHILL, Crookhill Farm, Derwent Valley, Bamford, Derbyshire (J. Fletcher, Chesterfield) Saturday open (31 ran) 1, D. Wood, Gem, 75 of 90; 2, J. Howard (Holme) Bill, 74; 3, J. Howard, Lad, 73 OLF; 4, C. Pickford (Rainow) Rainow Meg, 73; 5, D. Wood, Lin, 71; 6, J. Hussey (Manchester) Highgate Hil, 70. Wednesday open (R. Cottrill, Derwent Valley – 43 ran) 1, D. Wood, Gem, 87 of 90; 2, Thomas Longton, Maya, 82; 3, J. Wood (Norland) Taff, 81; 4, P. Wood (Derwent Valley) Sue, 79 OLF; 5, Thomas Longton, Glen, 79; 6, J. Dumbleton, Sid, 78. The event raised £370 for Turners Syndrome.
WEST YORKSHIRE, Stephen Hepworth Charity Memorial, venue between Colne and Oakworth (R. Fawcett, Hardraw) Open (45 ran) 1, S. Perello (Caton) Murguia Jim, 87 of 100; 2, R. Watson, Ricky, 80 OLF; 3, J. Scrivin (Elslack) Gwen, 80; 4, J. Scrivin, Treflys Taff, 76 OLF; 5, J. Scrivin, Meg, 76; 6, S. Cropper, Danny, 75. The event raised £510 for Manorlands Hospice, Oxenhope.
MILNTHORPE, County Showground, Cumbria (W. Tod, Langholm) Country Fest Saturday open (66 ran) 1, P. Ellis (New Hutton) Joe, 97 of 100 OLF; 2, K. Cropper, Joe, 97; 3, A. Common (Lockerbie) Mac, 95; 4, S. Perello, Murguia Jim, 94; 5, A. Temple (Holmrook) Don, 92; 6, J. Relph (Greystoke) Highfield Del, 91. Sunday open (D. Harrison, Selside – 63 ran) 1, C. Taylor (Keasden) Meg, 97 of 100; 2, P. Exelby (Nun Appleton) Gem, 94; 3, H. Taylor (Skelsmergh) Roo, 93; 4, R. Briggs (Wennington) Fly, 91; 5, C. Taylor, Jess, 90 OLF; 6, J. Palmer (Twiston) Gill, 90.
SUSSEX, Deanland Farm, Golden cross (M. Paice) Open (29 ran) 1, B. Powell (Cold Ashby) Mirk, 88 of 100 OLF; 2, M. Banham (Chipstead) Rob, 88; 3, V. Powell (Cold Ashby) Cully, 87; 4, Ray Edwards (Chulmleigh) Dewi Fan, 86; 5, Ray Edwards, Bob, 85 OLF; 6, Jackie Marsh (Golden Cross) Angie, 85. Novice 1, M. Banham, Rob, 88.
SANDUCK CROSS, Lustleigh, Saturday (D. Kennard, Woolacombe) Farm Charity Maltese cross open (26 ran) 1, J. Garland (Cwmcarn) Tess, 81 of 90; 2, J. Watson (Postbridge) Gwydr Zac, 80; 3, C. Worgan (Chulmleigh) Lee, 79 OLF; 4, J. Nicholls (Buckland Brewer) Joe, 79. Novice 1, C. Worgan, Lee, 79 of 90; 2, J. Watson, Spot, 78; 3, D. Cole (Bittaford) Mirk, 75; 4, J. Holdsworth (Moretonhampstead) Loki, 70. Driving open (L. Lock, Tavistock – 40 ran) 1, M. Fox (Dorchester) Bob, 91 of 100; 2, J. Watson, Huthwaite Roy, 89; 3, J. Carter (Delabole) Bob, 86 OLF; 4, S. Greenaway (Manaton) Sanduck Flip, 86; 5, J. Carter, Jay, 86; 6, J. Tucker (Brentor) Sweep, 85. Novice, 1, D. Cole, Jess, 81 of 100; 2, J. Harper (Jacobstowe) Mo, 72; 3, J. Garland, Jake, 69; 4, V. Pitts (Exminster) Isla, 63. Sunday Maltese cross open (C. Worgan – 27 ran) 1, J. Watson, Spot, 81½ of 90; 2, J. Watson, Gwydr Zac, 78; 3, J. Garland, Tess, 77; 4, B. Watson (North Tawton) Max, 76. Novice 1, A. Blackmore (Ledbury) Moss, 72 of 90; 2, M. Ridge (Chulmleigh) Mac, 67; 3, J. Carter, Queen, 53.5; 4, J. Holdsworth, Loki, 39. Driving open (P. Symons, Ivybridge – 37 ran) 1, B. Watson, Jay, 85 of 100; 2, T. Rofe (Chilla) Laddie, 81; 3, C. Worgan, Holly, 80; 4, J. Carter, Bob, 78; 5, J. Whiteley (Lydford) Breeze, 76; 6, J. Watson, Huthwaite Roy, 75. Novice, 1, A. Blackmore, Malta Cap, 70 of 100; 2, B. Watson, Roy, 64 OLF; 3, C. Worgan, Lee, 64; 4, J. Harper, Mo, 59. Brace (2 ran) 1, T. Hopper (Veryan) Tweed and Fern.
