Cautious handling from Willie Welsh produced a steady run on a day of lively sheep at Airtnoch and gave him the lead with Cap.

Packets of three cross Cheviot gimmers and one ewe generally ran well on the flat, 380 yard course, but proved lively at the pen. Although some packets benefitted from the steadying influence of the ewe, some good runs came to grief there.

Cap (A Owen’s Llangwm Cap, M Jones’ June) handled the sheep well and benefitted from a slow walking ewe who set the pace. Cap nursed his packet round the course, losing only minor points at each element until he came to the pen where he walked the sheep flawlessly inside, penned cleanly and finished the winning run with a very good shed.

Tom Blacklock’s Ben (J Travers’ Moss and Jan) had an outstanding, near faultless, run on the course until he came to the shed. Tom’s decision to attempt it close to the woodwork of the pen, misfired, but when he moved the sheep further away, a very good shed completed the run in second place.

The Blackface hoggs, at a new trial at Hardridge, were not easy to pen. They proved tricky to handle on a testing course that sent dogs out down one field, through a gate and uphill through the second field to reach their sheep and fetch them back through the gate.

John Hastie’s Lethan’s Bear (J Hastie’s Cap and Rosie) worked very well on the course, and although he managed to pen his sheep, time ran out before he shed; even without the shed, he earned first place with a comfortable lead.

Stuart Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen (SL Davidson’s Rob, A Gillies’ Peg) worked steadily on the course but had difficulty putting them into the pen. Despite that, a good shed completed the run in second place.

Newly shorn cheviot gimmers ran well on a new field for the Cashlie trial which had been postponed from April.

Dogs ran out 330 yards over a flat field to lift their sheep close to the river, which bounded the course to the right and tended to turn the dogs in, making some come tight onto their sheep. The cross drive gate was set at an angle to the first drive gate, making it easier to assess the line than at some trials, and adding interest for the judge.

Peter Martin’s Daisy (D Naylor’s Straid Moss, P Martin’s Jill) worked very well, kept her sheep flowing smoothly round the course, incurring only minor faults as she went, but had no holes in the work and earned first place.

Chloe Cropper’s Penllwyn Fly (A Lyttle’s Spot, IB Jones’ Penllwyn Meg) had a similar run, but was a little less agile, kept off her sheep slightly, allowing them to try to stop from time to time, so her run was less smooth, but again, had no major flaws and took second place.

LAST WEEK’S The final run of the day from Tony Welsh’s Don, at Sanquhar, overtook his uncle, Jock Welsh’s Tanhill Sam who had held the lead for the greater part of the day.

The Blackface hoggs were restless and difficult to hold at the top of a big, flat field. Dogs that settled the sheep at top benefitted, while some saw their hoggs bolt down the fetch, proving hard to keep up with.

Don (J Emerson’s Roy and Kate) overshot the sheep a little at the top, and although he managed to make a decent lift, the hoggs were a little unsettled at the start of the fetch.

Once Don had steadied them, the fetch went well and the drive was very good with just a minor waver on the cross drive to fault it. A clean pen and shed completed the winning run ahead of a closely packed list.

Jock stopped Sam short at the top, but he lifted cleanly and followed that with near faultless fetching and driving, the best of the day for both elements. At the pen, Sam (A Baines’ Tanhill Rick and Tanhill Meg) tried to force the sheep inside, but they reacted against that and broke from the pen.

The hoggs were still unsettled at the shed and Sam did not have them totally under control when he made his division, but the job was done and until the last run of the day, Sam appeared to have won the trial.

The Shetland cross Cheviot gimmers ran reasonably well on a 200 yd long, rough hill course, at a new venue at Herra, on the island of Yell. A very windy and showery day, with the wind blowing straight up the trial field, made it very difficult for the dogs to hear their handler’s commands.

Jerry Ramsay’s Drift (J Ramsay’s Kemi Tim, R Ramsay’s Marchup Roxy) had a near perfect outrun and lift, but was a little offline on the fetch. He had a very good drive and an excellent pen. A clean shed completed the winning run.

