The International Sheep Dog Trials are once again coming to Scotland.

They will take place from Friday, September 13 through to Sunday, September 15, at Shandford Farm, Fern, Brechin, and the event is expected to attract around 8000 spectators from the UK and overseas.

Sixty handlers representing Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England, will compete in the qualifying singles championship over two days of the event and the top 15 from the qualifying round will then compete on an even more challenging course for the title of supreme international champion.

The first International was in 1906 and it has been held annually except during the First and Second World Wars and during the Foot and Mouth epidemic. Since the International began there have been 40 winners from Scotland, 30 winners from Wales, 27 winners from England and three winners from Ireland (see the note, below). Only one woman has won the International Supreme, and that was Julie Hill from Scotland at Chatsworth in 1996.

Eight handlers representing Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England will compete in the international brace championship, where one handler works with two dogs.

In 1926 the first brace (doubles) competition took place – and in 1931 the event was established with the first international brace trophy. Since the international brace began there have been 22 winners from Scotland, 28 winners from Wales, 20 winners from England and seven winners from Ireland. Again, only one woman has won the international brace – again, Julie Hill who won it in 2013 and 2016.

Four young handlers (under the age of 21) will represent their countries for the young handler trophy. The first young handlers trophy event was held around 40 years ago.

International competitors are selected from their respective National Trials, with the Welsh, English and Irish teams already chosen, all eyes will be on Scotland’s National this weekend.

The judges for the singles will be announced after the 2019 National trials have been completed. The brace judges are: Mickey Schofield (England), Toddy Lambe (Ireland), Bobby Dalziel (Scotland), Stan Harden (Wales). The young handler judges will be Andy Jackman (England), Allistair Lyttle (Ireland), Ian Brownlie (Scotland), Eirian Morgan (Wales).

Course director is Ian Fleming, assistant course director and course director for the brace and young handler is Mike Watt and sheep steward is Peter Martin, all from the host nation, Scotland.

The Mather family moved from the West coast to Brechin in the 1920s, and came to Balmadity in the 1930s, and Shandford in the 1940s. The family farm is run in partnership by mother Mary, sons William, David and Graeme, and grandsons Scott, Grant and Graeme jnr.

They also employ two full-time staff Jack Florence, who has been working there for more than 20 years, and Lyndsay Nelson who started as ring-link apprentice three years ago and is now full-time. The farm also contracts shepherds for two flocks of Blackface sheep, one flock of wethers for Glenogil and one flock of ewes for Careston estates.

The farm comprises 240 hectares cereals, 500 ha grass, fodder beet and swedes and 1000 ha of hill grazing. Beef and sheep are all brought through to finish. Breeds used are Aberdeen-Angus, Charolais and Simmental bulls. Sheep include Suffolk, Texel, Beltex and Charollais.

The International Sheep Dog Trial 2019 will receive £13,076 from EventScotland to help with the running and marketing of the event, part of a £147,576 funding package announced to help events across the country. Other sponsors include Ritchie Agricultural, Cordiners, and Tornado Wire.

Competition starts

each day at: 8.00 am

Entry to the International costs: £7 Car park: £3. No concessions. Free for under 16 accompanied by an adult.

Seats in the stand: £10-£15 depending on availability.

Three-day pass to grandstand: £30

A media tour of the field will be available the afternoon before the International, details to be confirmed.

Note: Ireland began to compete in 1965 as an amalgamated team from Northern Ireland and the Republic.


Rules for International Singles and International Brace

English Team

1. Ricky Hutchinson Jock

2. David Wood Polly

3. Nij Vyas Mist

4. Thomas Huddleston Udale Ola

5. James Dumbleton Sid

6. Ed Hawkins Treflys Rob

7. Tim Longton Rooten Brook Ben

8. Jed Watson Bob

9. Paul Johnson Groesfaen Sam

10. Shirley Barcroft Beechwood


11. Jim Cropper Gil

12. Thomas Huddleston Udale Murray

13. Vice Morris Gwyn

14. James Howard Lad

15. Stephen Duckworth Bert

Reserve - Michael Longton Treflys Gwyn


1. Ricky Hutchinson Denwyn Moya

and Jock

Reserve - Jim Cropper Gil and Dan

Welsh Team

1st and National Champion T A D Davies with Peg

2nd B Behr with Bendigedig Leni

3rd A L Owen with Glenys

4th J L Bowen with Roy

5th Ll Harries with Preseli Fly

6th Dr K G Broad with Kinloch


7th A L Evans with Zac

8th E L Morgan with Spot

9th M Jones with Meg

10th R F M Ellis with Tod

11th D J M Evans with Lass

12th D J M Evans with Kemi Maid

13th I L Evans with Gwnnws Maid

14th A L Owen with Caleb

15th D K Evans with Hybeck Blake

Reserve D M Howells with Rock

Irish Team

1st and National Champion M Gallagher with Val

2nd M Lettner with Glen

3rd J F Maginn with Kate

4th A Lyttle with Twm

5th F Cashen with Mist

6th J P McGee with Glencregg


7th S Mosse with Bob

8th T Lambe with Ben

9th J P McGee with Jess

10th T A Sullivan with North Hill Tess

11th M Feeney with Bob

12th M N O’Malley with Gwenno

13th J McLaughlin with Dan

14th P J Gallagher with Jess

15th M Hopkins with Templmoyle


Res J McCloskey with Bob


1st J F Maginn with Kate and Lad

Res C McGarry with Cora and Tara

National Driving Champion

M Gallagher with Val

Youngest competitor

Sam Fagan with Quories Craig

Scottish Team

(Details to follow Scottish National running on Bute, August 21-24 )