A family affair at Crossdykes saw Billy Common take the top two places in the nursery class with Cowlow Rosie and Jaff, respectively, while his 10-year-old son, Murray, claimed first and second novice places with Grit and Grit’s dam, Queen, reinforcing the family theme.

The South Country Cheviot ewes were good to handle round a course that was more or less flat and at the pen.To simplify the course for the inexperienced dogs, there were no fetch gates.

Rosie (GRN Saxon’s Cammen Rip, I Hulme’s Cowlow Fan) ran out to the right, lifted her sheep at a good pace, and brought them down the fetch on a good line, losing only minor points there. With the ewes settled, she took them nicely round Billy’s feet and drove them away on the first leg of the drive.

That went well and the turn through the first gate was neat; a good line took them across the course and through the cross drive gates. Keeping the sheep calm, Rosie put them into the pen faultlessly and a clean shed completed the winning run.

Billy’s unregistered Jaff (JA Common’s Taff, S Dodd’s Jill) earned second place, with a fairly similar run, falling behind only for a slightly wavering line on the drive.

Murray sent Grit (DK Evans’ Spot, DC Meek’s Queen) out to the left, and although he overshot his sheep a little at the top of the course, he lifted them smoothly and brought them down the fetch on a good line. The turn went well, the drive away was good and the ewes went through the gate, but they slipped by the cross drive gate. A clean pen and shed set the seal on the winning novice run.

The rather more experienced Dean Aitken topped the pro-novice class with his Tami (D Aitken’s Tweeddale Buzz, D Brown’s Belle), which ran out clean to the top, lifted well and again fetched them down on a good line, with only minor deviations. The drive was not quite so smooth, but another clean pen and shed put Tami to the top of her class.

LEADING awards:

Crossdykes, Lockerbie (Judge: K Anderson, Cannonbie). Nursery – 14 ran – 1, JW Common’s Cowlow Rosie, Lockerbie, 90; 2, JW Common’s Jaff, Lockerbie, 86; 3, D Robertson’s Lad, Langholm, 74; 4, JA Common’s Sam, Lockerbie, 54; 5, D McMillan’s Fleet, Carsphairn; 6, AR Mundell’s Lad, Moffat ; 7, D Robertson’s Moss, Langholm. Novice – 1, JM Common’s Grit, Lockerbie, 80; 2, JM Common’s Queen, Lockerbie; 3, K Weightman’s Fay, Crawfordjohn. Pro-novice – 1, D Aitken’s Tami, Lockerbie, 84; 2, D Aitken’s Tweeddale Buzz, Lockerbie, 66; 3, H Jackson’s Pip, Penpont; 4, D McMillan’s Roy, Carsphairn.

Northumberland League

Bardon Mill (Judge: J Relph, Borrowdale). Nursery – 21 ran – 1, K Preston’s Scruff, Cathpair, 84; 2, P Turnbull’s Chip, Debdon, 82; 3, D Henderson’s Storm, Allendale, 72; 4, P Telfer’s Jill, Haydon Bridge, 61; 5, B Jordan’s Cis, Whitfield, 59; 6, P Telfer’s Coal, Haydon Bridge, 54. Novice – 1, S McAuley’s Jack, Lilburn, 46. New handler – eight ran – 1, C Baker’s Tip, Wark.