Straight lines on the drive and a good shed put Willie Welsh’s Cap ahead of a widely drawn field, at a two-day, three course, elimination trial at Strachur.

The Blackface gimmers ran very well and consistently throughout the trial, giving every dog a fair chance to show itself to advantage.

Dogs ran in both fields on the first day. Chris Toner’s Tammi (BK Renwick’s Nip, C Toner’s Graham’s Sam) proved the most consistent of the entries at that stage. The top 15 from each field then went forward to the following day’s final in a fresh field with both the previous day’s judges on duty together.

The final course was set on a long, narrow, flat field with a dip at the far end. As is often the case, well-behaved sheep proved hard to separate at the shed, where the judges called for the last two sheep of five and some runs were unfinished.

The course held no hidden bogeys, but some dogs let their sheep come low on the first leg. A patch of rashes in front of the cross drive gate, cut for the trial, was easily traversed by packets on a good line, but any dog trying to flank sheep back onto line, found it hard to get them over the rough patch and through the gate.

Cap (A Owen’s Llangwm Cap, M Jones’ June) ran out and lifted very well and fetched his sheep in with Willie’s encouragement. He worked well on the drive and kept good lines, so the gates posed no problem for him. A good shed followed and contributed to his comfortable lead over the field.

Field I was flat and compact, but the first leg of the drive was long and it could be a little hard to see how the sheep were placed in relation to the gate, and for some reason the gimmers were not keen to be penned.

James Dumbleton sent Kemi Ross (R Games’ Roy, DK Evans’ Tess) out on a good line but, seeing the gimmers pulling to one side for earlier runs, stopped him short so he was well placed to make a good fetch and turned them neatly round James. The drive started well, with just a minor wobble before the first gate, before the gimmers went safely through. The turn was good, if not as tight as it might have been. The cross drive and return went well and a clean pen and shed set the seal on the winning run.

Field II was a different proposition, being long and narrow with ditches running through it. Dogs ran out over the ditches and markers were placed to guide them back over manageable crossings for the sheep.

Stuart Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen (SL Davidson’s Rob, A Gillies’ Peg) took the ditches in her stride and worked very well outbye and on the course. The pen was not so smooth with two gimmers breaking from the packet and running up the side of the pen, before Queen retrieved them and secured the packet safely within. A good shed completed another winning run.

LEADING awards

Strachur Field I (Judge: A MacDiarmid, Haddington) Invitation – 60 ran – 1, J Dumbleton's Kemi Ross, Bollington, 92; 2, DK Evans, Preseli Ci, Libanus, 86; 3, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 85; 4, C Toner’s Tammi, Drimsynie, 84 Outbye; 5, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 84; 6, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook, Comrie, 81.

Strachur Field II (Judge: IM Brownlie, Deuchrie) Invitation – 60 ran – 1, SL Davidson’s Gillieglen Queen, Sandbank, 93; 2, A Olofsson’s Templehall Fred, Alyth, 91; 3, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook, Comrie, 87; 4, C Toner’s Tammi, Drimsynie, 86; 5, E Nilsson’s Midderry Kid, Balintore, 85 Outbye; 6, N McVicar’s Mist, Benmore, 85.

Strachur final (Judge: IM Brownlie, Deuchrie, A MacDiarmid, Haddington) – 30 ran – 1, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 202; 2, C Toner’s Tammi, Drimsynie, 189; 3, DK Evans, Preseli Ci, Libanus, 188; 4, DK Evans’ Knockmaa Bec, Libanus, 177; 5, A Olofsson’s Templehall Fred, Alyth, 174; 6, P Martin’s Jill, Glenlyon,172. First day aggregate – C Toner’s Tammi; £1470 raised for Alzheimer’s.

Badanloch (Judge: J MacKenzie, Kinbrace) Invitation – 19 ran –1, H MacKenzie’s Nap, Kinbrace, 86; 2, I Sutherland’s Foinaven Drift, Strathnaver, 84; 3, N Sutherland’s Gore Hill Wisp Strathnaver, 81; 4, K Keith’s Skye, Durness, 79; 5, D Worthington’s Ace, Skarfskerry, 75; 6, I Sutherland’s Sid, Strathnaver, 70; 7, H MacKenzie’s Rock, Kinbrace, 68; 8, T Robertson’s Ruby, 65; 9, I Sutherland’s Moss, Strathnaver, 64 Outbye; 10, D Worthington’s Rhum, Skarfskerry, 64.

Ham (Judge: H MacKenzie, Kinbrace) Invitation – 21 ran –1, I Sutherland’s Sid, Strathnaver, 92; 2, W Cormack’s Maid, Dunnet, 86 Outbye; 3, I Sutherland’s Foinaven Drift, Strathnaver, 86; 4, T Robertson’s Ruby, 83 Outbye; 5, T Robertson’s Kate, 83; 6, K Keith’s Jen, Durness, 78 Outbye; 7, D Simpson’s Gael, Barrock, 78; 8, L Ronaldson’s Bob, Skarfskerry,75; 9, W Cormack’s Roy, Dunnet, 73; 10, H MacKenzie’s Rock, Kinbrace, 66 Outbye; 11, K Keith’s Skye, Durness, 66.