By Sine Robertson

Stuart Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen met her sheep calmly, quickly took control of them and benefitted from that approach throughout her successful run at Neilston.

The strong Blackface hoggs were hard to hold on a cold, but dry day, at the top of a course that rose gently to one side. The judge decided that, with the sheep having a history of being hard to pen, ordering the pen to the end of the trial gave handlers more chance of including a successful shed into their run.

With the sheep tending to stray from the start post, dogs that met them with too much force suffered from it on the course; the hoggs could bolt on the fetch and make for the exhaust pen, rather than be guided rounded the handler towards the drive.

Gillieglen Queen (SL Davidson’s Rob, A Gillies’ Peg) ran out and got nicely behind her sheep, although they had broken from the post. She put them on line and brought them straight down the fetch, but they were a little wide round Stuart’s feet. The first leg of the drive went well and the turn was good. The sheep were slightly off line on the cross drive, but Queen put them through the gate and made a neat turn. The shed took time, but was good when it came off, and a very good pen completed the winning run.

Again, the hoggs broke and were off line when Mosse Magnusson’s Sprout (DK Evans’ Tanhill Glen, P Williams’ Silk) found them, but he put them on line and made a very good fetch, although the turn round Mosse was quite wide. Sprout kept good lines on the drive, but his turn through the first gate was wide. He put them straight through the cross drive gate, but one hogg was spooked and turned back through the gate, making a hole in the good work. A clean shed and a very good pen helped to compensate for that, and the run earned second place, a point behind Queen’s.

Although Alastair Mundell’s sheep had broken, Taff (AR Mundell’s Jock, W Todd’s Sue) ran out and lifted them cleanly, but the hoggs wavered off line after they went through the fetch gate and they were unsettled on the drive. They twisted from line and stopped and started, but Taff put them through the gates, although the turn through the cross drive gate was wide. A good shed followed, and although two hoggs broke and ran up the side of the pe, the run finished with the sheep safely enclosed and third prize secured, comfortably ahead of the field.

LEADING awards

Neilston (Judge: C Toner, Drimsynie) Open - 50 ran – 1, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, Sandbank, 88; 2, M Magnusson’s Sprout, Mid Derry, 87; 3, AR Mundell’s Taff, Moffat, 85; 4, CM Magnusson’s Kemi Sally, Mid Derry,78 Outbye; 5, N Gillon’sMyllin Lass, Dailly, 78; 6, R Middleton’s Jake, Neilston, 77 Outbye; 7, K Donald’s Choc, Dalrymple, 77 Outbye; 8, SL Davidson’s Lee, Sandbank, 77.