Locals retain trials trophies amidst international competition

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Competitors from throughout Europe descended on Westruther sheepdog trials at Cammerlaws last Saturday.

Trialers from Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Norway, as well as further afield – in Scotland for the World Sheepdog Trials at Tain (which started yesterday) – meant 58 dogs ran over the challenging course.

But local trialer David Gilchrist from Oxton won with his dog Dan on 95 points. He also took the new Watson trophy in memory of Greenlaw trialer Tom Watson for the best pen.

Organiser Andrew Dickman said: “It was a good day, people enjoyed it.

“Our visitors thought it was really good experience for them and their dogs because they don’t have our type of sheep: theirs are really heavy to move, like pets. They were just really happy to give their dogs a chance of these type of sheep before the finals this week.”

The sheep were Scotch Mules, supplied by host Tom Walker of Cammerlaws, and the cours had a slight rise and a 380-yard outrun.

Andrew said: “The challenge was getting your dog out that distance. It was a big course, but the pen was the most challenging bit of it, whether they didn’t like the woodwork or what, the sheep just didn’t like going there.”

Heriot’s Bobby Henderson was second on 92 with Skid, while Robin Lawrie from Innerleithen was third with Tid on 90 points. Blyth Bank’s Davey Wallace with Jen was fourth on 88 points (outbye), while Earlston’s John Foster and Tay were fifth on 88 points and K. Samson from Denmark with her dog Dodo were sixth with 87 points. The best novice was Balerno’s Craig Kirkland and Jack who scored 64. The judge was last year’s trials winner, Ross Henderson from Galashiels.