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Working dogs: First and second at Deerplay for Richard Hutchinson

Not only did Richard Hutchinson win the prestigious Deerplay Hill Double Gather Championship with Jock, but he also was runner-up with Denwyn Moya.

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Working dogs: First and second at Deerplay for Richard Hutchinson

Due to the popularity of the trial, for the second consecutive year it has been held over three days.

Friday and Saturday (June 1 and 2) were to be the two qualifying days, but low cloud visibility made conditions too poor to run on the second day.


Consequently those entries ran on Sunday (June 3) and the double gather championship was moved to Monday (June 4).


On Friday, from the entry of 76 dogs, 60 ran judged by Jock Welsh. Over rough terrain, which was fairly flat to start before rising steeply towards the lift, the dogs had a gather of over 650 metres. The sheep were released from a small pen as the dogs arrived to pick them up.


Thirty points were allocated for both the outrun and the fetch. Once at the handler’s feet the sheep were turned into the left-hand drive.


After the pen the trial was concluded by a single.


On Friday, drawn to run at number 12, James Dumbleton and Sid set the standard by gaining 99 points. They held the lead until Katy Cropper and Zac (E. Gray’s Cwmadog Beth, P. Bristow’s Bill) went ahead.

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For minimal commands over his good right-hand gather Zac lost three marks before having a clean lift. As they came down the fetch at quite a pace, Zac worked his three hoggs through the three obstacles, losing seven points for deviations of line.


His driving was very good with just two points deducted throughout. At the pen the sheep were unsettled and tried to break, although Zac never allowed them to stray far. He secured them with a loss of three points before finishing with a clean single and gain the winning score of 105.


Drawn at number 74, Ross Watson and Kemi Ross were the runners-up, two points behind on 103.


After the fog on Saturday, there was sunshine on Sunday for the entry of 86 from which 61 dogs ran.


Shirley Cropper, who won the championship last year with Beechwood Ben, judged the running and she also judged the championship held on Monday.


Drawn at 69, Jock Welsh went to the post with Cree (F. Shennan’s Fizz, J. Welsh’s Tanhill Nap). For guidance Cree lost five marks from his right-hand outrun before having a clean lift. He kept his sheep steady and had a faultless line down the fetch.


Deviations throughout his driving cost six marks. Finishing with a clean pen and clean single gave him the winning score of 109 points. Drawn at 84 and with two points less, Barra O’Brien and Kate were the runners-up on 107.


For the 25 championship contenders, 12 from each day and the highest pointed Holme committee member not already qualified, which was Frank Cleary and Billy, Monday was overcast and cool.

Running was in catalogue order. Firstly the dogs had a left-hand gather of 800 yards for three sheep which they had to bring diagonally across the hillside following a line of white posts. It was this first gather that was the downfall for a number of dogs as they crossed the course.


The sheep were also difficult to keep on line over the first fetch as they pulled down the hill. The dogs had then to turn back to the right and pick up a second packet of three hoggs from where they had gathered on the qualifying days.


After the driving, the six sheep were split into two threes, all six penned and finally the last one singled.


Richard ran Moya at number 12. She lost a total of 18 points from her first outrun, lift and fetch and then 17 points from the second out-bye work. There after she dropped just two points from her driving, had a clean split before losing two at the pen.


Finishing with a clean single put Moya ahead on 161 points. At 16, Richard went to the post with International Supreme Champion Jock (I. Brownlie’s Mo, R. Hutchinson’s Sweep) and their out-bye work was outstanding.


Five points were deducted from Jock’s first gather, he had a clean lift and lost five for deviations down the first fetch. He turned back well and dropped just a single point from his second gather before having a clean lift and fetch.


Just three points were deducted from his driving before he finished clean at the shed, pen and single.


Jock’s score of 186 gave him the championship title clear by 25 points.



HOLME, Deerplay Hill, Bacup, Lancashire, (Judge, W. Welsh, Dalmellington) Friday Qualifying Open (60 ran) 1, K. Cropper (Shap) Zac, 105 of 120; 2, R. Watson (Millom) Kemi Ross, 103; 3, J. Dumbleton (Bollington) Sid, 99; 4, Michael Longton (Quernmore) Rainow Todd, 99; 5, M. O’Malley (County Mayo) Jock, 97; 6, J. Scrivin (Elslack) Gwen, 96. (Judge, S. Cropper, Deerplay) Sunday Qualifying Open (61 ran) 1, J. Welsh (Dalrymple) Cree, 109 of 120; 2, B. O’Brien (Ireland) Kate, 107; 3, D. Wood (Derwent Valley) Gem, 104; 4, N. O’Keefe (Ireland) Tine, 104; 5, G. Owen (Anglesey) Ben, 101; 6, A. Ledgar (Macclesfield) Tip, 99. Best Outrun D. Wood, Gem. Double Gather Championship (25 ran) 1, R. Hutchinson (Littledale) Jock, 186 of 200; 2, R. Hutchinson, Denwyn Moya, 161; 3, J. Dumbleton , Sid, 147 OLF; 4, Michael Longton, Rainow Todd, 147; 5, A. Ledgar, Tip, 138; 6, Thomas Longton (Quernmore) Jim, 128. Best Turn Back J. Dumbleton, Sid. Aggregate R. Hutchinson, Jock.

