Alasdair Mundell’s Jock led Crossdykes Nursery with the competition hot on his heels.

Cheviot ewes ran well on a gently rising course with no fetch gates at Crossdykes but tested the nursery dogs at the pen on a dry windy day.

Jock (D Mitchell’s Yellowhill Tommy, J Connolly’s Lynn) ran out on a good line and covered his sheep well at the top. He lifted smoothly and fetched them to Alasdair on a good line. A neat turn around the post and a good drive with tight turns followed. With the ewes settled and well-controlled, Jock completed his run with very good close work and earned first place.

Fraser Shennan’s Fred (E Gray’s Reiver Gray, F Shennan’s Belle) ran out well, and matched Jock’s work closely, keeping good lines on the fetch and drive and finishing up with a good pen and shed and took second place, a single point behind Jock and well ahead of the field, foremost among them, Fred’s littermate, Fraser’s Nap.

A near-flawless run from Chris Toner’s Niro Mace topped the list at Kippen which is thought to be the only open trial in Scotland run on Jacobs.

A number of seasoned handlers struggled to establish a good working relationship with the sheep on the big flat course and retired prematurely.

Mace (R Watson’s Ace, C Toner’s Maid) worked cleanly outbye, kept the pressure off the sheep, and took them smoothly round the long drive, but gave them too much freedom after they emerged from the cross drive gate, and they drifted off line on the return to the pen. Once back in control, Mace finished the run with a clean pen and shed, and earned first place.

Andy Carnegie’s Suus (E Groot’s Preseli Roy, J Roos’ Bess) also worked well, and likewise, the drive was her only hiccup. Although she got her gates, her drive did not flow as well as Mace’s, but very good work at hand contributed to her finishing as runner-up.

At Barr the previous week, a smooth run with neat turns and a clean finish, put Neil McVicar’s Mark into the lead.

A cold north wind caused the Blackface ewes to be flighty in the morning, particularly at the pen, but they settled later when the wind dropped. The course was set on slightly undulating ground in a big, flattish field which provided an outrun of more than 300 yards.

Mark (JP McGee’s Glencregg Silver, IM Brownlie’s Lia) had a nice flowing run; he ran well, out and in, and although his lines had minor wavers, he made tight turns around Neil and through the drive-away gate. The ewes went offline on the cross drive, but Mark drove them through the gate and his good work at hand secured first place.

Neil Gillon’s Boss (S Perellio’s Murgia Jim, R Hutchinson’s Denwyn Moya) ran out and lifted well, but he was slightly offline on the first half of his fetch. He kept good lines on the drive, but his turns were not as tight as those that Mark achieved. He penned after retrieving a single ewe that ran up the side of the pen, and a good shed completed the run in second place, level on points with Sammy Long’s Jack, but ahead of him on outbye work.

Sammy’s Jack (JP McGee’s Glencregg Silver, S McManus’ bitch) had a good outrun and lift, lost a little for his lines and turns on the fetch and drive, finished his run with a good pen and shed, and took third place.

The next day at Barr was sunny and warm, with no trace of wind, and dogs ran out more than 700yds, on a rising, hill course set out on rough grass for the previous day Blackie ewes.

Neil’s Boss ran out the distance well, needing no additional commands to find his sheep. He lifted well, had a few wavers on the fetch, but had a good drive, with tight turns. He penned well, and although his shed took a bit of time, once it was made, Boss took first place.

Stuart Davidson’s Dan (RW Harris’ Flyn and Straid Joe) ran out well and fetched his sheep back to Stuart in a good, straight line. His drive was good and a good pen followed. Hesitation at the shed cost Dan the trial, but he finished as runner-up, a single point behind Boss.

At the Durness Nursery trial, Harry Cooper’s Roy led a field of seasoned handlers with excellent outbye work on a fine day, when the south of the country struggled to keep dry.

The Cheviot gimmers ran well on the rising course, but proved testing at the pen, while the young dogs showed that they still had things to learn on the drive.

Roy (ROM W Dalgarno’s Skye, A Connon’s Glen) ran out and lifted flawlessly and fetched the sheep to Harry well. His drive started nicely, but there was a bend on the cross-drive before the ewes went successfully through the gate, their turn out was wide, but Roy got his gates. He penned after a break at the pen and completed his winning run with a good shed.

