For four Sundays, starting on March 11, the North Westmorland Society has held charity open trials at Greystoke, near Penrith, in memory of Stephen Relph who died aged 26.
It is hoped further trials will be held later in the year at different venues.
Stephen was a popular young man, who, despite having more than his fair share of setbacks, remained positive and was always pleasant.
Consequently, these trials which have been running for four years now are well supported.
The money raised through trial entries, donations and sponsorship is given to a charity and this year, for the second consecutive year, the proceeds will go to Prostate Cancer UK.
The most recent trial, which was held last Sunday, was sponsored by John and Claire Harrison, Shap.
In dry weather, Richard Fawcett judged the entry of 61.
Running was on packets of three Herdwick hoggs which were good to manage both over the course and at hand, therefore, the standard of work was high.
Set over a flat pasture, the course had a fetch of more than 250 yards.
Although it could be gathered either way, most chose to go right where the dogs could follow the fence.
The first leg of the left-hand drive was the most difficult of the three sections where skill and care was needed to negotiate the obstacle.
Heading in the direction of the exhaust pen the sheep would often split up and if pushed would pick up speed.
The dogs had to quietly work to keep them together and then be quick to flank and turn them into the cross-drive.
A number of handlers misjudged the last obstacle and turned their sheep on the inside of the hurdle.
At the pen the hoggs mostly went straight in. To finish, within a sawdust ring the last sheep had to be singled by the head, turned and held.
Running early at number four, Tom Huddleston set a high standard gaining 89.5 points with Udale Robbie, one of the dogs he has been running this winter in the nursery trials.
However, they were gradually pushed back into fifth placing. Alan Common and Cammen Roy went ahead when they scored 91 with run 34. At 39, Sergio Perello and Murguia Jim pulled ahead.
Jim lost a couple of points for stopping slightly short at the end of this gather before having a clean lift.
Minor line deviations cost three points over his fetch and three and a half points throughout his driving.
After a clean pen he had a clean shed, the best of the day, to score 91.5 points. Derek Scrimgeour and Lynn who gained 91 points with run forty-six took third placing on an out-bye decision.
The winning run came late at number 57 when Arthur Temple went to the post with Jan (R.D. Lambie’s Jaz and Craig).
Following a clean right-hand outrun and clean lift, smooth coated Jan lost two points from her fetch for minor line deviations.
She had an excellent first drive and tight turn after the obstacle.
Three points were deducted from her driving.
After a clean pen two points were deducted from her single giving the top score of 93.
Having taken the title on March 18 they now have won two of the four trials which to date have raised more than £1,100.
The previous week’s trial had an entry of sixty-four dogs, judged by the host Joseph Relph.
It was sponsored by Ross Watson of Ulverston Auction Market.
Over the same course the running was again of a very high standard. At five, Thomas Longton gained 89 points with Jim and held the lead until Richard Hutchinson ran Jock at 38 and went ahead on 90 points.
However, Sweep (R. Hutchinson’s Lyn and Wenndale Roy), Jock’s sire, took the title with run 46.
After losing two marks from his gather and three from his fetch, Sweep had a tremendous drive dropping just three points. A clean finish gave him a score of 91 and a single point advantage.
NORTH WESTMORLAND, Greystoke, Penrith (Judge, R. Fawcett, Hardraw) Stephen Relph Memorial Charity Open April 1 (61 ran) 1, A. Temple (Holmrook) Jan, 93 of 100; 2, S. Perello (Littledale) Murguia Jim, 91.5; 3, D. Scrimgeour (Wigton) Lynn, 91 OLF; 4, A. Common (Lockerbie) Cammen Roy, 91; 5, T. Huddleston (Caton) Udale Robbie, 89.5 OLF; 6, D. Scrimgeour, Meg, 89.5. Sponsored by John and Claire Harrison of Shap.
(Judge, J. Relph, Greystoke) Stephen Relph Memorial Charity Open March 25 (64 ran) 1, R. Hutchinson (Littledale) Sweep, 91 of 100; 2, R. Hutchinson, Jock, 90; 3, Thomas Longton (Quernmore) Jim, 89; 4, R. Watson (Millom) Sally, 87; 5, S. Cropper (Deerplay) Beechwood Ben, 85; 6, L. Cowper (Threlkeld) Flo, 83.
Sponsored by Ross Watson of Ulverston Auction Market.