COUNTRY FEST, County Showground, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Kendal, Cumbria, (Judge, P. Ellis, New Hutton) Saturday Open (56 ran) 1, Thomas Longton, Jim, 90 of 100; 2, K. Cropper, Tsavo, 89; 3, C. Cassie (Lutterworth) Sean, 85; 4, A. Common (Lockerbie) Groesfaen Mac, 84; 5, G. Fearon (Borrowdale) Dave, 79; 6, T. Huddleston (Caton) Udale Ola, 76. (Judge, C. Taylor, Keasden) Sunday Open (48 ran) 1, Thomas Longton, Jim, 89 of 100; 2, A. Temple (Holmrook) Jan, 87 OLF; 3, S. Atkinson (Waitby) Meg, 87; 4, A. Temple, Don, 86; 5, R. Briggs (Wennington) Nell, 85 OLF; 6, P. Rigby (Skelsmergh) Elsa, 85.

NORTHERN, Hamsteels Hall, Quebec, Co Durham, (Judge, R. Watson, Millom) Morning Open (25 ran) 1, C. Mellin (Oakworth) Moor Lodge Ben, 87 of 100; 2, G. Fearon, Dave, 85; 3, D. Purdham (Holmrook) Tanhill Tag, 79; 4, K. Preston (Elsdon) Mac, 77 OLF; 5, P. Ellis, Joe, 77; 6, P. Schellhorne (Ferryhill) Roy, 76. (Judge, C. Mellin) Afternoon Open (35 ran) 1, T. Huddleston, Udale Robbie, 92 of 100; 2, D. Purdham, Gem, 89; 3, D. Bristow (Murton) Moss, 88; 4, J. Saukkonen (Warwick) Gannon, 85; 5, P. Ellis, Joe, 82 OLF; 6, Michael Longton (Quernmore) Treflys Gwyn, 82.

CORNWALL, Roseland Trial, Pennare Farm, Veryan, (Judge, R. Palmer, Camelford) Open Driving (25 ran) 1, M. Hopper (Veryan) Dot, 86 of 100 OLF; 2, J. Carter (Delabole) Jess, 86; 3, J. Nicholls (Buckland Brewer) Jen, 83; 4, J. Nicholls, Rob, 80; 5, T. Hopper (Veryan) Fern, 79; 6, J. Carter, Jack, 77. (Judge, J. Tucker, Brentor) Open Maltese cross (9 ran) 1, B. Watson (North Tawton) Max, 72 of 90; 2, R. Palmer, Meg, 71; 3, W. Carter (Davidstow) Jay, 66. Novice Maltese cross (7 ran) 1, B. Watson, Mac, 61 of 90; 2, S. Shuffell (Penzance) Floss, 45; 3, J. Carter, Kip, 33.

CORNWALL, Tregony Trial, Pennare Farm, Veryan, (Judge, D. Colton, Probus) Open Driving (30 ran) 1, D. Heard (Bude) Thistledown Annie, 91 of 100; 2, J. Watson (Postbridge) Don, 90; 3, B. Watson, Jay, 89; 4, R. Palmer, Meg, 86; 5, J. Watson, Kay, 84; 6, D. Heard, Tan, 81. Best shed and pen J. Watson, Don. Brace (3 ran) 1, V. Pitts (Exminster) Islay and Tia, 115 of 160. Open Maltese cross 1, J. Watson, Zac, 81 of 90; 2, J. Watson, Roy, 74; 3, L. Hopper (Veryan) Fern, 51; 4, W. carter, Joe, 41. Novice Maltese cross 1, J. Watson, Bob, 72 of 90; 2, B. Watson, Mac, 61; 3, W. Carter, Jill, 46; 4, J. Watson, Roy, 44.

NORTHUMBERLAND League, The Heugh, Wark, (Judge, M. Elliott, Alston) Open (42 ran) 1, L. Amos (Ireland) Coal, 85 of 100; 2, P. Martin (Glenlyon) Daisy, 80 OLF; 3, E. Gray (Ewesley) Jamie, 80; 4, C. Smith (Belsay) Ricky, 77; 5, P. Martin, Jill, 75; 6, M. Northwood (East Woodburn) Floyd, 72.


Trials diary


June 7, 8, 9 and 10. FREEBIRCH, with Championship, Freebirch Farm, Eastmoor, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S42 7DQ, 7am start, entry closed, catering.

June 9. SADDLEWORTH, Open, Delph Lane, Delph, Oldham, Lancashire, off A62, OL3 5HX, 8am start, enter on field, catering.

SOMERSET, Summer Trial, Maltese cross and Driving, Honey Pot Lane, Lydford, Cross, 9.30am start, enter on field in person by 12 noon, light refreshments.

LOWGILL Sports, Open, Thrushgill Road, Botton, Lancashire, LA2 8QY, 8.30am start, enter on field by 3pm, catering.

June 10. ROMNEY MARSH, Open and non-driving starter class, Torry Hill, Milstead, Sittingbourne, entry closed.

ASHWATER, Open and Novice Driving and Novice Maltese cross, Sanduck Cross Farm, Lustleigh, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 9SF, 8.30am start, entry closed.

EAST ANGLIAN, Open and Novice, Euston Park, Euston, Thetford, IP24 2QH, 8.30am start, entry closed.

June 17. HAYFIELD, Open, The Grouse, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 6JY, 8am start, enter on field, catering, proceeds to Christies Hospital, Manchester.

June 22 and 23. ALSTON, Tyne Willows Playing Field, Alston, Cumbria, Local on June 22, 5pm start, Open and Brace on June 23, 8.30am start, pre-entry to P. Walton tel: 01434 381 316.

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