James West Menzies – Jimmy – died on May 23, surrounded by his family at Baledmund, Tulliemet, where he had lived all his life.

Since the sudden onset of illness at New Year, his life had been cruelly curtailed but thanks to the determination of his eldest sister, supported by his family, he was able to be at home – and even work his dogs from his wheelchair for a few brief days of spring.

Jimmy was the youngest of a family of six and though of enquiring mind, was keen to leave school and start real learning on the farm. He and his brother Brian divided the work – Brian with cattle, Jimmy the sheep, helping each other as required for the rest of his working life.

Jimmy was particular at lambing. He wanted his sheep to be the best possible, crossing Blackies to produce Mules, and using Beltex to produce good carcase lambs for sale, as evidenced by his winning the National Fatstock Club's Premier Meat Exhibition annual carcase competition in 2014. He also regularly supported Aberfeldy Show, winning supreme sheep in 2006 and 2016.

Apart from work on the farm, Jimmy’s dogs were his life. He competed in and helped organise the local Atholl and Weem trial for many years, but after Hope was reserve with the Central District nursery team things moved up a gear.

At the 2010 Scottish National he qualified with Hope and Cher to compete in the brace competition at the International in Ireland. Further perseverance resulted in fourth place in the 2018 Scottish National with Ted and another trip to the International in Ireland.

With Ted and Shaw, Jimmy represented Scotland in the brace on Countryfile’s ‘One man and his dog’ in 2017 – in the surprising location of Hampstead Heath, in London. His attention to breeding and selling pups to good homes achieved further success on the trial field for example with Baledmund Pete, handled by Neil McVicar, gaining reserve in the 2020 Nursery final.

However, Jimmy’s interests were wider the sheep and dogs. He was a keen dancer, having been taught, like all the family, by their mother in the kitchen at Baledmund; he knew all the steps but more important he had an exuberance that made being his partner a delight.

In his younger years, Jimmy curled in national competitions with the Tulliemet club. Discussions were wide ranging as he had an excellent knowledge and understanding of the history of his local area and families. A convinced supporter of Scottish independence, he also recognised that achieving this goal might be on a rocky road.

Jimmy was an accomplished cook and enjoyed experimenting with new dishes, both at home and in seeking out restaurants on his travels to sheepdog trials.

Although Jimmy’s life was shorter than it should have been, it was a full life and well lived.