The North Of Ireland Sheepdog Society held its Nursery Final at Mr Robin McNinch’s Farm, Ballymullock Road, Larne on Saturday, 21st February.
The event was judged by the 2008 International Supreme Champion Kevin Evans with Sophie Holt timekeeper/clerk and Tommy John Doris from Cookstown Course Director.
The Eastern Region Nursery Committee would like to thank Mr Robin McNinch for the use of the land and also Robin, Ben and John for the sheep. Thanks must also go to Mr Robert Crawford for his help and also Wilson Auctions Mallusk for the use of their van.
The course rose away from the handler and had hedges on both sides and at the back giving a good enclosed course where dogs were able to spot sheep. The drive was left handed and back to the pen and finish with the shed. The Blackface hornies were pretty good and worked well although some packets were harder than others.
The day started off well with Colm Doherty from Central Region with Roy first up the field, with a clean outrun and one off the lift the start was good, a steady fetch lost only three points.
The drive was equally as good with Roy working the sheep well and keeping good lines losing six on the drive. A clean pen with two off the shed left them on 88 points and so set the target for the rest to aim at.
First for the Donegal Region was Michael Cannon and Sid. Four points were lost on the outrun with another three away on the lift. Michael then got things steadied up and had a good fetch losing six points. Nine points were lost on the drive followed by a clean pen but the shed went all wrong and lost another nine points leaving them on 69 points.
First for the Eastern Region was J P McFadden and Cap three points lost on the outrun and another one on the lift, the fetch was good and steady on a good line and lost two points. The drive started off well put a mishap at the first drive gate cost them dear but then got things back on track losing sixteen on the drive and finished with a clean pen and shed scoring 78 points.
The weather started to give problems with rain then turning to snow which was quite heavy. Tommy Long and Star for Donegal had hard luck, starting off well losing only one point on the outrun and the same on the lift. The fetch was good losing only three points with the drive losing only four points. It was looking good but trouble at the pen meant they ran out of time but still scored 71 points with no pen or shed. The snow was falling heavily when Sammy Long and Shep went to post. Only one point was lost on the outrun and the same on the lift. The fetch was good losing only two points. The drive had some bends losing ten points with the pen clean and one point lost on the shed left them on 85 points – a really good run under the conditions.
Donegal had now started to go into the lead for the team prize and J P McGee and Fly added to that. The outrun was clean with two lost on the lift. The fetch lost six points with another five lost on the drive with the pen clean but trouble at the shed cost them five points scoring 82 points. Dean McAuley and Gail went to post for the Eastern Region a clean outrun and lift had them well on their way. Seven points were lost on the fetch with another five dropped on the drive. The pen was clean and four dropped on the shed left them on 84 points.
Sammy Long and Ben put in another good score for Donegal after scoring 79 points. James McCloskey and Laddie went to the post for Donegal, one point lost on the outrun with a clean lift. The drive was good with Laddie well in control of his sheep losing two points on the fetch. The drive was just as steady losing five points. One point dropped at the pen and two lost on the shed put them into the lead on 89 points.
Seoirse O’Neill and Cap went to post for the Central and put in a good run losing only two points on the outrun with the same gone on the lift. The fetch was good losing only four points, eight points went on the drive but finished with clean pen and shed to score 84 points.
Bobby Reid and Meg put in a good try for Central and was unlucky running out of time at the shed but still scored 78 points. P J Gallagher and Jess had a great start having a clean outrun and lift. The fetch dropped eight points and the drive five points and then finished with clean pen and shed to score 87. Wilton Goligher and Sal went to post for the Central and put in a great effort with a clean outrun and lift. The fetch was good losing only two points, seven points were lost on the drive with one going at the pen and two lost at the shed left them on 88 points. Cairin McFadden and Nell went to post for Donegal and started off well with a clean outrun and only one lost on the lift, again the fetch was good losing only three points. A few twists on the drive lost eight points with another two lost at the pen finished with a clean shed to score 86 points.
The results were announced as follows.
The Regional winners were: Central 1. L Conn Craig; 2. A Lyttle Dan; 3.J Diamond Nell
B Class: J Mullan Elvis
Donegal: 1. S Long Ben; 2.J McCloskey Laddie; 3.S Long Shep
B Class L Ward Mo
Eastern: 1.P Morgan Kate; 2. D McAuley Gail; 3.D McNeill Flash
B Class: E McNeill Jess
Nursery Final Results: 1.J McCloskey Laddie 89; 2.W Goligher Sal 88; 3.C Doherty Roy 88; 4.P J Gallagher Jess 87; 5.C McFadden Nell 86; 6.S Long Shep 85; 7.D McAuley Gail 84; 8.S O Neill Cap 84; 9.J P McGee Fly 82; 10.S Long Ben 79.
B Class: 1. L Ward Mo 60; 2.J Mullan Elvis 47
Team Shield: 1. Donegal 808 pts; 2. Central 756 pts; 3. Eastern 700 pts
Breeder highest pointed Irish Bred Dog: P Doherty Breeder of C Doherty’s Roy.