A well controlled run gave Matilda Young and Tandy the lead at the Tripartite Team competition for the Border Cup at Greystoke, spearheading the Wigtownshire's team triumph.

The Mule hoggs needed a dog to take control if they were to move round the flat course and this worked well at hand, where they co-operated with the work of penning and shedding. A hollow where the sheep were released hid dogs from view at the lift, but good dogs managed despite that. The cross drive was hard to judge and some packets slipped the gate although they appeared to be on line for the gate.

Tandy (M Young’s Sture and Jess) ran out and lifted cleanly and quickly took charge of the sheep. The fetch was good and after a wide turn out of the drive away gate, the drive went well, too. Tandy walked her sheep into the pen and shed them cleanly and earned first place with the runner up close behind.

Arthur Temple’s Pentre Roxy followed a similar pattern. Roxy (DK Evans’ Tanhill Glen, I Rees’ Nell) also started out cleanly, worked well on the fetch, and had a slightly wide turn out of the first drive gate. Her return to the pen wavered a little and although she was slightly hesitant at the pen, she secured her packet and completed her run with a clean shed and second place.

The pen proved decisive at Garpin where only three dogs penned and the winners were Robbie Welsh and Fly with the only finished run of the trial.

Dogs had to be focused on keeping the Blackface hoggs moving on line as they went round the big, flat course, but they faced the real test at the pen

Fly (T Tennant’s Ben and Tess) was short on her outrun, but took Robbie’s whistle and worked steadily from there, despite a near miss on the cross drive when an apparently good line for the middle of the gate suddenly looked likely to slip by it, but Fly attended to that and put her sheep through. At the pen, Robbie gave them time and benefited from that with a successful pen and retained his strategy to achieve the shed and Fly won the trial with a long lead.

Willie Welsh’s Jan (W Welsh’s Cap, J Emmerson’s Mo) started well, and when one hogg wanted to split after the fetch gate, Willie called her in to stop the breakaway, to stop the three and unite the packet. The rest of the run went steadily, but the time spent getting the sheep into the pen, meant that the allotted span ran out before the shed was made and Jan took second place.

The second trial benefitted from the mixing of the previous runners with those awaiting their debut on the field. The experienced runners settled their flockmates and the pen became less of a bogey.

Willie’s Jan ran out well, and although the hoggs went slightly off line after the lift, she aligned them for the fetch, but let the line of the drive away come down before she straightened that out, put them through the gate, and made a good cross drive and return to the pen. A clean pen and a good shed put Jan in first place.

Robbie changed his approach, and sent Fly out to the opposite side from her previous run and although she was a little tight she lifted and started her fetch well, but the line wavered before the hoggs went through the gate. The drive went well and good close work made Fly the runner up.

Lying snow hampered viewing at Skeld for dogs and handlers, with sheep and terrain, particularly on the cross drive, being similarly camouflaged on the cross brae face course which ran slightly down hill from the start post.

Two similar runs from Brendon Smith’s Glen topped both trials held on the same course, that day.

In the first, Glen (P Byrne’s Moss and Fan) spotted the sheep before he left Brendon’s feet and although he stopped slightly short, he fell in behind them, lifted well, and made a good fetch. He drove them away on the left hand drive, and although his turn out of the first drive gate was wide, he quickly got the sheep on line, had a decent cross drive, and a good return to the pen. One individual broke from the pen, but Glen tidied that with a cool head, penned the packet, and finished the winning run with a clean shed and a comfortable lead over the field.

Leading Awards

Border Cup, Greystoke (Judge: C Taylor, Kendal). Nursery – Three teams of 10 ran – 1, M Young’s Duncaillean Tandy, Stranraer, 90 (W); 2, A Temple’s Pentre Roxy, Holmrook, 89 (NW); 3, J Thomson’s Brobar Rock, Carsphairn, 82 (DandK); 4, S McCrindle’s Duncaillean Play, Stranraer, 81 outbye (W); 5, I McMillan’s Cat, Newton Stewart, 81 (W); 6, D Porter’s Fern, Stranraer, 80 (W); Teams – 1, Wigtownshire, 721; 2, North Westmorland, 693; 3, Dumfries and Kirkcudbright, 579;

Skeld, Shetland (Judge: S Fraser, Cullswick). Nursery – 11 ran – 1, B Smith’s Glen, Dunrossness, 84; 2, J Nicolson’s Abby, Scalloway, 75.

Skeld, Shetland (Judge: S Fraser, Cullswick). Nursery – 11 ran – 1, B Smith’s Glen, Dunrossness, 90; 2, J Ramsay’s Sally, Ollaberry, 85; 3, J Ramsay’s Lyn, Ollaberry, 83; 4, J Nicolson’s Abby, Scalloway, 80.

Springhill (Judge: C Balmbro, Wooler). Nursery – 10 ran – 1, J Foster’s Cap, Earlston, 89; 2, J Robinson’s Nap, Coldingham, 72; 3, I Jackson’s Zac, Ancrum, 71; 4, B McSporran’s Cass, Wester Middleton, 70; 5, E Foster’s Glen, Brotherston, 69; 6, A Dickman’s Lady, Oxton, 67. Novice/Young Farmer – B McSporran’s Cass, Wester Middleton, 69.

Garpin, Crosshill I (Judge: E Gray, Ardros). Nursery – Eight ran – 1, R Welsh’s Fly, Prestwick, 83; 2, W Welsh’s Jan, Dalcairney, 71; 3, J Shennan’s Dak, Barr, 67; 4, N Gillon’s Uno, Barr, 62; 5, J Welsh’s Bob, Beoch, 56.

Garpin, Crosshill II (Judge: A Kent, Dunoon). Nursery – Eight ran – 1, W Welsh’s Jan, Dalcairney, 83; 2, R Welsh’s Fly, Prestwick, 81; 3, A McCulloch’s Storybrooke Guy, Dalmellington, 79; 4, N Gillon’s Uno, Barr, 77; 5, J Shennan’s Dak, Barr, 75; 6, B Welsh’s Kate, Beoch, 61.

Home Farm, Arran I (Judge: N Henderson, Kilpatrick). Nursery – Seven ran – 1, W Stevenson’s Tweeddale Morag, Whiting Bay, 74; 2, I McConnell’s Fly, Lamlash, 72; Older dogs 1, I McConnell’s Joe, Lamlash, 83; 2, C Lindsay’s Jim, Sliddery, 59.

Home Farm, Arran II (Judge: N Henderson, Kilpatrick). Nursery – Seven ran – 1, W Stevenson’s Tweeddale Morag, Whiting Bay, 73; 2, I McConnell’s Fly, Lamlash, 72.