Craig Davidson’s Kyle led a closely packed list at a challenging new trial at Glenesk.

Frisky Blackface ewes, running on a flat, haugh field at Millden Estate, responded to the dogs, that found them, but many failed to cross the remains of an old stone dyke which ran over the outrun and crossed their course.

The ewes that were lifted had no problems with the dyke on their way down the fetch, simply bolting across it and having little regard for the fetch gates that followed, unless an able dog managed to manoeuvre them through.

One such was Kyle (C Davidson’s Cap, R Harris’ Phyll) which got off to an excellent start, working well outbye, running out to his sheep without additional command and making a good lift and fetch.

The drive went well until Craig misjudged the line of the cross drive and walked the sheep past the gate. A decent pen and a good shed set the seal on the winning run.

Brendon Smith’s Chip (P Byrne's Jim, A Gallagher's Tess) went to the back of her sheep with one whistle and lifted cleanly. The ewes went off line at the start of the fetch, and fought the dog so it took her time to get them under control, during which they narrowly missed the fetch gate.

Chip took charge from there and put them round the drive, through both sets of gates. She worked well at the pen and shed and finished for second.

Third and fourth placed runs were matched on points, separated only on outbye work.

Stuart Davidson’s Maid (B Strachan’s Sam, JC MacLachlan’s Sheila) needed a whistle of encouragement to reach her sheep and worked well on the fetch, but missed the cross drive gate and, once past it, compounded the error by bringing them back through. A successful pen and shed completed the run for third.

Elinore Nilsson’s Midderry Kid (R Hutchinson’s Sweep, L Magnusson’s Kate) came in on his outrun, but Eli’s whistle put him back on the right line and he worked well from there until the ewes went off line as they turned round the post which spoiled the start of the drive.

Once on track, Kid drove them round the course and through both sets of gates. Very good work at hand took the work into fourth place.

The 'Four Nations' nursery trial at Slindon, saw four teams of 10 nursery dogs from each nation compete over a flat, 400-yard field which made for a challenging trial for the youngsters. The sheep penned well early in the day, but seemed more wary as the day progressed.

The fetch was long and some handlers had to work hard to encourage their young dogs to listen and follow commands to put the sheep round the course. The cross drive gate proved tricky and created holes in some of the best runs.

Kevin Evans and Kennox Meg took first with a good, steady run which was only in any danger at the cross drive gate. Meg had flanked the sheep on the right and having made her way round to the left to turn them back to the pen, she found they were already drifting away. She managed to turn them, penned cleanly and completed the winning run for Wales with a good shed and a clear lead.

Ireland’s Shannon Conn and Yellowhill Chip started out with a clean outrun and worked well from there. Again, they had to work hard at the cross drive gate and again succeeded and finished in second with a comfortable margin.

Angie Driscoll’s Kinloch Sweep also started out very well, but the sheep were well off course on the fetch. A very good drive helped to balance that and good close work completed the run in third place for Wales.

LEADING awards:

Millden, Glenesk (Judge: P Simpson, Kirriemuir). Open – 44 ran – 1, C Davidson’s Kyle, Sandbank, 83; 2, B Smith’s Chip (Flash), Dunrossness, 81; 3, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 80 outbye; 4, E Nilsson’s Midderry Kid, Balintore, 80; 5, M Gallagher’s Val, Alyth, 79; 6, A Wilkie’s Spot (Mot), Glenmoy, 75.

Four Nations nursery trial Slindon, Stafford (Judge: S Harden, Wales; TW Longton). Nursery – Four teams of 10 ran – 1, DK Evans’ Kennox Meg, Libanus, Wal 162/200; 2, S Conn’s Yellowhill Chip, Limavady, Ire, 158; 3, A Driscoll’s Kinloch Sweep, Wal, 155; 4, C Toner’s Niro Mace, Drimsynie, Scot, 148 (outbye); 5, SL Davidson’s Jack, Sandbank, Scot, 148 (outbye); 6, M O’ Malley’s Heatherhill Bruce, Ireland, 148; 7, M Davidson’s Heather, Lilburn, Eng, 146; 8, C McGarry’s Shep, Ireland, 140; 9, F McCulloch’s Niro Flash, Co Down, Ire, 139; 10, O Lewis’ Gwen, Wales, 139.