The 13-month-old, Rab from Michael Shearer outrun in style, giving the perfect edge at the first nursery trial of the season at Mey, in Caithness, in mid-October.

The Cheviot ewe lambs could be flighty, especially if dogs upset them at the lift, where they waited in a hollow, sometimes unseen by the dogs. The lambs tended to drift from line at the top of the field and it was hard for the nursery dogs to put them back on line.

At the re-run in the later part of the day, far from being more co-operative as is usually the case, they became wiser and more determined to out smart the youngsters, particularly at the pen.

Rab ran out on a good line and stopped on the mark. He lifted calmly, but the line of the first part of the fetch weaved before the sheep eventually managed to slip by the gate.

Michael and Rab settled them from there and the dog showed great responsiveness to every command from Michael and together they achieved the best drive of the day. The lambs were determined not to be penned and stuck together at the shed, but Michael kept his cool and worked patiently with Rab to make a clean pen and let the sheep settle until the time was right for Rab to complete the winning run with a clean shed.

Ian Sutherland’s Moss ran out very well to his sheep, although his lift was rushed. Despite his hurried start continuing on the fetch, Moss put his sheep though the gate and worked well on the drive, until approaching the cross drive gate a little high, he overflanked and pushed them below the line of the gate so they missed that obstacle.

Another clean pen and shed completed the work in close contention to Rab's, but giving way on outbye work.

LEADING awards:

Mey (Judge: A Muir, Halkirk). Nursery – 29 ran – 1, MC Shearer’s Rab, Westfield, 77 outbye; 2, I Sutherland’s Moss, Strathnaver, 77; 3, J Grant’s Brynn, Dunbeath, 76 outbye; 4, G Cormack’s Flash, Dunnet, 76; 5, K Keith’s Tan, Auch, 75; 6, G Simpson’s Joe, Forgue, 74; 7, G Simpson’s Gin, Forgue, 68 outbye; 8, W Cormack’s Maid, Dunnet, 68 outbye; 9, S Renwick’s Dell, Inverbroom, 68; 10, J Grant’s Pat, Dunbeath, 67 outbye.

Northumberland Nursery League

Ilderton (Judge: C Dickson, Coldingham). Nursery – 30 ran – 1, M Davidson’s Poppy, Lilburn, 91; 2, M Davidson’s Groesfaen Rhannie, Lilburn, 89; 3, P Turnbull’s Jim, Debdon, 85; 4, B Jordan’s, Blaze, Whitfield, 80; 5, E Irvine’s Graylees Rita, Great Elsdon, 79; 6, T Iley’s Crick, Longframlington, 76; 7, B Jordan’s, Flake, Whitfield, 75; 8, D Henderson’s Fern, Allendale, 74. Novice – K McNaulty’s Jill, 76.