A GOOD drive at Tomatin gave Kenny Brehmer’s Cynfal Gwen the edge over a relatively similar run, which finished in close contention.

On a day when the sheep were loathed to turn round the handler, the two leading runs were those that managed the sheep best on that part of the course.

Mixed breeds including Texel, Cheviot and Suffolk cross gimmers ran well on a big, flat field, but they were very difficult to pen and many runs were incomplete.

Cynfal Gwen (E Pyrs’ Goyallt Sweep, KW Williams’ Meg) ran out and lifted cleanly, and although the gimmers went off line at the start of the fetch, Gwen put them through the gate and kept them under good control from there.

She turned them round Kenny and on to the drive which went well, with just minor faults at different points. A clean pen and shed completed the winning run.

Ewen Mackinnon’s Buddy (A McRae’s Fergus and Fern), ran out and lifted cleanly, had a good fetch with minor wavers, and a good turn round Ewen, but a pilot error resulted in walking sheep making a very wide turn through the cross drive gate. Another clean finish brought the work into second place.

The Cheviot gimmers at Dryden ran well on a gentle downhill slope, but they proved tricky to shed in a mown grass ring. A fence at the back of the field led dogs to a spot where the gimmers were out of view and dogs tended to overshoot their sheep.

Sion Morgan’s Tess (A Wilkie’s Nell, E Nilsson’s Frej) overshot her sheep slightly, but lifted and fetched cleanly. On the first leg of the drive, Tess misheard Sion at the gate and moved to the right, pushing the sheep offline. Once that was corrected, the gimmers went through the gate and Tess kept them on good lines and made neat turns round the course to the close work. A clean shed, pen and single of a collared sheep set the seal on the winning run.

Cameron Dickson’s Stuart (SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, C Davidson’s Cap) was slightly short on his outrun and the gimmers came away from the lift offline, but Stuart managed to fetch them cleanly. The drive was good, with just a slightly wide turn through the cross drive gate to fault it. Another clean finish completed the run in second place.

The uphill course at Blairgowrie, with a left hand drive and a long cross drive, had the dogs running out blind on both hands. The Cheviot Mule hoggs could be light to handle, and it needed work to put them into the pen, but they responded to careful dogs.

Sandy McCulloch’s Sam (A Lehtio’s Coel, BJ Bowen’s Pat) ran out, lifted and fetched cleanly. He had a very good drive, with just a very minor waver on the cross drive, penned cleanly and split the sheep successfully after a slight hesitation and earned first place.

Andy Carnegie’s Linburn Rook (M McTeir’s Bob, C Kirkland’s Groesfaen Jill) had a clean outrun and lift and a very good fetch. The drive went well, with minor wavers here and there and a clean pen followed. Rook shed with just a slight hesitation, and established an early lead which stood through the day, until eclipsed by Sam.

The rough Blackface hoggs at Roro were flighty to handle and drawn to familiar ground which made them difficult to fetch and drive away, but the cross drive suited their homing instinct. The flat, near 600yd course made it hard to see the sheep in the distance.

Michael Gallagher’s Coin (M Gallagher’s Cap and Kate) had a workmanlike course but Michael and she distinguished themselves at the pen where good work and patience won the day in a late run.

Leading awards

Kildonan Trial – Whitehills, Brodick, Arran (Judge: J McEachern, Kennacraig) Open – 45 ran – 1, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 94; 2, L Gast’s Scalpsie Rosie, Scalpsie, 92; 3, J Casey’s Jack, Largie, 91; 4, SL Davidson’s Lee, Sandbank, 90 Outbye; 5, AJ Hughson’s Tess, Brunthamarsland, 90 Outbye; 6, C Davidson’s Jed, Sandbank, 90; 7, L Gast’s Scalpsie Fae, Scalpsie, 89; 8, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 89. Local –10 ran – 1, N McMaster’s Gail, Bennan, 88; 2, I McConnell’s Drift (Grif), Lamlash, 81 Outbye; 3, I McConnell’s Sam, Lamlash, 81; 4, M McNeish’s Pip, Sliddery, 78; 5, W Stevenson’s Arran McLeod, Whiting Bay, 63.

