A steady run at Springhill put Johnnie Robinson’s Templehall Jack ahead of the field by a short margin.

The north country cheviot gimmers ran well, but they could be upset if mishandled by the young dogs. The course sloped down from right to left and most ran to the left where viewing was easier. Some dogs were short on their outrun, but most managed reasonably well.

Jack (M Magnusson’s Myllin Davey, K Doig’s Jill) ran out and lifted cleanly, but the line of the fetch wavered at the start and pulled to the right as it progressed, but the drive was very good, with just minor wavers. A clean pen and first place followed, although Jack was not as positive in taking the sheep he had shed, as he might have been.

Bobby Dalziel’s Mack (I Fourney’s Spot, C Le Guelle’s Jeda) ran out and lifted flawlessly, and only a very minor waver on the fetch faulted his outbye work. The drive was going very smoothly until the gimmers slipped narrowly by the cross drive gate, on the inside. Then, in a momentary lapse of concentration, Bobby let them make a wide turn back to the pen. A gimmer broke past Bobby before Mack penned the packet and finished the run with a clean shed and second place, ahead of equally pointed third on outbye work.

Andrew Dickman’s Jaff (A Owen’s Llangwm Cap, N McVicar’s Mist) was short on his outrun and lifted hurriedly, but his fetch was more agreeable and his drive was very good, with only fairly minor wavers. Jaff finished the run with a good pen and shed and third place, only half a point short of the leader.

The Texel cross ewes at Cairnhill ran well on a flat, frost and snow covered course which rose to one side at the far end, but the sheep could be sticky to lift, and they were inclined to run past the handler at the pen.

Ian Fergie’s Craig (M McTeir’s Bob, A Sim’s Flo) ran out cleanly, but struggled at the lift. The ewes flowed on toward the fetch gate, but when they wavered from line, Craig was unable to put them through the gate. The drive went very well, with good lines and tight turns, and Craig penned the packet after retrieving a slight break. He was a little hesitant at the shed, but once the work was complete, the run earned first place.

Neil Gillon’s Kinloch Rheed (N Gillon’s Bhoy, A Driscoll’s Pippi) overshot the sheep at the top and pushed them slightly off line on the lift, which impacted on the start of the fetch. The ewes went through the fetch gates, kept a good line to the drive and Rheed matched Craig’s work there. Again, he penned after a slight break, but at the shed, his hesitancy was matched by his failure to take immediate command of the sheep, but solid achievement on the course ensured he stood second on the list.

The Texel cross ewe hoggs at Orchil handled well if treated with respect, but could prove very testing, and a knowe on the right hand side caught out some dogs and badly affected their outruns.

Peter Martin’s Daisy (D Naylor’s Straid Moss, P Martin’s Jill) ran out and lifted cleanly, fetched very well, with just a minor wobble and achieved a very good drive. Very good work at hand completed the winning run with the field hot on her heels.

Conditions at Culloden were dry but cold, and the blackface hoggs worked well on the snow covered course. For the second consecutive week, at the same venue, Geordie Simpson scooped the top three places, with a rearranged team, comprising the ‘fresh legs’ of Elwy Rodger (J Richardson’s Shep, AH Roberts’s Morag) and Lad (DW Davies’ Prince, H Hughes’ Nan) in the top two slots and last week’s runner up, Celt (DW Davies’ Prince, H Hughes’ Nan) taking third place.

LEADING awards

Culloden (Judge: D MacKenzie, Inverness) Nursery – 22 ran – 1, G Simpson’s Elwy Rodger, Forgue, 90; 2, G Simpson’s Lad, Forgue, 89; 3, G Simpson’s Celt, Forgue, 87; 4, J McKenzie’s Meg, Turriff, 85; 5, G Simpson’s Gelert, Forgue, 82; 6, H MacLean’s Moss, Culloden, 77; 7, M MacNally’s Ash, Invergarry, 75; 8, I Wilkie’s Pip, Keithhall, 74; 9, I Wilkie’s Vic, Keithhall, 72; 10, I Sutherland’s Sid, Strathnaver, 63; 11, H MacLean’s Dusk, Culloden, 62; £300 raised for Maggie’s Highland

Orchil (Judge: I Rimmer, Bridge of Cally ) Nursery – 31 ran – 1, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 94; 2, S Martin’s Lucy, Cashlie, 93 Outbye; 3, M Magnusson’s Sprout, Mid Derry, 93; 4, E Nilsson’s Midderry Kid, Meigle, 89; 5, M Magnusson’s Kemi Sally, Mid Derry, 88; 6, N Campbell’s Rob, Kinross, 86; 7, D Galbraith’s Craig, Comrie, 84; 8, K Howlett’s Yellowhill Jock, Comrie, 82; 9, L Hinnekens’ Maddie, Auchterarder, 75; 10, E Nilsson’s Flo, Meigle, 66; Novice -1, M Lundin’s Sture, Sweden, 66;

Springhill (Judge: C Smart, Melrose) Nursery - 20 ran – 1, J Robinson’s Templehall Jack, Coldingham, 90.5; 2, R Dalziel’s Mack, Ettrick, 90 Outbye; 3, A Dickman’s Jaff, Oxton, 90; 4, J Allan’s Ellie, Mt Benger, 89.5; 5, C Dickson’s Thistledown Ged, Coldingham, 87.5; 6, A Dickman’s Mirk, Oxton, 85.5; 7, M Arres’ Moss, Ashkirk, 82.5; 8, C Dickson’s Stuart, Coldingham, 77.5; Novice – G Pate’s Tib, Humbie;

Cairnhill, Kirkmichael (Judge:A Stewart, Lockerbie) Nursery –12 ran – 1, I Fergie’s Craig, Straiton, 84; 2, N Gillon’s Kinloch Rheed, Dailly, 82; 3, JR Welsh’s Sweep, Dalrymple, 77; 4, A McCulloch’s Meg, Dalmellington, 72; 5, W Welsh’s Joe, Dalcairney, 70; 6, WJ Welsh’s Gail, Beoch, 59.