A perfect outrun put Magnus Sutherland’s Liz ahead of the field, on a scorchingly hot day at Strathnaver.

The lively Cheviot gimmers, running on a flat course, demanded to be treated with some respect, but they were initially hard for dogs to detect at the far end of the field. The ground ran downhill from the starting post, away from the course and the gimmers were inclined to draw that way as they turned round the handler.

Liz (JR Welsh’s Tanhill Sam, J Sutherland’s Dot) ran out faultlessly to the top of the field, lifted her sheep well and fetched them straight to Magnus. In trying to prevent them from drawing off the course, turned them tightly and in front of him, but the first leg of the drive went well from there and Liz put the sheep through the gate with a good tight turn.

The cross drive went reasonably well and the gimmers went through the gate and returned to the pen. Liz stopped a slight break at the pen before successfully securing the packet within and completed the winning run with a good shed.

Tina Robertson’s Kate (MC Shearer’s Bob and Tib) started out a little too straight, but she opened out her line and found her sheep. She lifted them and once on line made a workmanlike job of the fetch and drive and completed her run with a good pen and shed and second place – only one point short of the winner.

Herdwick ewes ran consistently well at Moor Lodge, Oakworth and rewarded handlers and organisers of a meticulously organised weekend of open and nursery trialling. Organiser, Carol Mellin’s trial has produced a legacy, in the form of a skeleton sheepdog trial ‘covid-19 risk assessment’ sheet which has been made freely available to potential trial organisers.

LEADING awards

Strathnaver (Judge: A Muir, Halkirk ) Invitation – 10 ran –1, M Sutherland’s Liz, Halkirk, 83; 2, T Robertson’s Kate, 82; 3, K Keith’s Skye, Durness, 76; 4, W Cormack’s Maid, Dunnet, 73 Outbye; 5, I Sutherland’s Sid, Strathnaver, 73; 6, I Sutherland’s Foinaven Drift, Strathnaver, 72; 7, I Sutherland’s Moss, Strathnaver, 71; 8, N Sutherland’s Heatherhill Heck Strathnaver, 68; 9, T Robertson’s Ruby, 66; 10, K Keith’s Jen, Durness, 65.

England – Moor Lodge (K Cropper, Shap) Open – 54 ran – 1, P Simpson’s Ben, Dacre, 97 /100; 2, S Perello's Galdon Murguia Jim, Lancs., 96; 3, S Barcroft’s Ben, Haslingden, 95; 4, J Saukkonen’s Gannon, Bishop Auckland, 93; 5, V Graham’s Pip, Cleator Moor, 91; 6, S Duckworth’s Bert, Haslingden, 90.

Moor Lodge (J Saukkonen, Bishop Auckland) Nursery – 1, C Mellin’s Glen, Oakworth, 81 /90; 2, J Gilman’s Moss, Derbyshire, 80; 3, J Cropper’s Jaxx, Deerplay, 78 Outbye; 4, A Temple’s Dave, Holmrook, 78; 5, J Harrison’s Roy, Clapham, 76; 6, R Atkins’ Bob, Oldfield, 75.