SURREY, Sandhills Farm, Bletchingley (E. Thornalley, Worlington) Open (33 ran) 1, R. Smith (Chipping Norton) Bob, 82 of 100 OLF; 2, S. Walker (Stelling Minnis) Quill, 82; 3, M. Banham, Belle, 77; 4, M. Fox, Reg, 71; 5, M. Banham, Molly, 70; 6, A. Blackmore, Joe, 65. Novice, 1, A. Blackmore, Joe, 65.
WESSEX, Colemore, Hants (Jackie Marsh) Saturday open, 1, M. Banham, Molly, 84 of 100 OLF; 2, R. Hutchinson, Sweep, 84; 3, C. Worgan, Holly, 82; 4, R. Hutchinson, Moya, 80; 5, J. Drinkwater (Lampeter) Sweep, 79; 6, M. Jenkins (Shadwell) Aura, 77. Novice, 1, M. Banham, Rob, 67 of 100. Sunday Open (R. Lutman) 1, C. Worgan, Holly, 90 of 100; 2, A. Blackmore, Del, 89; 3, J. Watson, Zac, 88; 4, M. Banham, Molly, 86 OLF; 5, A. Blackmore, Cap, 86; 6, R. Hutchinson, Sweep, 86. Novice, 1, C. Worgan, Leyla, 77. Best shed and pen, J. Watson, Jake.
CORNWALL, Trethern, Delabole (T. Griffiths, Lydney) West Rose open driving (43 ran) 1, Ray Edwards, Brad, 92 of 100; 2, J. Tucker, Sweep, 91 OLF; 3, L. Bowden Lad, 91; 4, J. Nicholls, Joe, 91; 5, J. Watson, Huthwaite Roy, 90 OLF; 6, J. Nicholls, Rob, 90. Open Maltese cross (J. Summers, Tintagel – 8 ran) 1, J. Watson, Jim, 81 of 90; 2, J. Nicholls, Tan, 77; 3, J. Watson, Zac, 75; 4, J. Carter, Jess, 72. Novice Maltese cross (10 ran) 1, Ray Edwards, Mick, 76 of 90; 2, J. Watson, Jack, 75; 3, Ray Edwards, Jet, 74; 4, Ray Edwards, Clyde, 71. New Handler, 1, L. Ireland (Gorran) Ned, 38 of 90. Young Handler, 1, W. Carter (Davidstow) Queen, 59 of 90; 2, W. Carter, Joe, 42; 3, J. Kendle Pip, 27.
VERYAN, Pennare Farm (D. Colton) Roseland open driving trial (27 ran) 1, R. Palmer (Camelford) Meg, 91 of 100 OLF; 2, S. Greenaway, Sanduck Flip, 91; 3, T. Rofe, Laddie, 90; 4, R. Watson, Max, 87 OLF; 5, N. Dalgarno (Tregony) Mirk, 87; 6, J. Tucker, Sweep, 86. Open Maltese cross (T. Rofe – 5 ran) 1, J. Carter, Jess, 78 of 90; 2, N. Dalgarno, Pip, 72. Novice Maltese cross (7 ran) 1, M. Hopper (Veryan) Dot, 76 of 90; 2, R. Watson, Roy, 60 OLF; 3, J. Nicholls, Sam, 60. Young handler, 1, L. Hopper (Veryan) Fern. New handler, 1, J. Kendle, Pip; 2, L. Ireland, Ned; 3, S. Shuffell, Floss.
