A good drive gave Ian Brownlie’s Bob the lead at Innerleithen and spearheaded a team victory for Lanark, Lothian and Peebles (LL and P) nursery league team.

The Mule hoggs were manageable on the flat, wet, and puddled course, but could be cheeky, particularly on the first leg of the drive and some could stray down the course from the release post. The weather was dry and cold, but wintry showers blew in towards the end of the day.

LL and P claimed the first three places in the nursery, while Dumfries and Galloway’s Jim Thomson’s Northtyne Spear (M Elliot’s Stan, M Northwood’s Cilla) topped the novice section.

Bob (S Perello’s Murguia Jim, IM Brownlie’s Lia) responded to Ian’s whistles to get out to his sheep, lifted positively and had a good fetch. While others found the sheep resisting on the first leg of the drive, Bob managed to get them to the gate. They went through it, across the course to the cross drive gate and through. Bob penned well and finished the winning run with a decent shed and a comfortable lead.

George Gardner’s Bonnie (D Aitken’s Buzz, L Hinneken’s Meg) ran out to his sheep, lifted cleanly and had a good fetch. The hoggs were harder to manage on the drive, but a clean pen and shed completed the run in second place.

Ian Brownlie’s Maid (D McTier’s Bob, A Sim’s Flo) came in on her outrun, but found her sheep, lifted well and had a good fetch with some minor wavers. The drive went well and good work at hand completed the run in third place, level on points with second, but giving way on outbye work.

A fairly evenly matched raft of novices brought points home to all three teams after a challenging day.

LEADING awards

South Scotland bounce, Innerleithen (Judge: J Cochrane, Lamington) Nursery – Three teams of eight nursery dogs ran – 1, IM Brownlie’s Bob, Deuchrie, 88 (LLP); 2, GC Gardner’s Bonnie, Lesmahagow, 82 Outbye (LLP); 3, IM Brownlie’s Maid, Deuchrie, 82; 4, J Hill’s, Ben, Heriot, 81 (LLP); 5, D Robertson’s Derwen Roy, Langholm, 80 (DG); 6, JW Common’s Jimmy, Lockerbie, 70 (DG). Novice and three teams of two novice handlers – 1, J Thomson’s Northtyne Spear, Penpont, 56 (DG); 2, K Blackwood’s Hank, Abington, 55 (LLP); 3, M Wilson’s Jill, Corsock, 54 (DG); 4, R Halliday’s Finn, Stow, 52 (B); 5, G Pate’s Fly, Humbie, 41 (B); 6, R Reid’s Taff, Carnwath, 34 (LLP). Teams – 1, Lanark, Lothian and Peebles 639; Dumfries & Galloway 560; Borders 436.