Basking in sun for ‘superb’ dog trials
THOUSANDS headed to the English National Sheepdog Trials in Sutton over the weekend, held in the village for the first time.
Around 5,000 people watched 150 competitors from around the country take part in the event at Ann and Bud Eardley’s Sutton Hall Farm.
The show featured the country’s best sheepdogs and handlers who competed by using sheepdogs to herd sheep around a field, through fences, gates and into enclosures.
Bud, who has competed at the event three times and won the Macclesfield trial in 1991, said: “It was excellent.
“The weather was superb and we’ve had nothing but thanks and praise. Jim Easton, chairman of the International Sheepdog Society, said it was the best national trial he had ever been to.
“I think it was all down to the excellent teamwork we had.”
This year’s event saw around five times the normal number of visitors, with around 3,000 attending on Saturday, the final day of the three-day trials.
Ann said: “It was absolutely fantastic, a complete success.
“More than 400 people were at the concert on Saturday too.”
It’s the third time the borough has hosted the national event, hosting the trials in Macclesfield in 1947 and Mottram St Andrew in 1984.
The Macclesfield Sheepdog Trials – which have taken place at the farm since 1966 – have been postponed this year to make way for the national championships.
James Gilman, from Bosley, scored 167 points to come 15th in the competition and will represent England in the International Championships, while fellow competitor James Dumbleton and his dog Sid, from Bollington, narrowly missed out with a score of 143.
Unfortunately Colin Pickford and his dogs Rainbow and Chappie, from Rainow, were disqualified after Chappie bit a sheep.
England team captain Dick Roper and his dog, Spot, seized the overall crown on the day.
Hundreds of pounds were raised at the event to support the families and victims of the Bosley explosion. Visitors also enjoyed rides, stalls, a bouncy castle and an animal petting tent.
There was also a tug-owar competition, the traditional Tegg’s Nose Fell race and live music, followed by Sunday evening performances.
●● Thousands of visitors – including four-legged ones – enjoyed the English National Sheepdog Trials in Sutton