Bask­ing in sun for ‘su­perb’ dog tri­als

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE ROPER

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.

Pic­tures: Si­mon Pendrigh

●● Thou­sands of visi­tors – in­clud­ing four-legged ones – en­joyed the English Na­tional Sheep­dog Tri­als in Sut­ton

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