VERYAN, Pennare Farm (H. Ross, Gorran) Tregony open driving trial (27 ran) 1, J. Carter, Bob, 83 of 100; 2, J. Carter, Jay, 81; 3, R. Watson, Max, 78; 4, J. Nicholls, Joe, 76 OLF; 5, T. Rofe, Laddie, 76; 6, N. Dalgarno, Mirk, 73. Brace (J. Tucker) 1, V. Pitts, Tia and Isla, 87 of 140; 2, N. Dalgarno, Mirk and Roy, 82; 3, T. Hopper, Tweed and Fern, 75. Open Maltese cross (R. Palmer – 5 ran) 1, N. Dalgarno, Pip, 78 of 90; 2, J. Carter, Jess, 64 OLF; 3, N. Carter (Common Moor) Maid, 64. Novice Maltese cross, 1, M. Hopper, Dot, 72 of 90; 2, R. Watson, Roy, 48. (M. Hopper) Young handler 1, W. Carter, Queen; 2, L. Hopper, Fern; 3, W. carter, Joe. New handler 1, J. Kendle, Pip.
Trials diary - ENGLAND
June 10. NORTHUMBERLAND League, open, The Heugh, NE48 3HR, entry closed. LOWGILL Open, Thursgill Road, Botton, signed from Lowgill village, Lancashire, LA2 8QY, 8.30am start, enter on field by 2pm, catering.
June 11. ROMNEY MARSH Open and starter class, Torry Hill, entry closed. EAST ANGLIA Open and novice, Euston Park, Suffolk, entry closed.
June 16, 17 and 18. FREEBIRCH Opens with double gather championship, Chesterfield, S42 7DQ, catering, entry closed.
June 17 and 18. CORNWALL Roughtor Trial, Open driving, open and novice Maltese cross, Roughtor, Camelford, PL32 9QG, 9am start, catering, pre-entry June 11, contact T. Hopper, tel: 01872 501 886.
Scotland: Sine Robertson
Clean work outbye and a good run on the course put Kenny Brehmer’s Cynfal Gwen to the fore at Glendevon. The Mule gimmers behaved if handled well, but could be touchy and proved testing in close work. Cynfal Gwen ran out, lifted and fetched with no difficulty.
She drove the sheep away through the gate and turned them tightly, almost to look back to the gate, but she put them across the drive and through the next gate with no trouble. They were held at the mouth of the pen until secured.
At the shed, the hoggs spread out before Kenny called Gwen in and earned first place with a successful run. At Peebles, the Blackface hoggs were difficult to hold at the top of the course and could bolt. The shed too proved treacherous and many runs came adrift there.
Julie Hill’s Molly ran out and lifted cleanly, had only minor wavers on the fetch and worked well until, approaching the first drive gate, the line bent. Molly was a little hesitant to correct the situation but she put the sheep through and then made a clean pen.
Although the shed was not as smooth as it might have been, Molly managed her sheep well and her good work earned first place. Good work outbye gave Neil Gillon’s Shweep the edge at Carsphairn. The Blackface hoggs were full of life on a flat field but proved tricky to turn round the handler and drive away on the first leg.
Shweep ran out, lifted cleanly and fetched well, but struggled to turn sheep round Neil. He made a wide turn, affecting the start of the drive, but once on line they went well and a clean pen followed. The shed was not neat, but once complete the run earned first place.
GLENDEVON (J.G. Templeton, Fenwick) Open (70 ran) 1, K. Brehmer (New Bythe) Cynfal Gwen, 96; 2, P. Martin (Glenlyon) Jill, 95; 3, D. Galbraith (Comrie) Denwyn Jack, 92 Outbye; 4, A. Sim (Powmill) Bree, 92 Outbye; 5, S. Martin (Cashlie) Lexie, 92; 6, D. Wallace (Blyth Bridge) Boy, 91.
PEEBLES (A. Dickman, Oxton) Open, 1, J. Hill (Heriot) Molly, 94; 2, D. Henderson (Allendale) Star, 93; 3, R.B. Henderson (Heriot) Skid, 92 Outbye; 4, P. Martin (Glenlyon) Jill, 92; 5, D. Wallace (Blyth Bridge) Boy, 91 Outbye; 6, A. Stewart (Lockerbie) Tweed, 91.
