Mosse Magnusson’s Sprout kept his sheep settled on the course and achieved a stylish run to win on a testing day at Invergarry.

The Cheviot hoggs were in big form, on rolling ground on the bank of Loch Oich, but there was not a lot of space at the far end, so dogs tended to come tight on to their sheep.

The hoggs ran in threes and the run finished in a shedding ring, where a single sheep was to be removed. A bitingly cold wind blowing up the course in the morning helped to unsettle them, to the extent that only one morning run featured in the top six.

The hoggs reacted against any pressure or rough handling, particularly at the pen. After the break, a cut of fresh sheep was mixed with some of the morning ones; combined with a drop in the wind, this seemed to settle them a little.

Sprout (DK Evans’ Tanhill Glen, P Williams’ Silk) came slightly tight on his sheep, but he made a good lift. The line wavered a little before the hoggs went through the fetch gate, but the work went well from there and Sprout had the best drive of the day. Good work at hand completed the winning run with a comfortable lead.

Stuart Davidson’s Hope (C Davidson’s Cap, T Grove’s Phil) was decidedly tight at the top, which affected the lift and the hoggs came away hard from the post. Once moving round the course, Hope handled them well, with only minor deviations from line here and there, which helped to make up for a difficult start and put the run into second place.

Run over the same course as the Invergarry open trial, the Great Glen Sheepdog Trial Association’s event expanded the grouping to packets of four sheep. A little more experienced now, the hoggs proved much more amenable to trialling, but still needing careful handling.

Again, John MacKillop’s Zac (C Davidson’s Cap, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen) came in fairly tight at the top of the field. Once this was rectified, a good course ensued, with only minor deviations from line, until Zac turned the sheep across the face of the cross drive gates. A good pen and shed retrieved the situation, and gave him a healthy lead over his kennel mate.

John’s Straid Ben (R Hutchinson’s Sweep, D Young’s Straid Goldie) stopped slightly short at the top, but once he had lifted the sheep, Ben kept a tidy course to the pen.

Here, he had to contend with a couple of breaks before the gate was closed on a successful pen. At the shed, having split the packet, Ben initially turned on to the wrong pair, before taking control of the target duo. Points lost on the close work detracted from the standard achieved on the course and the run took second place.

LEADING awards

Invergarry (Judge: AD Carnegie, Comrie). Open – 52 ran – 1, M Magnusson’s Sprout, Mid Derry, 91; 2, SL Davidson’s Hope, Sandbank, 87; 3, A MacKenzie’s Jess, Lochearnhead, 82 outbye; 4, SL Davidson’s Lee, Sandbank, 82; 5, E Moore’s Cap, Gruline, 81; 6, EC MacKinnon’s Buddy, Lochcarron, 80; 7, EC MacKinnon’s Midge, Lochcarron, 76; 8, H MacLean’s Moss, Culloden, 74; 9, L Magnusson’s Kate, Mid Derry, 72;10, W Davidson’s Mona, Turriff, 70; Local – 1, J MacKillop’s Straid Ben, Fort Augustus, 69; 2, M MacNally’s Ash, Invergarry, 66; 3, M MacNally’s Tarff, Invergarry, 63; £950 raised toward building new Fort Augustus medical surgery.

Great Glen (Judge: E Campbell, Inverlochy). Confined nursery – 7 ran – 1, J MacKillop’s Zac, Fort Augustus, 81; 2, J MacKillop’s Straid Ben, Fort Augustus,75; 3, M MacNally’s Ash, Invergarry,71; Confined older dogs – 6 ran – 1, J MacKillop’s Straid Sam, Fort Augustus, 80; 2, J Moore’s Meg, Gruline, 68; 3, J Moore’s Bob, Gruline, 67.