A classy and well controlled run from Ian Fleming’s Wheatwood Ruby earned a long lead over the field at Hamilton Hall.

Well behaved Blackface gimmers ran well on a rising course on a cold, bright day and Ian and Ruby worked quietly and smoothly to make the most of them.

Ruby (DK Evans’ Red Spot, IR Fowler’s Fran) was fractionally short on her outrun, but lifted cleanly and had just minor wavers on her fetch. Her drive flowed nicely, with just a slightly wide turn through the first gate and a dip on her cross drive to attract the judge’s censure, but she kept the sheep calm and penned well. She finished her run with a clean shed, first place and clear gap between herself and the also rans.

Elinore’s Nilsson’s Dalriada Amy came out on top when central handlers and dogs faced the Jacobs at Kippen. As in the recent open trial, the habit of the breed to take off when a dog comes too close, too quickly, led to some early retirals, but those nursery dogs which managed them appropriately on a big, flat field, prospered.

Amy (E Nilsson’s Midderry Kid, M Gallagher’s Val) overshot her sheep, but lifted cleanly and and fetched with just minor wavers. She drove them flawlessly round the course, penned cleanly and finished the winning run with a good, but slightly slow shed.

Kenny Dickson’s Llwynsarn Sky (HW Jones’ Llansarion Mirk and Eryri Begw) ran out cleanly, lifted a little sharply and let her lines waver a little on the fetch and drive. A clean pen and good shed completed the run in second place.

Two closely matched runs finished well in front of the field at Evanton, but victory went to Harry Cooper’s Roy.

Strong Blackface and Swale cross hoggs ran well on a course set on field with a hollow that rose up towards the end of the course. Most dogs got their gates, but the chute presented more of a challenge.

Roy (ROM W Dalgarno’s Skye, A Connon’s Glen) ran out and lifted cleanly, but had a slight waver after the fetch gate and the hoggs made a wide turn round his back. He had a good drive and put the sheep through the chute after retrieving a break. A clean shed set the seal on the winning run.

Ian Sutherland’s Dan (Hielan Cap) (J MacDiarmid’s Rab, S Robertson’s Ruby) also started out cleanly. He had a slight waver before the fetch gate and a good drive, but had more difficulty at the chute. However, he succeeded and matched Roy’s clean shed, to finish second, a single point behind him.

Leading Awards

Evanton (Judge: H Munro, Inverness). Nursery – 24 ran – 1, H Cooper’s Roy, New Deer, 92; 2, I Sutherland’s Dan (Hielan Cap), Strathnaver, 91; 3, D Worthington’s Bob (Albert), Skarfskerry, 86 outbye; 4, J Grant’s Nell, Dunbeath, 86; 5, N Sutherland’s Usk Valley Rex, Strathnaver, 84; 6, N Sutherland’s Mali, Strathnaver, 77; 7, I Sutherland’s Dunelle Sam, Strathnaver, 76; 8, G van Dyck’s Lhinnek Rum, Invergordon, 74; 9, S Campbell’s Coll, Skye, 65; 10, I MacDonald’s Meg, Staffin, 63 outbye.

Kippen (Judge: A Cameron, Callander). Nursery – 19 ran – 1, E Nilsson’s Dalriada Amy, Alyth, 93; 2, K Dickson’s Llwynsarn Sky, Fintry, 90; 3, S Martin’s Cherry, Cashlie, 88; 4, M Gallagher’s Chief, Alyth, 85; 5, M Gallagher’s Hillrunner Bee, Alyth, 84; 6, K Conner’s Dot, Saline, 78 outbye; 7, L Christie’s Duke, Crieff, 78; 8, J Hastie’s Quick, Saline, 69; 9, P Martin’s Hamish, Glenlyon, 65; 10, P Martin’s Meme, Glenlyon.

Hamilton Hall (Judge: I Lockhart, Carsphairn). Nursery – 18 ran – 1, I Fleming’s Wheatwood Ruby, Douglas, 92; 2, S Morgan’s Mainstay Pip, Heriot, 84; 3, IM Brownlie’s Beck, Dunbar, 83 outbye; 4, RB Henderson’s Nell, Broughton, 83; 5, IM Brownlie’s Lark, Dunbar, 83; 6, T McKinlay’s Demi, Parkhall, 75; 7, I Fleming’s Jake, Douglas, 70; 8, H Brown’s Meg, Coulter, 68; 9, J Mitchell’s Aaro, New Luce, 66; 10, A Watson’s Tom, Shotts, 64. Novice – Seven ran – 1, A Walker’s Roy, Hamilton, 84; 2, R Reid’s Lynn, Carnwath, 79; 3, M McColm’s Viking Lee, Leadhills,74; 4, B Parker’s Duke, Heriot, 72; 5, G McKinlay’s Style, Coulter, 61; 6, R Reid’s Taff, Carnwath, 46.