Good driving work set Geordie Simpson’s Kim well ahead of the field at Culloden, with kennel mates Celt and Gelert helping secure the top three places for the Forgue outfit.

The Blackface hoggs ran well on the flat course which rose gently at the far end. The long drive away and cross drive tested the young dogs and some struggled to put the sheep through the gates, whose woodwork seemed to deter them. The cross drive finished with a bale of straw acting as a turning post.

Kim (J Hey’s Don, SM Hey’s Tess) was a little short on her outrun and that affected the lift, but the fetch was good, and the hoggs went through the gate with just a waver. The best drive of the day and a clean pen and shed completed the winning run with a long lead.

Celt (DW Davies’ Prince, H Hughes’ Nan) started with a clean outrun and lift. The line of the fetch wavered, but, with a little struggle, Celt put his sheep through the gate. The hoggs wavered again on the the road from Geordie to the first drive gate, but they went through, and the cross drive was similar. Celt penned after a break, shed with a little hesitation and earned second place.

Gelert (DW Davies’ Prince, HL Pritchard’s Bet) too, started out with a very good outbye and although the sheep went off line before the fetch gate, he put them through. They zig zagged around the drive, but went through the gate and round the bale. Gelert penned the sheep after one broke and finished the run with a successful shed, after a little hesitation.

The Cheviot ewes at Caracant behaved well on a big, flat field, if dogs approached them appropriately at the lift, but they could become upset otherwise.

Joe McRobert’s Bill stood apart for his tremendous control of the sheep throughout the course.

Bill (DJ Irvine’s Bob, D MacAuley’s Nan) ran out and lifted cleanly, quickly corrected a waver on the fetch, took them down at a good pace, and kept them going smoothly on the drive, with only a wide turn out of the cross drive gate to fault it. A clean pen followed and an enthusiastic, if inexperienced, shed completed the winning run.

Ian Fleming’s Jill (R Lewis’ Craig, N MacEachern’s Chloe) worked very steadily, with no holes in the run.

She was slightly short on her outrun, but she lifted faultlessly.

She fetched and drove well, with just minor wavers, penned well and, although not at the first attempt, completed the work with a good shed and second place.

Good work outbye and at hand and all gates successfully hit put Billy Common’s Cowlow Rosie ahead at Crairie Park.

The Texel cross ewes were good to handle on the testing hill course, but although they were relatively easy to pen, they did not want to separate at the shed. There were no fetch gates and the pen had an open front.

Rosie (GRN Saxon’s Cammen Rip, I Hulme’s Cowlow Fan) ran out cleanly, controlled the sheep well on the lift, fetched them down the hill and reached Billy’s feet, only two points short of perfection.

The ewes turned neatly and set off on a good line on the drive, and through the gates with only minor deviations. Rosie worked well at the pen, but found the shed a little harder, eventually splitting the sheep after a few attempts and earned first place.

Leading awards:

Carcant (Judge: B MacFarlane, Elsrickle). Nursery – 22 ran – 1, J McRobert’s Bill, Tweedsmuir, 94; 2, I Fleming’s Jill, Douglas, 88; 3, RB Henderson’s Lad, Heriot, 87; 4,GC Gardner’s Nan, Lesmahagow, 86; 5, J Hill’s Bill, Heriot, 85; 6, I Fleming’s Geordie, Douglas, 84; 7, R Henderson’s Bill, Crawford, 83; 8, D Smith’s Ross, Lanark, 79; 9, A Aitchison’s Bob, Mossdale, 77 outbye. 10, I Fleming’s Kim, Douglas,77. Novice – 1, K Blackwood’s Jill, Abington, 85; 2, K Aitchison’s , Mossdale, Beth, 74; 3, K Blackwood’s Mist, Abington, 56.

Culloden (Judge: D MacKenzie, Inverness). Nursery – 22 ran – 1, G Simpson’s Kim, Forgue, 89; 2, G Simpson’s Celt, Forgue, 79; 3, G Simpson’s Gelert, Forgue, 78 outbye; 4, J McKenzie’s Meg, Turriff, 78; 5, H Johnstone’s Roy, Fyvie, 69; 6, H MacLean’s Dusk, Culloden, 66; 7, H MacLean’s Moss, Culloden, 64; 8, D Simpson’s Gael, Barrock, 63 outbye; 9, G Simpson’s Lad, Forgue, 63; 10, I Wilkie’s Pip, Keithhall, 61.

Crairie Park, Thornhill (Judge: JR Welsh, Dalrymple). Nursery – 17 ran – 1, JW Common’s Cowlow Rosie, Lockerbie, 86; 2, D Robertson’s Moss, Langholm, 83; 3, JW Common’s Jaff, Lockerbie, 80; 4, JA Common’s Sam, Lockerbie, 68; 5, D McMillan’s Fleet, Carsphairn; 6, N MacDonald’s Cap, Shawhead. Novice – 1, A Mair’s Wispa, Parkgate, 69; 2, JM Common’s Queen, Lockerbie, 66; 3, JM Common’s Grit, Lockerbie, 63; 4, J Thomson’s Drift, Penpont. Pro-novice – 1, D Aitken’s Tweeddale Buzz, Lockerbie, 79; 2, D Aitken’s Tami, Lockerbie, 77; 3, N MacDonald’s Meg, Shawhead, 70.

Northumberland League

Whitfield (Judge: E Gray, Fallowlees). Nursery – 22 ran – 1, D Henderson’s Burndale Storm, Allendale, 88; 2, P Turnbull’s Chip, Debdon, 84; 3, P Telfer’s Telf Jill, Haydon Bridge, 81; 4, D Henderson’s Burndale Sleet, Allendale, 79; 5, P Telfer’s Telf Chas, Haydon Bridge, 76 outbye; 6, B Jordan’s Burndale Cis, Whitfield, 76. Novice – 7 ran – C Smith’s Sal, Northumberland. New handler – 8 ran – 1, S Pearson’s Hettie, Northumberland.