Top dogs due to run in the World Sheep Dog Trials in Cumbria in September will be put through their paces by their renowned handlers in a warm-up charity trial in Craven mid-May.
A total of 80 dogs from all over the UK, many of which will be competing on the world stage, are set to compete in an open charity trial at Newton Hall Farm, Bank Newton, Gargrave, on Thursday, May 19, by kind permission of farmer Anthony Hewetson. Spectators will be welcome.
Such was the interest in the inaugural trial that the entries limit was reached within three days. All proceeds will be go towards the International Sheep Dog Society’s 4th World Sheep Dog Trials, Food & Country Festival, to be held in England for the first time at Lowther Park Estate, near Penrith in Cumbria, from September 15-18, 2011.
Craven Cattle Marts in Skipton is sponsoring the local trial, which is set to begin at 7.30am. It is being held purposely the day before the annual Spring sale of working sheep dogs at Skipton Auction Mart, on Friday, May 20, which will be attended many of the competitors.
Competitors at Bank Newton include some of the shining stars of the sheep dog trialing world who have already qualified for the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials. They include:
- Welshman Aled Owen, of Corwen, Denbighshire, the defending World Trials champion.
- The 2005 reserve World Trials champion and 2010 Supreme finalist, fellow Welshman Nigel Watkins, of Llangadog, Carmarthenshire,
- Ayrshire-based Scotsman Jock Welsh, who ran two dogs in last year’s Supreme Championship.
- Another Welshman Kevin Evans, of Modrydd Brecon, Powys, the 2008 Supreme champion.
- Matt Watson, of Eastleach, Gloucestershire, the 2010 English National winner.
- Irishman Alistair Lyttle, of Pettigo, Co. Donegal, 2010, BBC Television's "One Man and His Dog" champion in 2010.
Well-known local handlers will also be to the fore at the trial, which is being organised by John Brotherton, of Addingham, and World Trials co-ordinator John Palmer, of Twiston, Clitheroe.
Tim Longton, of Quernmore, Lancaster, English president of the International Sheep Dog Society and head of the World Trials organising committee, said: “This inaugural charity trial features some of the best-known faces and dogs in the game.
“Interest in the world of sheep dog trailing is as strong as ever, and as well as being of major interest to sheep dog enthusiasts, there is an open invitation to the general public to attend this much anticipated rural spectacle.”
CCM general manager Jeremy Eaton said: “This is intended to be an annual charity event, with this year's chosen charity the World Trials. It an interesting and exciting prelude to the 2011 World Trials for observers of form. We intend to have a presence there in the afternoon and evening for all our customers, not just those who attend dog sales.”
Caterers will be in attendance. Contact Carol Palmer on 01200 445293, mobile 07932 318145. For full details about the World Trials, visit www.worldsheepdogtrials.org
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