April 8. BARFORD MEADOWS, Opens, am and pm trials, Barford Meadows Nature Reserve, off A43 north of Kettering, Northamptonshire, 8.30am start, entry closed, in aid of Wildlife Trust BCN.
Brynley Williams and Elwy Lad on form at Bodfari Trial
An Easter weekend of trials was held at Bodfari, Denbighsire, on March 29 and 30.
Traditionally the first trial on the north Wales annual calendar, the event was hosted by Ceri and Phil Rundle and sponsored by CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds.
Handlers were provided with four cross Texel/Lleyn ewes who required gentle but firm handling around the undulating course.
The forecast was not good, but Friday’s weather turned out to be kinder than expected. The morning session featured a right-handed course with a pull through on the cross drive and ending with a chute.
Dylan Edwards and Ben had a clean outrun and lift followed by two points each taken off their fetch and drives.
Four points were lost when the sheep circled the pen. However their eight points won them both the open and novice classes.
Brynley Williams and Elwy Lad also had a clean outrun and lift as well as their pen, but missing the drive gates cost them dear. They were placed second in both classes, losing 12 points.
The course was altered for the afternoon session with a lengthy left-hand drive, a diagonal cross drive and an open pen. J.R. Griffith’s run with Moss lost them no points on their outrun and lift and only two from the fetch.
At 10 points down, this won them the open class, just ahead of host Ceri with Moel Dan who lost 12 points. The novice class, which did not include a shed, was also won by the same pair.
On Saturday, which was fraught with stormy weather, the open course included a right-hand drive and no shed.
Brynley Williams and Elwy Lad (by Aled Owen’s Cap out of A. Roberts’ Morag) were once again on good form with a run dropping only six points.
Meirion Jones and Nan also scored six points but the OLF rule meant Brynley and Lad were the winners. Their excellent run also automatically qualified them for first place in the novice class.
The trial raised £850 for Liverpool’s Walton Centre, the UK’s only specialist hospital dedicated to providing comprehensive neurology services.
Friday Session One (Judge, Alan von Dinther) Open national, 1, D. Edwards (Penrhynduedraeth) Ben, 8; 2, B. Williams (Ysgeifiog) Elwy Lad, 12; 3, P. Williams (Treuddyn) Bob, 13.5; 4, Ll. Evans (Swyddffynnon) Zac, 16; 5, E. Lloyd (Llanrhystud) Sal, 17; 6, I. B. Jones (Capel Bangor) Tanhill Bella, 18. Novice national, 1, D. Edwards, Ben, 8; 2, B. Williams, Elwy Lad, 12; 3, A. Blackmore (Ledbury) Spotty, 20; 4, L. Jones (Minsterley) Tess,24.5; 5, A. Owen (Penyfed) Celt, 29.5; 6, C. Rundle (Bodfari) Moel Chip 31.5.
Friday Session 2 (Gwyn Lightfoot) Open national, 1, J. R. Griffith (Talysarn) Sam, 10; 2, C. Rundle, Moel Dan, 12; 3, D. Davies (Tywyn) Sali, 14 OLF; 4, A. L. Jones (Selattyn) Spot, 14; 5, J. Lightfoot (Llandegla) Spot, 19 OLF; 6, P. Williams, Meg 19. Novice national, 1, C. Rundle, Moel Dan, 12; 2, F. Roberts (Llandegla) Bill, 13; 3, A. Blackmore, Moss, 20 OLF; 4, P. Thomas (Longnor) Myllin Meg, 20.
Saturday (Dylan Davies) Open national, 1, B. Williams, Elwy Lad, 6 OLF; 2, M. Jones (Maesybont) Nan, 6; 3, C. Ridge (Narberth) Spot, 7; 4, K. Haker (Llandrindod Wells) Rob, 8; 5, S. Harden (Pembroke) Cass, 9 OLF; 6, E. Lloyd, Sal, 9. Novice national, 1, B. Williams, Elwy Lad, 6; 2. R. Davies (Lampeter) Spot, 13; 3, T. Mallon (Glanaman) Jazz, 14; 4, P. Fanning (Ireland) Jim, 16; 5. C. Rundle, Moel Dan, 17; 6. M. Jones, Meg, 18.
April 7 IORWERTH DAVIES MEMORIAL Penclyn Farm, Modrydd, Libanus, Brecon, LD3 8ND, Open national, two sessions, catering, pre-entry, contact K. Evans, tel: 01874 625 582/07814 139 347.
