By Sine Robertson

A smart pace and tight turns gave Sion Morgan’s Tess the lead at Greystoke.

With trialling in abeyance in Scotland with the advent of lambing, a number of handlers headed South to satisfy their competitive needs. Lothian based Welshman, Sion, and native born Scot, Peter Martin, took the honours at two trials in Cumbria, with supporting troops of Scots making up the bulk of both prize lists.

The North of England mules ran very well on the flat, course, but they could sense a weak dog and take advantage of it. The day started in sunshine, but turned to showers in the afternoon, for the National standard trial, ending in a shed, pen and single. A hollow on the cross drive tended to put some packets off line, but Tess kept a good line there.

Tess (E Nilsson’s Frej, A Wilkie’s Nell) ran out and lifted flawlessly, worked very well on the fetch and drive, keeping the sheep moving at a fast pace, on good lines, with just very minor wavers and making tight turns round Sion’s feet and through the gates. She shed quickly and went on to a very good pen. Sion and Tess took time to manoeuvre the collared sheep into a position for singling her from the packet, but they kept the sheep in the ring throughout, and once the collared hogg was taken, they earned first place.

John Harrison’s Joe ran out well, lifted cleanly and had a very good fetch. The drive went well, with just minor wavers. A very good shed and pen and a clean single completed the run in second place, a single point behind Tess, and comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, making John and Joe the only English residents to make the Scottish news.

Big mule hoggs running in threes behaved very well on a slight downhill slope at Raisie Lodge, but it took a visiting Scot, Peter Martin to lead the field with Kay and Daisy.

As good sheep do, the hoggs stuck together well and it proved hard to shed off two and take control of the single, but the pen was easier if the dogs were kept off. The hoggs were comfortable with the handler approaching, but reacted against pressure from the dog.

Peter’s Kay (P Martin’s Jen, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook) ran out and lifted very well, and worked well on the fetch and drive, with just minor wavers. She penned effortlessly, and although she took time to make her single, she won the trial.

His Daisy (D Naylor’s Straid Moss, P Martin’s Jill) worked very well outbye and made a good start to the drive until Peter misjudged the cross drive gate and the walking sheep walked by it. A clean pen followed, but again, it took work to shed off the single; once that was done successfully, Daisy took second place.

LEADING awards

Raisie Lodge, Wigton (Judge: P Howe, Hawick) Open – 45 ran – 1, P Martin’s Kay, Glenlyon, 92; 2, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 90; 3, A Bradley’s Rap, Hawkshead, 89; 4, T Longton’s Floyd, Quernmore, 85; 5, D Aitken’s Tweeddale Vicky, Lockerbie, 84; 6, J Relph’s Robby, Borrowdale, 82;

Greystoke, Penrith (Judge: E Wills, Embleton) Open – 67 ran – 1, S Morgan’s Tess, Heriot, 104 /110; 2, J Harrison’s Joe, Shap, 103; S Morgan’s Mid Derry Kim, Heriot, 98 Time; 4, P Martin’s Kay, Glenlyon, 98 Time; 5, A McCulloch’s Risp, Dalmellington, 98; 6, P Martin’s Jill, Glenlyon, 96 Time; 7, F Satterthwaite’s Tweed, Kirkby Lonsdale, 96.