Top sheep­dogs will de­scend on vil­lage for na­tional con­test

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

THE BEST sheep­dogs and their han­dlers will de­scend on Sut­ton for a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Around 150 com­peti­tors from around the coun­try will take part in the English Na­tional Sheep­dog Tri­als at Ann and Bud Eard­ley’s Sut­ton Hall Farm.

It’s a proud mo­ment for the Eard­leys and the vil­lage as it will be the first time the com­pe­ti­tion has taken place in Sut­ton.

It will be a show of the best sheep­dogs and han­dlers as they have had to qual­ify to take part in the com­pe­ti­tion. The event sees com­peti­tors us­ing sheep­dogs to herd sheep around a field, fences, gates and into en­clo­sures.

Sut­ton Hall Farm is usu­ally home to the an­nual Mac­cles­field Sheep­dog Tri­als, but this will be a much big­ger event.

Ian Nixon, chair­man of Mac­cles­field Sheep­dog Tri­als, said: “We’ve put in a lot of ef­fort and made it a three-day event, with more stuff on for fam­i­lies. A craft fair, pets cor­ner and the fell race is tak­ing place again. Peo­ple will be camp­ing at the site and it’s a great fam­ily day out.

“It’s the first time we’ve hosted the na­tion­als and it’s an hon­our.”

Han­dlers in­clude James Gil­man from Bosley, James Dum­ble­ton from Bolling­ton and Colin Pick­ford from Rainow.

They will be com­pet­ing for a chance to rep­re­sent Eng­land at the An­nual In­ter­na­tional Tri­als. At the end of the com­pe­ti­tion, there is a run-off be­tween the win­ners from each day to find the over­all English Cham­pion and the Eng­land team cap­tain.

There will be pic­tures from the Mac­cles­field tri­als over the years at the event. They have been held at the farm since 1966 and the only oc­ca­sion it didn’t go ahead was dur­ing the foot and mouth out­break in 2001.

Bud Eard­ley has com­peted three times at the na­tion­als and won the Mac­cles­field trial in 1991.

In ad­di­tion to the tri­als there is a large craft mar­quee with 35-plus ex­hibitors and nu­mer­ous trade stands on the Fri­day and Satur­day.

And in light of the re­cent events in Bosley, money raised at the event will go to­wards the fund to sup­port fam­i­lies and vic­tims of the Bosley Ex­plo­sion.

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley said: “This year’s event is a great hon­our for Sut­ton.

“The com­pe­ti­tion doesn’t come to the North West very of­ten, let alone to Mac­cles­field.

“And this year we have a re­ally im­por­tant lo­cal cause to sup­port in Bosley.”

The tri­als are from Thurs­day, Au­gust 6 to Satur­day, Au­gust 8, each day from 7.30am and cul­mi­nat­ing on Satur­day with the award­ing of the English Na­tional Cham­pion 2015.

On Fri­day there will be a tug-o-war com­pe­ti­tion at around 7pm, live mu­sic and a bar. The Tegg’s Nose Fell Race starts at 1pm on Satur­day.

En­trance costs £5, un­der 16s are free and it’s free car park­ing.

There will be an evening of mu­sic and laugh­ter from 7.30pm on Sun­day, Au­gust 9, fea­tur­ing co­me­di­ans Terry Cotta and Nor­man Prince and El­ton John trib­ute Roger Tro­man.

Con­tact Vicky Clam­pett on 01260 223333 or Ian Nixon on 01260 226542.

●● David Rut­ley MP (cen­tre back) with farm­ers, com­mit­tee mem­bers and the rep­re­sen­ta­tives who ben­e­fited from money raised dur­ing kast years tri­als. (Front) Ian Nixon, chair­man Mac­cles­field and Dis­trict Sheep Dog Tri­als and James Gil­man, com­mit­tee mem­ber and com­peti­tor

●● Rainow farmer David Pick­ford tak­ing part in the cham­pi­onships with his sheep­dog Midge last year

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