Top sheepdogs will descend on village for national contest
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