Tomatin (Judge: D Murray, Rogart) Open – 52 ran – 1, K Brehmer’s Cynfal Gwen, New Bythe, 90; 2, EC MacKinnon’s Buddy, Lochcarron, 89; 3, W Cormack’s Nap, Dunnet, 85; 4, M MacNally’s Ash, Invergarry, 84; 5, J Moore’s Bob, Gruline, 81; 6, I Wilkie’s Floss Keithhall, 80; 7, JR Welsh’s Sonny, Dalrymple, 79; 8, M Grant’s Cashlie, Forss, 77. Local – 1, H Munro’s Lil, Inverness, 76; 2, J McIntyre’s Kim, Moy, 72; 3, H MacLean’s Moss, Culloden, 67; 4, D McKenzie’s Moss, Inverness, 59.

Roro (Judge: D Galbraith, Comrie) Open – 42 ran – 1, M Gallagher’s Coin, Ballymoney, 83; 2, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 80 Outbye; 3, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, Sandbank, 80 Outbye; 4, GC Gardner’s Nan, Lesmahagow, 80; 5, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook, Comrie, 77; 6, N McVicar’s Bill, Benmore,73.

Blairgowrie (Judge: P Turnbull, Debdon) Open – 60 ran – 1, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 96; 2, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook, Comrie, 94; 3, L Hinneken’s K’eira, Auchterarder, 89; 4, A McCulloch’s Risp, Dalmellington, 88 Outbye; 5, I Wilkie’s Pip Keithhall, 88; 6, P Martin’s Jill, Glenlyon, 86; 7, I Wilkie’s Floss, Keithhall, 85 Outbye; 8, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 85 Outbye; 9, J Hastie’s Lethans Bear, Saline, 85; 10, J McKenzie’s Tweedie, Turriff, 84. Local – 1, CM Magnusson’s Sprout, Mid Derry, 75; 2, S MacFarlane’s Straid Blake, Bridge of Cally, 72; 3, D Shepherd’s Wisp, Raemore, 66; 4, K Craig’s Eadie, Tulliemet, 59; 5, M Watt’s Dale, Kirriemuir, 55.

Dryden (Judge: J MacKenzie, Ardormie ) Open – 53 ran - 1, S Morgan’s Tess, Heriot,106 /110; 2, C Dickson’s Stuart, Coldingham, 103; 3, J Hill’s, Sid, Heriot, 98; 4, IM Brownlie’s Lia, Deuchrie, 97; 5, A Stewart’s Tweed, Lockerbie, 95; 6, D Wallace’s Bill, Blythbank, 94.

Sibmister (Judge: B Ross, Ardgay) NSA Invitation, six teams of five ran – 1, MC Shearer’s Roy, Westfield, 92 Run Off; 2, D Murray’s Sweep, North Roe, 92; 3, J MacKillop’s Straid Ben, Fort Augustus, 92; 4, W Morrison’s Straid Nell, Yell, 91 Outbye; 5, K Brehmer’s Cynfal Gwen, New Bythe, 91 Outbye; 6, I MacDonald’s Zoe, Staffin, 91. Young Handler – 1, J McKenzie’s Tweedie, Turriff, 83; 2, F Renwick’s Fly, Inverbroom ; 3, M Grant’s Reba, Forss; 4, K Keith’s Skye, Durness, 82; 6, F Fulford’s Pip, Eracht, 55. Team – Aberdeenshire.

Northumberland – The Heugh (Judge: P Howe, Hawick) Open –80 ran – 1, J Johansson’s Ztill, Sweden, 98; 2, K Preston’s Roy, Elsdon, 95; 3, M Elliott’s Dot, Lazonby, 94; 4, B Jordan’s, Bozo, Whitfield, 92; 5, S Atkinson’s Meg, Co Durham, 91; 6, T Rome’s Jack, Whitehaven, 90. Novice – 1, L De Ravel’s Meg, 83.