A extremely high standard of work achieved outbye and at hand at Beoch, set Sandy McCulloch’s Sam apart from the rest of the field.

The course was set on a steep brae, and the outrun was made the more challenging by the undulating ground, with a hollow on the right hand outrun tending to draw the dogs in. Despite that, a good number of handlers sent their dogs out to the right to lift the Blackface ewes from a knowe at the top. The ewes behaved reasonably on the course, but they were difficult to pen.

Sandy McCulloch’s Sam (A Lehtio’s Coel, BJ Bowen’s Pat) ran out well and lifted nicely. His fetch was good, but one awkward ewe played with the line of the drive. A good pen and shed set the seal on the winning run with a 10 point margin behind him.

Willie Welsh’s Doug (B Smith’s Zac, A Blackmore’s Rosewood Class) took a whistle on his outrun but stopped short at the top which affected his lift. He worked steadily on the course, and although his turn out of the cross drive gate was a little wide, a clean pen and shed finished the run in second place.

Blackface ewes ran well at the Barrhill trial, which was set on a rough, rashy, wet brae face with a 700yd outrun. On a sunny, windy day, the sheep were lively at hand.

Alan Wilkie’s Spot (Mot) (GE Lightfoot’s Cap, E Williams’ Bet) proved he was fit for the job, taking top slot there for the second year in succession – allowing for last year’s covid suspension.

Alan gave Spot two whistles on his outrun which got him to his sheep and he made the most of a good packet, achieving a particularly good drive and completing the winning run with a clean pen and shed.

Neil Gillon was in good form, taking second and third places with Shweep and Boss respectively.

Shweep (N Gillon’s Bhoy, S McCrindle’s Peg) needed repeated redirection on his outrun, but lifted and fetched well. His cross drive was a little low; a good pen followed and a rather untidy shed from restless sheep completed the run.

Boss (S Perellio’s Murgia Jim, R Hutchinson’s Denwyn Moya) took one whistle and lifted nicely. His fetch wavered, but his drive was good; he penned after a break and another untidy shed gave Neil his second placing of the day.

On a bitterly cold, windy Shetland day, eventually turning to rain, Fetlar and Yell nurseries were run on the same course, with the drive going left for Yell trial, and right for Fetlar. Dogs ran out – hidden from view on both sides – over 200yards of rough heather hill, sloping down to the right.

Pure-bred Shetland ewes of every colour, were very challenging and tricky to handle on the course, but the young dogs performed well on the short course.

At Yell, Rob Colclough’s Malin (J Priest's Mirk and Sky) overran a little on her outrun, but lifted beautifully; she was slightly offline on the fetch, and her drive wavered little. A clean pen and shed confirmed her win.

For Fetlar, James Nicolson’s Flo (K Keith's Max and Foinaven Skye) had a perfect outrun, although she was a little slow to lift her sheep and there were small wavers on the fetch and drive. Flo stopped a near break and penned successfully, and although her shed was not quite so smooth, she finished in first place.

LEADING awards

Beoch (Judge: A Wilkie, Glenmoy). Open – 45 ran – 1, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 99 /110; 2, W Welsh’s Doug, Dalcairney, 89; 3, D Robertson’s Moss, Langholm, 87 Outbye; 4, N Gillon’s Glen, Dailly, 87; 5, SL Davidson’s Kyle, Sandbank, 85; 6, S McCrindle’s Zac, Stranraer, 80.

Barr (Judge: A MacDiarmid, Strathlachlan). Open – 45 ran – 1, A Wilkie’s Spot (Mot), Glenmoy, 90 /100; 2, N Gillon’s Shweep (Sweep), Dailly, 88; 3, N Gillon’s Boss, Barr, 85; 4, SL Davidson’s Dan, Sandbank, 86; 5, N McVicar’s Baledmund Pete, Benmore, 83; 6, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 81; Confined - N Gillon’s Glen, Dailly; Nursery - J Paterson’s Scalpsie Roy, Kirkcowan

Yell, Shetland (Judge: MC Hughson, Scalloway). Nursery – 10 ran – 1, R Colclough’s Malin, Westsandwick, 85; 2, J Nicolson’s Flo, Scalloway,76; 3,C Williamson’s Jed, Ollaberry, 73; 4, R Colclough’s Dot, Westsandwick, 67; 5, J Ramsay’s Spot, Ollaberry, 65.

Fetlar, Shetland (Judge: MC Hughson, Scalloway). Nursery – 10 ran – 1, J Nicolson’s Flo, Scalloway, 85; 2, R Farquhar’s Nip, West Burrafirth, 77 Outbye; 3, R Colclough’s Dot, Westsandwick, 77; 4, J Ramsay’s Spot, Ollaberry,74; 5, C Williamson’s Jed, Ollaberry, 67; 6, D Murray’s Meg, North Roe, 64; Novice – 1, E Ridland’s Maid, Wester Skeld, 37 /60; 2, Y Mouat’s Spot, Yell, 33.

Northumberland League

Haydon Bridge (Judge: D Corbett, Rochester). Open – 26 ran – 1, D Henderson’s Burndale Mia, Allendale, 98; 2, M Davidson’s Meg, Lilburn, 94 Outbye; 3, B Jordan’s, Trefynor Solo, Whitfield, 94; 4, M Northwood’s Shivington Henry, East Woodburn, 93; 5, M Davidson’s Groesfen Rhanne, Lilburn, 87 Outbye; 6, M Davidson’s Heather, Lilburn, 87 Outbye; Novice – J Tulloch’s Shelly, Wark; New handler – F Shehan’s Tess.