Geordie Simpson kicked off the nursery season with a hat trick at Creich, taking the top three places with Hemp, Kim and Celt respectively.

The NCC ewes and gimmers ran well on a flat field for most of the day, but some young dogs found them hard to lift.

Hemp (A Lyttle’s Jim, A McClintock’s June) ran out well, and although the line wavered at the start of the fetch, he put them through the gate. The drive started well, but two ewes slipped the first drive gate. The cross drive went better and Hemp got his gate. A clean pen and shed completed the winning run.

Kim (J Hey’s Don, SM Hey’s Tess) too, ran out well, but her sheep fought her from the lift and they missed the fetch gate. Once she had them lined up on the fetch, Kim managed them round the course very well and earned second place.

Again, Celt (DW Davies’ Prince, H Hughes’ Nan) had no problem running out to his sheep, and although the line of his fetch wavered, he put them through the gate. The drive started well, but the sheep missed the cross drive gate. Celt penned after retrieving one ewe which broke round the pen; a clean shed delivered third place and completed Geordie’s hat trick.

The mules and Aberfield ewes at Bute ran very well from the start of the day to the end.

The course was set on a flat field running from the beach up to the road, with a hollow near the lift which could put sheep and dogs out of sight, and a burial mound near the first drive gate, which could draw the sheep if the dog failed to turn them quickly on to the cross drive. The cross drive was difficult to judge, but most dogs got it and most penned if they showed authority.

Jock Welsh’s Tanhill Sam (A Baines’ Tanhill Rick and Tanhill Meg) had a very good outrun, but lifted out of view, and although the sheep wanted off line, Sam stopped them and kept them on line, out of Jock’s sight. Sam appeared to be wide on the fetch, but he kept his sheep on line and fetched them on a straight line. The drive started well, and although the first gate was not totally smooth, the ewes went through and made a good cross drive. A clean pen and shed set the seal on the winning run.

Wheatwood Bee (K Evans’ Kemi Ross, IR Fowler’s Sawmill Dot) ran out and lifted very well and had a good fetch with just minor wavers. The drive went very well, but for a wide turn through the first drive gate. Clean close work secured second place, and Bee won the prize for highest placed nursery dog in the open.

Lisa Gast’s Ben (N Docherty’s Taff, A McKirdy’s Jean) ran out well, but his sheep were in the hollow when he lifted and when they emerged they were offline. Ben put them on line, fetched them straight to Lisa and turned them neatly round her feet. A good drive followed and clean work at hand completed the run in third place.

Mixed breeds of ewes ran well on a flat field at Yetholm and more dogs penned than is usual at that venue.

David Henderson’s Star (R Dalziel’s Spot, D Henderson’s May) had a nice steady run with no holes, and a good pen ensured first place.

Bevis Jordan’s Bozo (J Easton’s Finn, B Jordan’s Pearl) had a similar course, but with one awkward ewe challenging the dog at the pen, Bozo had to work hard to secure the packet. When that was successfully accomplished, and the ewes shed, Bozo finished in second place, two points short of Star.

LEADING awards

Bute (Judge: A Watson, Shotts) Open – 53 ran –1, JR Welsh’s Tanhill Sam, 93; 2, CM Magnusson’s Wheatwood Bee, Mid Derry, 91; 3, L Gast’s Ben, Scalpsie, 90; 4, JR Welsh’s Cree, Dalrymple, 89; 5, CM Magnusson’s Sprout, Mid Derry, 86; 6, C Toner’s Ali, Drimsynie, 85; £100 raised for Bute dialysis unit.

Yetholm (Judge: K Preston, Elsdon) Open – 56 ran - 1, D Henderson’s Star, Allendale, 90; 2, B Jordan’s, Bozo, Whitfield, 88; 3, C Balmbro’s Scott, Wooler, 87; 4, M Northwood’s Queen, West Woodburn, 85; 5, P Turnbull’s Mick, Debdon, 84; 6, D Wallace’s Boy, Blythbank, 82; 7, P Anderson’s Meg, Chickamauga, 81; 8, M Davidson’s Groesfaen Taff, Lilburn, 79; Novice, P Howe’s Mirk, Hawick, 76.

Creich (Judge: M Cameron, Lerwick) - Nursery - 19 ran - 1, G Simpson’s Hemp, Forgue, 88; 2, G Simpson’s Kim, Forgue, 85; 3, G Simpson’s Celt, Forgue, 80; 4, H Johnstone’s Kyle, Fyvie, 77; 5, I Sutherland’s Sid, Strathnaver, 75; 6, W Cormack’s Nap, Dunnet, 60; 7, N Sutherland’s Heatherhill Heck, Strathnaver, 51; 8, I Sutherland’s Jaybeez Ben, Strathnaver, 50; 9, W Cormack’s Roy, Dunnet, 48; 10, J McKenzie’s Meg, Turriff, 44.

Northumberland League

Rochester (Judge: S Wallace, Prendwick) Open – 36 ran – 1, D Henderson’s Star, Allendale, 86; 2, B Jordan’s Cis, Whitfield, 85; 3, K Preston’s Scruff, Cathpair, 84; 4, S Smith’s Belle, Seahouses, 82 Outbye; 5, M Davidson’s Angus, Lilburn, 82; 6, B Jordan’s Angel, Whitfield, 81.

Otterburn (Judge: P Wilson, Northumberland) Open – 44 ran – 1, B Jordan’s Cis, Whitfield,76; 2, K Preston’s Roy, Cathpair, 68; 3, B Jordan’s, Bozo, Whitfield, 67; 4, M Davidson’s Angus, Lilburn, 66; 5, D Henderson’s Star, Allendale, 65; 6, JJ Pattinson’s Graylees Jean, Roman Wall, 64; Novice - S Pearson’s Gelert, Morpeth.