Duncan Robertson opened his local nursery league on a high note, taking first and second places at Crossdykes with Jim and Derwen Roy, respectively.

The course was set on a rise, with a right hand drive, which fell away from the handler, before the ground rose. The first nursery of the season had no fetch gates, but the South Country Cheviot ewes were unsettled by wind and the young dogs struggled to hear some commands.

Duncan’s Jim (DK Evans’ Jim, GB Griffiths’ Dot) ran out cleanly, to the left, on a good line, lifted in a controlled manner which kept the sheep nicely settled, so they came down the fetch on a good line. The dog turned them neatly round Duncan’s feet, but the ewes became unsettled on the drive away; they missed both sets of drive gates and proved difficult to pen, but he persevered, penned the packet and completed a winning run with a good shed.

Derwen Roy (S Holt’s Highbeck Blake, G Jones’ Derwen Mali) also had a clean left hand outrun and although he lifted well, the ewes drifted slightly off line on the fetch. The drive went well and Roy put them through both sets of gates, with just minor wavers of the lines.

Approaching the pen, the ewes started to play up and time ran out before Roy could put them in, but with solid work achieved on the course, the unfinished run still earned second place.

In the novice section, Murray Common’s Queen (DK Evans’ Flock, C Harding’s Fly) ran out and lifted well, kept a good pace on the fetch and brought them to Murray on a good line, with only minor wavers. The drive went well and Queen put the sheep through both sets of gates, with only minor deviations from line.

Once more, the ewes were unsettled at the pen, but Queen proved a match for them, penning the sheep and finishing the run with a good shed and first place in the novice, with keen competition hot on her heels.

The Cheviot ewes at Cashlie generally behaved well on the flat course, but some drew towards the exhaust pen as they turned round the handler at the end of the fetch.

The top three dogs attracted the admiration of the judge, but Mosse Magnusson’s Fan (S Holt’s Hybeck Blake, NV Matthews’ Mari) ran well on the course, with good lines and neat turns, plus the good work at the pen and shed gave him the edge over the field.

Mike Watt’s Nap (M Watt’s Bob, J Angus’ Ascog Fly) had a nice, steady, controlled run, staying on his feet and controlling the sheep all the way round the course and earned second place with a comfortable margin behind him.

Kevin Howlett’s Spot (IM Brownlie’s Boredale Gus, K Howlett’s Fly) showed nice method as he took the sheep round, although, at the start of the season, he has the potential to neaten his lines and turns.


Crossdykes (Judge: G Smithson, Kirkbride). Nursery – 16 ran – 1, D Robertson’s Jim, Langholm, 74; 2, D Robertson’s Derwen Roy, Langholm, 64; 3, JA Common's Braan, Lockerbie, 62; 4, D Aitken’s Vicky, Lockerbie; 5, J Thomson’s Nell, Penpont; 6, D McMillan's Fleet, Carsphairn. Novice – 1, JM Common's Queen, Lockerbie, 74; 2, J Thomson’s Drift, Penpont, 73; 3, JM Common's Cowlow Rosie, Lockerbie, 72; 4, M Forster’s Meg, Shawhead, 61.

Cashlie (Judge: K Kelly, Killin). Nursery – 23 ran – 1, CM Magnusson’s Fan, Mid Derry, 94; 2, M Watt’s Nap, Kirriemuir, 92; 3, K Howlett’s Spot, Comrie, 84; 4, P Martin’s Kay, Glenlyon, 79 outbye; 5, CM Magnusson’s Wheatwood Bee, Mid Derry, 79; 6, S MacFarlane’s Willow, Blairgowrie, 78; 7, AD Carnegie’s Sweep, Comrie, 74; 8, D Galbraith’s Todd, Comrie, 74; 9, L Magnusson’s Glencar Eire, Mid Derry, 72 outbye; 10, N Boyne’s Jess, Glenlochay, 72. Novice – 1, M Lundin’s Stewie (Sture), Blairgowrie.

Strathlachlan (Judge: JW McAllister, Milton of Buchanan). – Older dogs, 11 ran – 1, A MacDiarmid’s Sal, Duns, 84; 2, L Gast’s Ben, Scalpsie, 83; 3, C Cropper’s Penllwyn Fly, Drimsynie,74, Nursery, 8 ran – 1, SL Davidson’s Kyle, Sandbank, 75; 2, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 63; 3, C Davidson’s Fuzz, Sandbank, 50.

Northumberland League

Waite Farm (Judge: D Fearon, Keswick). Nursery – 22 ran – 1, E Gray’s Brennan, Great Elsdon, 86; 2, C Balmbro’s Liz, Wooler, 85; 3, E Gray’s Telf Joff, Great Elsdon, 79; 4, D Henderson’s Joe, Allendale, 78; 5, P Telfer’s Telf Jill Haydon Bridge,76; 6, B Jordan’s Tuff, Whitfield,72. Novice – C Pattinson’s Jean. New handler – J Scott’s Ben.