Outbye work gave Ewen Mackinnon’s Buddy the edge over equally pointed Stuart Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, at Invergarry.

Strong, well wintered hoggs behaved themselves on a flat course, with small hollows before the fetch gate, but some dogs tightened up at the top, upsetting the sheep and causing them to take off and miss the fetch gate. On the drive they could face the dog, and then turn and take off, so most runs had wavering lines on the drive.

Buddy (A McRae’s Fergus and Fern) made a good, wide outrun and kept back off the sheep, so they were unstressed and he lifted them gently. The hoggs came on a straight line to Ewen’s feet and made a good drive, with just minor wavers and slightly wide turns. A grand pen and shed completed the run in contention for first, with the outbye work good enough to secure success.

Similarly, Queen (SL Davidson’s Rob, A Gillies’ Peg) gave the sheep room at the top and again lifted them calmly, but had minor wavers on the fetch.The drive was pretty good, with minor wavers and turns made when the sheep were well through. Clean work at hand brought the run level with Buddy’s, but taking second on the outbye work.

Cold sleet showers and a strong wind at Back Sands, South Mainland, Shetland, made conditions difficult for trialling. The Shetland hoggs running on the reasonably flat, rough grass field, with 320 yards outrun were unsettled on the fetch and in the close work.

In the open class, David Murray’s Sweep (J McGee’s Silver and S McManus’ Nell) had a perfect outrun and lift. The hoggs were slightly offline on the fetch and drive, but a perfect pen and a very good shed completed the winning run.

Brendon Smith’s Lass (P Byrnes’ Lad and Curragh Fan) had very good outrun, but the sheep were off line and heavy to move, so Lass had to work to get them back on line, but she put them through the fetch gate and kept good lines and tight turns from there, with just a slight correction at the cross drive gate. A clean pen and shed completed the run, level on points with Sweep, giving way on outbye work.

Brendon and Lass won the championship, contested by the top dogs in the open. Lass had a very good outrun, and a clean lift, but the hoggs were off line on the fetch. A near perfect drive followed, and although Brendon missed the first chance at the shed, a very good pen and a clean single secured the championship.

On their joint debut, Alastair Leslie and Nell (B Smith’s Jim, P Byrnes’ Lass), daughter of Brendon’s Lass, had a near perfect outrun and lift, but had trouble on the fetch struggling to keep the sheep on line. Nell penned after a small break and won the limit class.

LEADING awards

Invergarry (Judge: J Lamont, Portree). Open – 52 ran – 1, EC MacKinnon’s Buddy, Lochcarron, 93 Outbye; 2, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, Sandbank, 93; 3, CM Magnusson’s Kemi Sally, Mid Derry, 92; 4, SL Davidson’s Lee, Sandbank, 89; 5, K Donald’s Jen, Dalrymple, 83; 6, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 82; 7, EC MacKinnon’s Midge, Lochcarron, 81; 8, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 80; 9, T McPhee’s Scot, Wick, 79; 10, H Munro’s Lil, Inverness, 78. Local – 1, J MacKillop’s Jed, Fort Augustus, 77; 2, M MacNally’s Ash, Invergarry, 69; 3, M MacNally’s Tarff, Invergarry, 68. £1420 raised for Highland Hospice.

Back Sands, Shetland (Judge: MC Hughson, Scalloway). Open – 20 ran – 1, D Murray’s Sweep, North Roe, 87 outbye; 2, B Smith’s Lass, Dunrossness, 87; 3, J Nicolson’s Todd, Scalloway, 85; 4, J Ramsay’s Fly, Ollaberry, 82; 5, W Morrison’s Straid Nell, Yell, 76; 6, D Murray’s Ali, North Roe, 75. Championship – 1, B Smith’s Lass, Dunrossness, 97/110 ; 2, D Murray’s Sweep, North Roe, 94; 3, J Ramsay’s Fly, Ollaberry, 92. Limit – 9 ran – 1, A Leslie’s Nell, Dunrossness, 44/60; 2, D Murray’s Spot, North Roe, 40 outbye; 3, AWP Hughson’s Lass, Girlsta, 40; 4, AWP Hughson’s Lol, Girlsta, 36; 5, J Priest’s Mirk, Raewick, 33; 6, R Colclough’s Rosefield Pip, Yell,16.

Holmrook, Cumbria (Judge: G Smithson, Kirkbride). Open – 57 ran – 1, R Watson’s Sally, Yorkshire, 95; 2, S Morgan’s Merv, Heriot, 94; 3, T Huddleston’s Ola, North Westmorland, 93; 4, W Bell’s Slick, Earby, 92; 5, R Watson’s Ace, Yorkshire, 92; 6, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 92.