International Sheepdog Trials Ireland 2007
ALED Owen from Corwen in North Wales stepped up his game at this year's International Sheep Dog Trials to win the Supreme with four-year-old Roy, and equal Gwyn Jones (Penmachno)'s record of three International wins with three different dogs.
Aled and Roy started with just two points off their first outrun, a tricky lift leading to a reasonable first fetch.
A good turn back, requiring redirection, led to a clean lift and another reasonable fetch. Most points were lost in the driving which started well with Roy getting keen in the approach to the crossdrive gates. Almost half the shedding points were lost but Roy saved the day impressively when he stopped a collared ewe from bolting towards the others. With just three points off at the pen, they finished to loud cheers
Wales swept the board, with Richard Millichap (Port Talbot) gaining the reserve position with Taddymore Cap when he had a good all-round run finishing with a run that many thought would be hard to beat. Gethin Jones (Llanarmon D.C.) won the Qualifying Trial with Eira.
John Griffith won the Brace competition with Ffan and Gwenno, closely contested by Con McGarry with homebred Dan and Ballyglass Nell .
The Young Handlers competition took place on Sunday in rainy conditions and won by Scottish shepherd Kevin Howlett from Inverlochlarig with Tess (by Janet Beale's Dolwen Chips, out of R. Topley's Tess) leading the other talented young handlers.
Tim Flood from Clonroche near Wexford was presented with the Wilkinson Sword trophy for his outstanding contribution to the International Sheep Dog Society, sheepdogs and sheepdog trials
Tim has won the Irish National six times, the Irish National Brace four times, the International Brace in 1989 and the International Qualifying Trial in 2005. His dogs have been the most influential on the bloodlines in Ireland and beyond.
The course was perfect, with a wide viewing area catering for all, the field sloped upwards, levelling out at the top where it was deceptive just how much ground there was to cover.
The young Scottish ewes were brought from open hill ground, and proved to be challenging to handle, making the dogs work hard to keep them on line. Quick to move in the shedding ring, they were reluctant to part and were the downfall of many handlers.
Neil McVicar from Dunoon gained third place for Scotland with his 2005 Supreme Champion. Neil and Spot had the best shed, winning the Johnny Wilson trophy. Fourth, was Gordon Watt from Norfolk with York, winning the International Shepherds Championship for England.
Ireland's best place was fifth through Sammy Long from County Donegal with Daisy.
Andy Carnegie, Perthshire, with Lark took second place in the Qualifying Trial, and lead on points in the Supreme until the shedding ring where they had the misfortune of a wayward collared ewe. They did, however, win the Driving Championship.
The judges were Ray Edwards (England), George Lutton (Ireland), Jimmy Ogston (Scotland) and Calvin Jones (Wales). It was an excellent trial organised by the Irish President Simon Mosse.
1, A. Owen (Wales) Roy, 469 points; 2, R.M.Millichap (Wales) Taddymoor Cap 451 points; 3, N.F. McVicar (Scotland) Spot, 410 points; 4, W.G. Watt (England) York, 394 points; 5, S. Long (Ireland) Daisy, 389 points: 6, M.Jones (Wales) Joe, 371 points; 7, G. B. Jones (Wales) Eira, 370 points; 8, J.F. Rooney (I) Faye, 348 points; 9, G.Watson (England) York, 346 points; 10, A. Jones (Wales) Rob, 342 points; 11, R. Dalziel (Scotland) Spot, 336 points; 12, M.C. Shearer (Scotland) Cap, 335 points; 13, E.W. Edwards (Wales) Clywd Jac, RETD; 14, M.C. Shearer (Scotland) Bob, RETD; 15, A.D. Carnegie (Scotland) Lark, DISQ.
Regulars - FG