2019 National Sheep Dog Trials, Myerscough College

Almost there

Almost there - Credit: Glynn Ward

Even the British weather couldn’t dampen the day or stop the dogs

The finest sheep dogs from across the country braved dreadful weather at Myerscough College for the National Sheep Dog Trials.

The events are run every year in all four UK countries and see handlers competing for a place in the World Trial which happens every three years.

This year the local committee from the International Sheep Dog Society teamed up with the Preston college to host the Trial at one of Myerscough's farms and with their sheep.

Nine handlers competed on a course which included shedding the sheep and putting each half in different pens. Ricky Hutchinson from Littledale came first with Denwyn Moya and Jock, and following in second was Jim Cropper from Bacup with Gil and Dan.

Across the weekend, 50 handlers competed each day to decide the top 15 who would go through to represent England at the International Sheep Dog Trial held in September.

On Sunday the winners from the previous days competed again with only 15 minutes to fetch their sheep, drive them through two gates, shed them, open them and single one off. Despite the strong winds and rain, the handlers and dogs kept going and only stopped for five minutes when thunderstorms arrived.

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The overall winner was Ricky Hutchinson with Jock and 18 handlers and their dogs were selected to represent England in the World Trial next year.

The main sponsors were Singletons Cheese who presented a trophy to the Top Lady Handler, Shirley Barcroft from Bacup.

Alongside the competitions across the weekend there was entertainment, including sheep shearing demonstrations, a dog show, craft and food stands as well as children's rides. There was also an awful lot of rain and spectators' waterproofs and umbrellas were given a stern test as storms turned the farm into a quagmire.

For more information about the International Sheep Dog Society visit isds.org.uk.

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