By Sine Robertson

Clean work outbye and at hand, including the best chute of the day, gave Willie Welsh’s Cap a comfortable lead at the Glenlyon trial at Bridge of Balgie.

The Blackface gimmers ran well on the course, but any that were not turned neatly from the cross drive gate, tended to be drawn into a hollow. That could put them well off line on the return to the chute, where they could, be touchy to work with.

The standard rose in the afternoon and Cap (A Owen’s Llangwm Cap, M Jones’ June) worked flawlessly outbye. But for the return leg of the drive, where the gimmers went wide through the hollow, the judge found it hard to fault the run. Despite the return, Cap took the sheep calmly to the chute and Willie gave them the time they needed, so Cap walked them though the chute and completed the winning run with a clean shed.

Sandy McCulloch’s Sam (A Lehtio’s Coel, BJ Bowen’s Pat) too, ran well, with just minor wavers outbye. The drive started well, and although the line of the cross drive was low, Sam brought the ewes back up and put them through the gate. A clean chute followed, but Sam was a little hesitant to shed, before he took decisive control of his sheep and finished in second place.

Similarly, the Cheviot gimmers at Cashlie ran well on the flat, riverside course, but were not keen to be driven away on the first leg. Again, they were tricky at the chute and could burst under perceived pressure.

Michael Davidson’s Angus (IM Brownlie’s Boredale Gus, K Howlett’s Tess II) ran out and lifted well and had just slight wavers on the fetch. The gimmers wanted to break on the drive away but Angus tucked them in, put them through the gate, across the course and through the next gate with a tight turn. Michael gave them time to settle before the chute; Angus put them through without trouble and finished his run with a clean shed and first place.

Willie Welsh’s Cap ran over, a little at the top, but a whistle took him to the correct position and he made a good lift and fetch. The drive started well, but the gimmers made a wide turn through the cross drive gate. A clean pen and shed completed the work only a point behind the winner, and on top of their success at Glenlyon, Willie and Cap won the Glenlyon league, curtailed to two trials this year, due to Covid induced cancellations.

The Texel cross ewes ran well on a brae face course at Aberfeldy Young Farmers’ trial. The change to a chute rather than a pen raised the standard of the close work of previous years, but the ewes were not keen to be driven uphill on the first leg of the drive.

Neil McVicar’s Mist (RJ Hutchinson’s Sweep, IM Brownlie’s Mo) ran out and lifted nicely, but had minor wavers on the fetch. The ewes made a wide turn round Neil, and Mist had to work to get them on line on the first leg and keep them moving. Once through the gate, the cross drive and return went well and a good chute and shed set the seal on the winning run.

John MacKillop's Nip (I Lockhart’s Taff, M Condie’s Eve) took a whistle on his way out, stopped on the point of balance and fetched well. There were wavers on the drive away but the ewes went through the gate and the lines and turns went well from there. Nip stopped attempted breaks before putting the sheep successfully through the chute and completed the shed with just a slight hesitation, earning second place.

LEADING awards

Glenlyon (Judge: A MacLean, Dunoon) Invitation – 65 ran –1, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 96; 2, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 92; 3, CM Magnusson’s Kemi Sally, Mid Derry, 89; 4, C Davidson’s Jaff, Sandbank, 88 outbye; 5, A Wilkie’s Spot (Mot), Glenmoy, 88; 6, N McVicar’s Baledmund Pete, Benmore, 87; £370 raised for Strathcarron Hospice.

Cashlie (Judge:J MacDougal, Drymen) Invitation – 55 ran –1, M Davidson’s Angus, Lilburn, 94; 2, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 93; 3, CM Magnusson’s Kemi Sally, Mid Derry, 91; 4, N McVicar’s Baledmund Pete, Benmore, 88; 5, A McCulloch’s Sam, Dalmellington, 87; 6, L Hansson’s Lisbon, Glenlyon, 88; £370 raised for Strathcarron Hospice.

Aberfeldy (Judge: P Simpson, Kirriemuir) Open – 52 ran – 1, N McVicar’s Mist, Benmore, 89; 2, J MacKillop's Nip, Fort Augustus, 88; 3, D McMullen’s Eve, Glen Clova, 84; 4, AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rook, Comrie, 83; 5, P Martin’s Daisy, Glenlyon, 82; 6, J MacKillop's Zac, Fort Augustus, 78; Young Farmers' – 1, N Boyne’s Jess, Glenlochay; 2, D Corbitt’s Tess, Derculich; 3, D Corbitt’s Floss, Derculich.