CARSPHAIRN (S. Paton, Ayr) Open (40 ran) 1, N. Gillon (Dailly) Shweep (Sweep), 91; 2, I. McMillan (Newton Stewart) Lamp, 88; 3, R. Welsh (Patna) Mist, 86; 4, T. Welsh (Patna) Don, 85; 5, M. McTeir (Oxton) Mak, 84; 6, R. Middleton (Dalry) Will, 83 Outbye. Confined, 1, D. McMillan (Carsphairn) Roy; 2, E. Craig, (Carsphairn) Shep; 3, I. Robertson (Carsphairn) Bill. Young handler, J. Welsh Jnr (Beoch) Nell.
CONTIN (P. Martin, Glenlyon) Highland Sheep invitation double lift (30 ran) 1, M.C. Shearer (Westfield) Roy, 115 /150; 2, J. Sutherland (Durness) Upland Jan, 114; 3, W. Davidson (Turriff) Mona, 113; 4, J. McKenzie (Turriff) Tweedie, 112; 5, I. Wilkie (Keithhall) Floss, 109.
TREFEGLWYS (D. Williams) Open national session one, 1, A. Bennett (Asterton) Cap, 15; 2, A. Williams (Penmachno) Max, 16 OLF; 3, A. Price (Llandrindod Wells) Mirk, 16; 4, A. Jarman (Llangwyfron) Cap, 19 OLF; 5, D. Davies (Abergunolwyn) Sally, 19; 6, J. Evans (Ystrad Meurig) Scott, 21. Novice national, 1, A. Bennett, Cap, 15; 2, A. Price, Mirk, 16; 3, L. Williams (Llandeilo) Ned, 24; 4, P. Williams (Treuddyn) Meg, 25. Session two (G. Lightfoot) 1, I. Jones (Erwood) Ted, 12 OLF; 2, A. Blomkvist (Sweden) Moss, 12; 3, K. Haker (Llandrindod Wells) Elsa, 13; 4, K. Dyzs (Corwen) Mag, 14; 5, M. Morgan (Tregaron) Jill, 15; 6, M. Morgan, Jessie, 16. Novice National, 1, K. Haker, Elsa, 13; 2, K. Dyzsy, Mag, 14; 3, W. Jones (Erwood) Spark, 14; 4, H. Lloyd (Trefeglwys) Fly, 17 OLF; 5, J. Lightfoot (Llandegla) Nan, 17.
YSBYTY IFAN (Eric Williams) Open national, 1, M. Evans (Llanfachreth) Meg, 4; 2, A. Roberts (Pentrefoelas) Sam, 5; 3, J. Evans (Ystrad Meurig) Glen, 7; 4, R. Owen (Pengraigwen) Ross, 8; 5, M. Evans (Mac) 10; 6, T.E. Jones (Talybont) Omega Jazz, 11. Class 2, 1, J.R. Griffith (Talysarn) 6; 2, M. Evans, Tec, 8; 3, G, Jones, Jan, 15; 4, M. Davidson (Llansadwrn) Sweep, 17; 5, M. Williams (Welshpool) Midge, 18; 6, B. Williams, Lad, 19.
Trials diary - WALES
June 10. CLUN VALLEY Open national, Poplars Farm, Rockhill, SY7 8LR, pre-entry, catering, contact V. Morris, tel: 01588 640 767 or 07794 779 907.
June 11. BEDDGELERT Hafod y Llan, Nant Gwynant, Caernarfon, LL55 4NQ, Open national and class 2, pre-entry, start 9am, catering, contact J. Jones, tel: 01286 870 749. SIOE SIR GAR Porthyrhyd, Carmarthen, SA32 8PP, Open national, two sessions, pre-entry, catering, contact M. Owen, tel: 01267 290 282 or 07779 600 112.
June 15. HIRAETHOG Open national and class 2, Sportsman’s Arms, Denbigh, LL16 5SW, open only PM, enter on field, catering, start 8:30, contact G. Davies, tel: 07909 651 936.
June 17. LLANDDEUSANT Open national, Panthowell, Llanddeusant, SA19 9SR, two sessions, pre-entry, catering, contact, A. Westover, tel: 07956 270 680.