Ian Sutherland’s Dan (Hielan Cap) (J MacDiarmid’s Rab, S Robertson’s Ruby) started well out, but he missed his cross-drive gate. He penned after a break, but although he separated his sheep at the shed, it was not a tidy piece of work and he took second place.

Ian came back on the prize list, in third place, with Dunelle Sam. Sam (DK Evans’ Spot, M Anderson’s Nell) came tight onto his sheep at the top, had some wavers on his fetch, and missed a gate on the drive. His close work was better; he penned after a small break and a better shed than kennel mate Dan’s contributed to a place on the list.

Neil Gillon’s Boss won the open class at Colmonell and triumphed again in a double lift contested by the top six open dogs.

The Texel cross gimmers behaved well if managed properly on the 330-yard course, set on a flat field that rose at the far end.

Boss (S Perellio’s Murgia Jim, R Hutchinson’s Denwyn Moya) stopped short on his outrun but Neil’s whistle put him to the right place and he had a good lift. The line wavered after the fetch gate, and although the turn onto the drive was neat, there was another waver on the first leg of the drive. A good cross drive and clean work at hand put Boss into first place, with the competition hot on his heels.

The double lift was set out in a Y shape, needing dogs to stop short to bring their sheep down at an angle to the fetch gate. After a good first outbye, Boss made a tremendous look back for his second packet and took them back on a good line. Once the packets were reunited, the line wavered a little, and Boss was a little hesitant to come in on the splitting of his 10 sheep, but a good pen helped him to another win.

A clean pen gave Michael Gallagher and Avon Roy a comfortable lead over the field at Lintrathen.

The Texel cross ewes proved testing on the fetch and at the pen. The course was set across a steep slope and flat ground at the bottom; the left-hand side of the course rose up the brae and the left outrun needed dogs to run above a big rough area of rocks and whins. The ewes were drawn up the hill which made it hard to fetch them straight across the slope.

Roy (A Gallagher’s Cain, A Warmington’s Kim) ran out left for his sheep and although he looked short, he walked on to them, lifted them in a straight line, and worked well to control them as they felt the pull to draw away on the fetch. His drive started well, keeping good contact, although his turn out of the gate was wide, but the cross drive flowed well too, and a clean pen and shed set the seal on the winning run.

Leading Awards

Kippen (Judge: J Ogston. Killin). Open – 50 ran – 1, C Toner’s Niro Mace, Drimsynie, 97; 2, AD Carnegie’s Suus, Comrie, 92; 3, N Campbell’s Moss, Kinross, 89; 4, C Toner’s Niro Tammi, Drimsynie, 88; 5, R Howatson’s Chip, Fairlie, 85; 6, M Watt’s Dale, Kirriemuir, 84; £1200 raised for RSABI.

Crossdykes (Judge: K Keith, Lockerbie). Nursery – Eight ran – 1, AR Mundell’s Jock, Moffat. 94; 2, F Shennan’s Fred, Barr, 93; 3, F Shennan’s Nap, Barr, 86; 4, JA Common’s Highcliff Buzz, Lockerbie, 83; 5, D Robertson’s Zac, Langholm, 67; 6, H Jackson’s Roy, Penpont. 54; 7, WJ Welsh’s Bancroft Jam, Sanquhar, 53; 8, H Jackson’s Belle, Penpont.

Yell, Shetland (Judge: MC Hughson, Scalloway). Nursery – 11 ran – 1, J Nicolson’s Abby, Scalloway, 81; 2, R Colclough’s Reg, West Sandwick, 73; 3, J Ramsay’s Lyn, Ollaberry, 72; 4, J Ramsay’s Sally, Ollaberry, 64; 5, I Sutherland’s Vida, North Roe, 60.

Fetlar, Shetland (Judge: MC Hughson, Scalloway). Nursery – 11 ran – 1, J Ramsay’s Sally, Ollaberry, 82; 2, J Ramsay’s Lyn, Ollaberry, 80; 3, R Colclough’s Reg, West Sandwick, 78; 4, J Nicolson’s Abby, Scalloway, 63.

Melvich (Judge: J MacKenzie, Badenloch). Novice – 18 ran – 1, D Worthington’s Buzz, Skarfskerry, 81; 2, T McPhee’s Roy, Wick, 76; 3, M Sutherland’s Gail, Halkirk, 74.

