A total of 23 nations will compete in the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials at the Lowther Estate, near Penrith in Cumbria, from September 15 to 18.
With the closing date for qualifiers having passed, all 240 handlers and their dogs from competing nations are now known for the 4th International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) World Trials, which are being staged in England for the first time.
Teams from Brazil and Japan will making their debut in the World Trials, joining dogs and handlers from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroes, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
Norman Lorton, chief executive of the ISDS, said: “Entries closed on March 31 and there has been a strong response from all nations. In particular, home nation handlers have been very keen to participate, with almost everyone who has qualified taking their place.
“In addition to the 240 qualified dogs, there are 102 alternate dogs entered. The stage is now set for what represents the ultimate global test for working sheep dogs and their handlers.”
A full list of dogs by country has been published on the World Trials website at www.worldsheepdogtrials.org
Meanwhile, public interest in the four-day spectacle is also mounting for what will prove one of the highlights in this year’s Cumbrian events calendar. Supporting the World Trials is a Food & Country Festival showcasing local food and a cookery theatre, rural crafts and skills, with a host of displays also creating all-round family interest.
Tickets for the World Trials are now available for purchase online through the ISDS website at www.isds.org.uk or via a link on the World Trials website.
Major sponsors of the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials include CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds, Gilbertson & Page, Penrith & District Farmers Mart, A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products, Lord Lonsdale, Eden District Council, Nigel Davis Solicitors, Armstrong Watson Accountants, Scotpen Sheep Handling Systems, Lloyds Land Rover and renowned Cumbrian sheep dog handler Katy Cropper.
Qualifying rounds will take place on three separate fields on the first two days of the trials, with the top seven from each field on the opening days going forward to the semi-final on Saturday. The top 16 of these qualify for the final on Sunday, from which a world champion will emerge.
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