April 13 GARNDOLBENMAEN A’R CYLCH Dolgwan Isaf, LL51 9AJ, local classes 3 and 4, start 4pm, enter on field, contact M. Griffiths, tel: 01766 530 834/07876 552 285.
April 14 GARNDOLBENMAEN A’R CYLCH Dolgwan Isaf, LL51 9AJ, open national and class 2, young handler class 2 trophy (morning session), two sessions, start 8am, catering, enter on field, contact M. Griffiths, tel: 01766 530 834/ 07876 552 285.
April 21 RHOSYBOL Felin Trysglwyn Land, LL68 9RG, Open national, start 7.30am, two sessions, catering, enter on field, contact R. Owen, tel; 07979 199 768.
April 22 RHOSYBOL Felin Trysglwyn Land, LL68 9RG, Classes 2 and 3, start 11am, enter on field, contact R. Owen, tel; 07979 199 768.
April 28 LLANGADOG AND DISTRICT Old Racecourse Fields, Llangadog, Open national, two sessions, start 7am, catering, pre-entry, contact C. Price, tel: 01550 740 506/07815 289 410. Eye testing at trial, contact C. Ridge, tel: 07773 192 283.
Mosse Magnusson’s Sprout leads the field at Invergarry
Mosee Magnusson’s Sprout kept his sheep settled on the course and achieved a stylish run on a testing day at Invergarry.
The Cheviot hoggs were in big form, on rolling green ground, but there was not a lot of space at the far end, so dogs tended to come tight on to their sheep.
The hoggs ran in threes, with a single sheep to be removed at the final stage.
A bitingly cold wind blowing up the course in the morning unsettled them, but they reacted against any pressure or rough handling, particularly at the pen.
After the break, a cut of fresh sheep mixed with some of the morning ones and a drop in the wind improved the standard.
Sprout came slightly tight on his sheep, but he made a good lift.
The line wavered a little before the hoggs went through the fetch gate, but the work went well from there and Sprout had the best drive of the day. Good work at hand completed the winning run with a comfortable lead.
Stuart Davidson’s Hope was decidedly tight at the top, and the hoggs came away hard from the post. Once moving round the course, Hope handled them well, with only minor deviations from line, which helped to make up for a difficult start and put the run into second place.
Run over the same course as the Invergarry open trial, the Great Glen SDTA’s event ran packets of four sheep, the following day. A little more experienced now, the hoggs proved much more amenable to trialling, but still needing careful handling.
John MacKillop’s Zac came in fairly tight at the top of the field. Once this was rectified, a good course ensued, with only minor deviations from line, until Zac turned the sheep across the face of the cross drive gates. A good pen and shed retrieved the situation, and gave him a healthy lead over his kennel mate.
John’s Straid Ben stopped slightly short at the top, but once he had lifted the sheep, he had a tidy course to the pen. Here, he had to contend with a couple of breaks before the gate was closed on a successful pen.
At the shed, having split the packet, Ben initially turned on to the wrong pair, before taking control of the target duo. Points lost on the close work detracted from the earlier standard and the run took second place.
INVERGARRY (Judge A.D. Carnegie, Comrie) Open (52 ran) 1, M. Magnusson (Mid Derry) Sprout, 91; 2, S.L. Davidson (Sandbank) Hope, 87; 3, A. McKenzie (Lochearnhead) Jess, 82 Outbye; 4, S.L. Davidson (Sandbank) Lee, 82; 5, E. Moore (Gruline) Cap, 81; 6, E.C. MacKinnon (Lochcarron) Buddy, 80; Local 1, J. McKillop (Fort Augustus) Straid Ben, 69; 2, M. MacNally (Invergarry) Ash, 66; 3, M. MacNally (Invergarry) Tarff, 63; £950 raised toward building new Fort Augustus medical surgery.
GREAT GLEN (E. Campbell, Inverlochy) Confined Nursery (7 ran) 1, J. McKillop (Fort Augustus) Zac, 81; 2, J. McKillop (Fort Augustus) Straid Ben, 75; 3, M. MacNally (Invergarry) Ash, 71; Confined older dogs (6 ran) 1, J. McKillop (Fort Augustus) Straid Sam, 80; 2, J. Moore (Gruline) Meg, 68; 3, J. Moore, (Gruline) Bob, 67.