A clean drive and pen put John Paterson’s Penywern Jim ahead of the field at Portpatrick by a comfortable margin.

The Blackface hoggs generally ran well on the undulating course, but were un-co-operative in the close work. Dogs could not see the sheep from the starting post and handlers could not see the dog behind the sheep at the top.

Jim (SC Wayman’s Roy, ALB Davies’ Pru) ran out cleanly and worked well, with just minor wavers on the fetch. He navigated the sheep faultlessly round the drive and on to a clean pen. The shed was not so easily achieved and gaps appeared when neither man nor dog were placed to split the sheep, but eventually Jim shed to earn first place.

On one cold, dry day, Jock Welsh's Sonny led two trials at Bargenoch. The Blackface hoggs were lifted from the top corner of a rising field but, again, it was hard to see the dogs behind the sheep at the lift.

At the first, Jock’s Sonny (P Byrne’s Lad and Bracken) ran out cleanly, but he was hesitant to lift and the sheep went off line, but that was corrected and Sonny put them through the fetch gates. The sheep were slightly offline at Jock's feet, but Sonny drove them round and away and although the turns through both sets of drive gates were wide, this was the best drive of the day. A clean pen followed and although Sonny was slow to come in on his shed, good work already achieved put him into first.

Ian Fergie’s Craig (M McTeir’s Bob, A Sim’s Flo) ran out and overlapped the sheep slightly, so he lifted a little offline. Despite that, he had a clean fetch and kept an excellent line on the drive away, but after a wide turn through the first gate and being high all the way across the cross drive, he corrected his line and put the sheep through the gate. He penned after a small break and shed with some hesitation for second.

At the next trial, Sonny was wide on his outrun and slow to lift, but he kept an excellent line on the fetch. The lines wavered a little on the drive and the turn through the drive away gate was wide, but the cross drive gate was better. The hoggs broke repeatedly before Sony penned and a clean shed completed a winning run.

The Blackface hoggs at Hunterston Estate ran well if dogs kept off them, but would break from the chute if they felt under pressure. The course ran up to the corner of the field and the left hand drive of the first trial was reversed to the right for the second trial.

Chris Toner’s Derwen Nell (DK Evans’ Jim, G Jones’ Derwen Blue) ran out and lifted cleanly and fetched well. Like others, Nell struggled to put the sheep away on the first leg, but unlike some, she succeeded and went to make a good cross drive. A clean chute and shed contributed to a long lead over the first trial.

In the afternoon, Nick Docherty’s Sweep (J Kinney’s Fleet and Fly) too, ran out and lifted cleanly, but there were wavers on the fetch and drive and a wide turn out of the cross drive gate. A clean chute and a good shed helped Sweep take the honours at Hunterston II.


Hunterston Estate I (Judge: N Campbell, Kinross). Nursery – 22 ran – 1, C Toner’s Derwen Nell, Drimsynie, 94; 2, D Kinloch’s Zak, Kilsyth, 87; 3, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 84; 4, C Cropper’s Derwen Gus, Drimsynie,78; 5, L Gast’s Gael, Scalpsie,78; 6, C Toner’s Maid, Drimsynie, 71; 7, A MacDiarmid’s Cap, Duns, 69; 8, I Lockhart's Duke, Carsphairn, 68; 9, N Docherty’s Sweep, Bute, 58; 10, J Howatson, Jasper, West Kilbride, 57.

Hunterston Estate II (Judge: R Armour, Sorn). Nursery – 21 ran – 1, N Docherty’s Sweep, Bute, 90; 2, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 86; 3, C Cropper’s Derwen Gus, Drimsynie, 80 outbye; 4, C Toner’s Derwen Nell, Drimsynie, 80; 5, D Kinloch’s Zak, Kilsyth, 79; 6, C Toner’s Maid, Drimsynie, 75; 7, R Middleton’s Jean, Dunlop,74; 8, C Davidson’s Fuzz, Sandbank, 62; 9, L Gast’s Scalpsie Rosie, Scalpsie; 10, J Howatson, Jasper, West Kilbride.

Bargenoch I (Judge: T Welsh, Patna). Nursery –12 ran – 1, JR Welsh’s Sonny, Dalrymple, 87; 2, I Fergie's Craig, Straiton, 84; 3, W Welsh’s Doug, Dalcairney, 65; 4, WJ Welsh’s Cap, Sanquhar,63; 5, J Shennan’s Rose, Barr, 55; 6, N Gillon’s Burndale Lass, Dailly, 53.

Bargenoch II (Judge: F Shennan, Barr). Nursery – 12 ran – 1, JR Welsh’s Sonny, Dalrymple, 83; 2, W Welsh’s Doug, Dalcairney, 80; 3, I Fergie's Craig, Straiton, 63; 4, J Shennan’s Floss, Barr, 59; 5, WJ Welsh’s Cap, Sanquhar, 58; 6,C Derwent’s Dot, Dumfries House, 56.

Portpatrick (Judge: D Porter, Stranraer). Nursery – 12 ran – 1, J Paterson’s Jim, Kirkcowan, 92; 2, J McGowan’s Tony, Portpatrick, 87 outbye; 3, A Stewart’s Jim, Lockerbie, 87; 4, I McMillan’s Straid Zac, Newton Stewart, 80; 5, C Caygill’s Seth, Whinnyliggate, 78; 6, D Mitchell’s Pip, New Luce, 66 Outbye; 7, J Mitchell’s Paige, New Luce, 66; 8, W Hurcomb’s Lad, New Luce, 65.

Springfield, Arran I (Judge: W Stevenson, Whiting Bay). Nursery – 8 ran – 1, N McMaster’s Gail, Bennan, 67; 2, G Brooke’s Rob, Southpark, 54.

Springfield II (Judge: W Stevenson, Whiting Bay). Nursery – 8 ran – 1, G Brooke’s Rob, Southpark, 81; 2, N McMaster’s Gail, Bennan, 64. Open dogs – 1, I McConnell’s Drift (Grif), Lamlash, 80;

Menian I (Judge: C Davidson, Sandbank). Nursery – 7 ran – 1, J MacKillop's Jed, Fort Augustus, 72; 2, A McCuish’s Roy, Skipness, 51; 3, J MacLachlan's Queen, Spean Bridge, 45;

Menian II (Judge: SL Davidson, Sandbank). Nursery – 7 ran –1, J MacKillop's Jed, Fort Augustus, 77; 2, J MacLachlan's Queen, Spean Bridge, 56; 3, K Strachan's Flora, Roybridge, 40.