Downhill Sheepdog Society held their annual charity sheepdog trials at Ballyhackett Road, Castlerock by kind permission of Jack Smyth and family on Friday, 1st July and Saturday, 2nd July.
The Friday evening trial was for the local novice handlers and the Open Novice for handlers confined to Co Londonderry.
The Friday evening trial attracted 27 dogs in total and was judged by Brian Kelly. Running was good and the sheep were consistently tricky and hard to pen. In the novice handlers class Joe Mullan and Fly took the honours with Willard Smyth taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th and Louise Conn and Finn lifted the cup for best outrun. The weather was kind enough and a good evening was had by all who attended.
The Saturday trial was for the Intermediate and Open dogs and had 76 dogs running and was judged by Michael Gallagher from Armoy, the 2010 International Supreme Champion. The weather was wet in the morning with some heavy showers passing by but then cleared up in the afternoon for a while before some more showers appeared but again cleared up for the prize giving.
Running was good and the sheep worked well all day providing a good test for man and dog. The sheep were much the same as the Friday evening, hard to pen at times but good around the field although handlers had to be quick when turning them around the post to get them pulled onto line before they headed off for the exhaust field. There were only three points separating first and sixth places so it shows how tight running was with a lot of good runs put up through the day. Sammy Long and Shep were the victors here scoring 93 out of 100 just ahead of Loughlin Conn and Ben. Tierney Graham from the USA had two good runs and managed to take fifth spot with her young bitch Silt.
All in all it was a good turnout and a good trial with the proceeds this year going to Parkinson’s Disease. Downhill Sheepdog Society would like to take this opportunity to thank all who supported the trial over the two days, the handlers and spectators, the people who put out sheep,the ticket sellers and last but not least the sponsors who support the event every year and also the new sponsors who came on board this year.
Local Novice: 1 J Mullan Fly 37; 2 W Smyth Snow 34; 3.W Smyth Meg 33; 4 W Smyth Glen 32
Best Outrun, Lift and Fetch: J Mullan Fly
Best Outrun: L Conn Finn
Open Novice: 1 S O Neill Moss 49; 2 S O Neill Jack 49; 3 L Kealey Wull 48
Intermediate: 1 T Long Buff 82; 2 W Goligher Belle 77; 3 K McFadden Cal 72.
Co Londonderry Cup: W Goligher Belle
Best OLF: T Long Buff
Best Drive: T Long Buff
Best Pen: I Stevenson Floss
Open: 1 S Long Shep 93; 2 L Conn Ben 92; 3 S Gallagher Iona 91; 4 J McLaughlin Ben 91; 5 T Graham Silt 90; 6 G Graham Ash 90
Downhill Shield Best Drive: W Goligher Dan
David Forsythe Cup Best OLF: T Graham Silt
Best Pen: L Conn Ben