SCOTS SHEEPDOG trialling giant, Raymond Macpherson, has died at the age of 82.

Always impeccably dressed when he went to the post, Raymond was known for his long stride, his loud powerful whistle, and his expertise as a top handler. His father, Andrew Macpherson, introduced him to sheepdog trialling at an early age, and he won his first trial, with a bitch called Judy, when he was eleven.

Raymond would talk of travelling to sheepdog trials as a boy on the train, and had a wealth of knowledge of famous dogs and great handlers from the past - he had even known the great JM Wilson. His first national success was winning the Scottish National Brace with Lark and Bill in 1957.

Marriage to Margaret Priestley connected two eminent sheepdog families, and led to a farming life just over the Scottish border, in England. Most of his life, they lived at Hallbankgate near Carlisle, farming 1500 Blackface ewes on 3800 acres of hill.

Raymond won the 1971 English National with Nap. It was not long before he won the most prestigious title of them all, and he won it twice - the International Supreme Championship in 1975 and 1979, both with Zac 66166.

He was awarded an MBE in 1979, for services to sheepdog trials and the promotion of the Border Collie. The USA held two World Championship Sheepdog Trials, in 1973 and 1976, Raymond won both of them as well, in 1973 with Nap, and in 1976 with Tweed.

Raymond won 'One Man and His Dog' in 1980, with Tweed, and later hosted the television programme in 1994. He was the Reserve International Supreme Champion in 1981, with Cap, who later bred an International Champion (Johnny Wilson's Spot). Raymond won the International Farmers Championship twice, with Flint in 1986 and Bill in 1999. He won the International Qualifying Trial with Bill in 1999, he won the English Driving Championship seven times, and the International Driving Championship four times.

Raymond represented both Scotland and England at the International on over thirty occasions. A keen judge, he travelled all over Europe and visited the U.S.A. and Canada over forty times to judge and hold training clinics. He also performed numerous demonstrations with his sheepdogs, and was a Director of the International Sheep Dog Society for many years, serving as the English President from 1994 to 2000.

Always an interesting character, Raymond will be missed by his friends and family.