Welshman Kevin Evans warmed up for another crack at the World Sheep Dog Trials crown in September when winning a charity trial in Craven featuring many of this year’s home nation qualifiers. (Thurs, May 19)
Craven charity trial winner Kevin Evans, centre, with his dog Spot, receives the spoils from Jeremy Eaton, general manager of sponsors Craven Cattle Marts. Also pictured are trials judge Tim Longton, right, English president of the International Sheep Dog Society, and joint organisers Carol and John Palmer.
Kevin, of Penclyn Farm, Modrydd Brecon, Powys, rattled up a tally of 85 points with his black and white smooth-coated dog Spot, a little brother to his own Mirk, the 2008 International Supreme champion. Both are by David Evans’ Jaff, out of Kevin’s Kemi Gypsy.
Spot has already made his mark in the trials arena, achieving many UK open wins, among them the Main Ring Open at the Royal Welsh 2009 and 2010, the Llandewi Brefi centenary South Wales style trial 2009, and, the same year, the North Wales Open Championship double lift final.
A member of the Welsh team for the International Trials, Spot also finished 10th in the World Trials final in 2008 – the last time they were held – and 11th in the 2010 Welsh Nationals to qualify for this year’s World Trials renewal.
Of the 78 competitors, Kevin and Spot were top dogs by some margin in the charity trial, held by kind permission of Anthony Hewetson at Newton Hall Farm, Bank Newton, Gargrave, and sponsored by Skipton-based Craven Cattle Marts (CCM).
Second on 79 points was Carol Mellin, of Oakworth, Keighley, with Maisie, followed in third place by Richard Hutchinson, Littledale, Lancaster, with his English National Brace champion Sweep (75pts). David Harrison, Selside, Kendal, finished fourth with Ben (74pts). All these handlers and dogs have qualified for the 2011 World Trials.
The charity trial was organised by John and Carol Palmer, of Twiston, Clitheroe - John is also World Trials co-ordinator - and CCM‘s John Brotherton, of Addingham. Judge was Tim Longton, of Quernmore, Lancaster, English president of the International Sheep Dog Society.
The victor’s trophy and other prizes were presented by CCM general manager Jeremy Eaton, who thanked all who helped make the day such a resounding success. The event, a fund-raiser ahead of the World Trials, raised over £700.
Mr Eaton said: “The trial featured some of the best-known names and dogs in the world of sheep dog trialing and proved a fascinating and absorbing prelude to the 2011 World Trials - and a solid test for those who have already qualified.”
Many of those competing in the charity trial also attended the annual Spring sale of working sheep dogs at Skipton Auction Mart the following day. (Fri, May 20).
The International Sheep Dog Society’s 4th World Sheep Dog Trials, Food & Country Festival are being held in England for the first time at Lowther Park Estate, near Penrith in Cumbria, from September 15-18, 2011. Full details – with an advance ticket purchase facility now in place – are at www.worldsheepdogtrials.org
Late Spring Sale of Working Sheep Dogs at Skipton
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Frankland Farms in Prime Form at Skipton