Barr (Judge: J Ramsay, Glenluce). Open – 60 ran – 1, N McVicar’s Mark 92; 2, N Gillon’s Boss, Barr, 89 outbye; 3, S Long’s Jack, Ballybofey, 89; 4, M Young’s Jess, Stranraer, 85 outbye; 5, W Gallagher’s Del, Kilcar, 85; 6, A Kent’s Myllin Jill, Dunoon, 83; £660 raised for 2024 International at Lanark.

Barrhill (Judge: A Stewart, Lockerbie). Open – 50 ran – 1, N Gillon’s Boss, Barr, 92; 2, SL Davidson’s Dan, Sandbank, 91; 3, C Toner’s Niro Mace, Drimsynie, 87; 4, D Robertson’s Moss, Langholm, 85 outbye; 5, D Robertson’s Derwen Roy, Langholm, 85; 6, I Lockhart’s Chip, Dalrymple, 81.

Lintrathen (Judge: A Cameron, Callander). Open – 44 ran – 1, M Gallagher’s Avon Roy, Alyth, 94; 2, AD Carnegie’s Suus, Comrie, 90 outbye; 3, E Nilsson’s Midderry Kid, Alyth, 90 outbye; 4, H Mitchell’s Dan, Glenfarg, 90; 5, A Wilkie’s Spot (Mot), Glenmoy, 89 outbye; 6, T McPhee’s Scott, Wick, 89;7, H Mitchell’s Brae, Glenfarg, 88; 8, D Aitken’s Tweeddale Vicki, Peebles, 87; 9, E Nilsson’s Tweeddale Fergie, Balintore, 85;10, M MacNally’s Ash, Invergarry, 79. Local – 1, A Wilkie’s Spot (Mot), Glenmoy, 89; 2, P Simpson’s Cap, Kirremuir, 74.

New Cumnock (Judge: R White, Dalry). Open – 52 ran – 1, SL Davidson’s Maid, Sandbank, 92 Outbye; 2, I Fleming’s Torr, Douglas, 92; 3, N McVicar’s Baledmund Pete, Benmore, 91 Outbye; 4, WJ Welsh’s Heyshaw Fletch, Sanquhar, 91; 5, SL Davidson’s Dan, Sandbank, 88; 6, E Gray’s Banjo, Ardros, 87; 7, E Gray’s Graylees Chip, Ardros, 86; 8, N Gillon’s Boss, Barr, 85.

Yetholm (Judge:A Dickman, Oxton). Open – 38 ran – 1, M Elliott’s Nell, Lazonby, 86; 2, A McCulloch’s Sam Dalmellington, 85; 3, WS Elliot’s Cap, Yetholm, 83; 4, M Elliott’s Dot, Lazonby, 82; 5, M Davidson’s Heather, Lilburn, 81; 6, R MacRae’s Oats, Netherwitton, 78; 7, C Dickson’s Tom, Coldingham, 77.

Colmonell (Judge:A Kent, Dunoon). Open – 40 ran – 1, N Gillon’s Boss, Dailly, 92; 2, N Gillon’s Mheg, Dailly, 91 Outbye; 3, E Gray’s Banjo, Ardros, 91; 4, B Welsh’s Bob, Beoch, 90 outbye; 5, W Welsh’s Cap, Dalcairney, 90; 6, I Fleming’s Torr, Douglas, 89 Outbye; 7, M Young’s Jess, Stranraer, 89. Double Lift – Six ran – 1, N Gillon’s Boss, Dailly; 2, E Gray’s Banjo, Ardros;

Durness (Judge: M MacKay, Durness). Nursery – 24 ran – 1, H Cooper’s Roy, New Deer, 81; 2, I Sutherland’s Dan (Hielan Cap), Strathnaver, 77; 3, I Sutherland’s Dunelle Sam, Strathnaver,73; 4, D Worthington’s Bob, Skarfskerry,70; 5, M McQueen’s Ricky, Skye, 67; 6, G Simpson’s Mick, Forgue, 66; 7, N Sutherland’s Rex, Strathnaver, 63; 8, J Grant’s Nell, Dunbeath, 62; 9, I MacDonald’s Meg, Staffin, 59; 10, J MacDonald’s Breagh, Kinlochbervie, 53. Novice – 1, M McQueen’s Ricky, Skye, 67; 2, J MacDonald’s Breagh, Kinlochbervie, 53; 3, M Ashworth’s Rex, Kinloss, 50; 4, F Grant’s Skye, Forss.