COMPETITORS and spectators gathered for the annual Penton Discussion Group sheepdog trials.
A friendly, homely and welcoming atmosphere, created by the many willing helpers in the glorious setting of Haithwaite Farm by kind permission of Gerald and Margo Smith, ensured the day went very well.
The day began sunny and warm but by noon the sky had clouded over and rain began to fall.
The garden party atmosphere of last year was replaced by the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Nicholforest hall where the women of the hall committee provided excellent refreshments from dawn till dusk.
Thanks are also due to Paul Davidson for the loan of the sheep and to Boyd Mundell, the judge, assisted by Cath Flynn as timekeeper for the trials.
With a total of 66 paid entries there was no break in the proceedings. A fun dog show, kindly judged by Gill Wicklow of Penton, provided more entertainment for spectators, while Boyd enjoyed a short refreshment break.
The winner of the Open Cup was David Henderson of Allendale with his dog Jewel on 83 points, thus retaining the trophy he won last year with Star.
Second was Alan Common of Lockerbie with Roger on 82 points just ahead of Alec Baines of Kirby Stephen with Jess, also on 82 points.
David Henderson was fourth with Brad on 79, Willie Tod of Westerkirk fifth with Don on 77, and Alasdair Mundell of Moffat and Taff sixth on 76.
The Joss Nixon Cup for the best out bye went to Alan Common and Roger, while the cup for the best penning went to Alan Bradley of Kendal and Bess.
The ladies cup, the Robertson Cup, was won by Brenda Helliwell of Lancaster and Eileen on 72 points.
The Jennifer Imrie Memorial Quaich for the highest scoring novice dog was won by the trial’s youngest competitor Murray Common with Queen who retained the trophy he won last year.
Murray was the young handler in the Scotland team which won the One Man and his Dog competition on BBC’s Countryfile last year.
Willie Tod won the local trial and Garcia Cup with Don. Duncan Robertson of Westerkirk and Joe were second on 70.
Jeanette Moscrop of Bewcastle was third on 62 with Bess and Angela Hughes of Lanercost was fourth on 58 with Joe.
The Dennis Bowman Cup for the best out bye was taken by Joe and Angela Hughes, while Jeanette Moscrop and Bess won the Barry Bowman Cup for the best novice dog in the local.
Prizes in the ‘regular’ raffle, too numerous to mention, were spread among the many spectators and helpers.
Jean Fraser won the raffle for a stick, made and donated by course director George Smithson.
As always, the weekend ended with the lamb service in Nicholforest hall, a happy, appropriate and fitting end to a very good weekend.