Clyde secures the Harden Moss double gather spoils

TOM Lawrenson and Clyde won the Harden Moss double gather championship to conclude three days of competition on Sunday.

Gordon Birchenall, the previous year’s winner, had the lengthy job of judging all classes apart from the brace. In Friday’s open he saw 39 dogs go to the post, while on Saturday there were 65. Set over a flat pasture where the reeds had been mown the course had a gather of about 250 yards. Most handlers favoured the left outrun which was more inviting than the right where the dogs could run too wide.

Running was on Cheviot x Texel shearlings which were flighty. “If picked up hard they would turn and face the dog and then take off. The dogs needed enough power, but they had to hold off,” said the judge.

On Friday the sheep ran better in the morning when most of the winning runs came. At three Tom and Clyde (T. Lawrenson Jess, R.D. Roper Tom) gained 85 of 100 points, a score that failed to be matched. Stephen Duckworth and Vic were their closest contenders earning 84 points with run eight.

Improved

By contrast, the sheep improved slightly on Saturday as the day progressed with most of those placed running in the afternoon. Maurice Gregory had the highest score of 88 with Kune, bred from the same litter as Clyde (T. Lawrenson Jess, R.D. Roper Tom) running at 46.

At 49 James Gilman’s Peggy was the runner up on 87 points. Partnered by her litter sister Dot, Peggy won the brace class. Held on Sunday the nursery class of 13 entries was won by Derek Cheetham’s Cass, bred out of a New Zealand heading bitch.

Philip Mellin was best of the three young handlers running Hillmoor Jess. Being the winner of the local open, John Wood and Jim (M. Lund Star, I. Ibbotson Zac) qualified for the championship along with the three top dogs from the previous two days trials.

Drawn third, Carol Mellin and Maisie took the lead on 123 of 140 points. They had good outfield work but their sheep were awkward at the pen costing five points.

Tom and Clyde had the following run. Gathering three sheep to the right, Clyde could not be faulted. For whistles as he went back to the left, he dropped four marks and then five from his lift and second fetch.

Losing four marks throughout his driving was good. He put all six sheep cleanly through the Maltese cross before dropping just one point at the pen. Finishing with a clean splitm Clyde’s score of 126 gave him the championship title by three points.

Alston

David Heron judged the entry of 55 at the annual Alston open in heavy showers on Saturday.

Held on the local playing fields the flat course with a fetch of about 300 yards was gathered either way.

Worked in threes the Swaledale hoggs were quite touchy rebelling when pressured but responding to careful handling. At 14 Mark Elliot set a good standard with Gail gaining 89 of 100 points.

They stood top for some time until, at 45, Alan Bradley had the winning trial with Kilcreen Fox (S. Gormley Kilcreen Midge, T. Lambe Craig). Red and white Fox had very good outfield work. Keeping his sheep settled he lost just three marks for minor deviations over the left-hand drive.

“The dog was quiet and with small flanks kept his sheep on line,” remarked the judge. Breaks at the pen cost six points and with one mark lost at the single his score of 90 gave him the advantage.

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