Andrew Hughson’s Lol (D Murray’s Ali and Groesfaen Petra) had a good outrun and lift, but the gimmers were a little difficult at the pen, before they were eventually secured within to win the limit class.

Brendon Smith’s Lass (P Byrne’s Lad and Curragh Fan) lost a little on the outrun and lift, and let the sheep go offline on the fetch and drive, which had been turned to the right hand direction for the championship. With a near perfect shed followed by a clean pen and single, Lass won the championship class with the only completed course of the day in that section.

English National, International brace and singles champion Ricky Hutchinson celebrated his wedding to his long term partner and fellow dog handler, Megs Jenkins, with an invitation trial for wedding guests which produced an international prize list, led by Scot, Neil Gillon and Shweep.

LEADING awards

Cashlie (Judge: R Lewis, Killin). Open – 48 ran – 1, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 93; 2, C Cropper’s Penllwyn Fly, Drimsynie, 90; 3, C Toner’s Ali, Drimsynie, 88; 4, P Martin’s Jill, Glenlyon, 85; 5, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook, Comrie, 84; 6, M Gallagher’s Coin, Ballymoney, 83.

Airtnoch (Judge: R MacDiarmid, Cairndow). Open – 63 ran – 1, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 91; 2, T Blacklock’s Ben, Kirkconnell, 89 outbye; 3, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 89; 4, JJ Templeton’s Max, Fenwick, 85; 5, AR Mundell’s Taff, Moffat, 82 Outbye; 6, C Davidson’s Fuzz, Sandbank, 82; 7, H Johnstone’s Roy, Fyvie, 81; 8, A McCulloch’s Fern, Dalmellington, 80.

Hardridge (Judge: N McVicar, Benmore). Open – 45 ran – 1, J Hastie’s Lethans Bear, Saline, 83; 2, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, Sandbank, 79; 3, CM Magnusson’s Kemi Sally, Mid Derry,78; 4, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney,77; 5, C Davidson’s Spot, Sandbank,73; 6, D Robertson’s Joe, Langholm, 68.

Whitfield (Judge: D Scrimgeour, Wigton). Open – 79 ran – 1, P Turnbull’s Mick, Debdon, 93; 2, D Henderson’s Burndale Brad, Allendale, 92; 3, R Fawcett’s Keef, Hawes, 88; 4, JA Common’s Elwy Rodger, Lockerbie, 87 outbye; 5, M Davidson’s Angus, Lilburn, 87; 6, P Ellis’Joe, Kendal, 86; Novice – 1, JM Common’s Queen, Lockerbie, 77.

Herra, Yell (Judge: D Murray, North Roe). Open – 22 ran - 1, J Ramsay’s Drift, Ollaberry, 93/100; 2, J Ramsay’s Fly, Ollaberry, 89; 3, B Smith’s Lass, Dunrossness, 87; 4, S Fraser’s Jan, Cullswick, 82; 5, AWP Hughson’s Tess, Girlsta, 75. Championship – 3 ran – 1, B Smith’s Lass, Dunrossness, 88/110. Limit – 8 ran – 1, AWP Hughson’s Lol, Girlsta, 55 /60; 2, W Morrison’s Meg, Yell, 54; 3, W Morrison’s Spot, Yell, 53;

Sanquhar (Judge: I Fergie, Straiton). Open – 82 ran – 1, T Welsh’s Don, Patna, 90; 2, JR Welsh’s Tanhill Sam, 89; 3, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, Sandbank, 88 outbye; 4, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 88; 5, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 87 Outbye; 6, S McCrindle’s Kate, Palnackie, 87.

Euston, Thetford (Judge: A Warmington, Stratford on Avon). Ricky and Meg Hutchinson Wedding Invitation – 30 ran – 1, N Gillon’s Shweep, Dailly, 92; 2, S Perello’s Galdon Murguia Jim, Lancs., 85 outbye; 3, P Turnbull’s Mick, Debdon, 85; 4, DK Evans’ Hybeck Blake, Libanus, 82 Outbye; 5, DK Evans’ Preseli Ci, Libanus, 82; 6, M Longton’s Gwyn, Quernmore, 82 time. £165 raised for the local church in which the wedding took place.