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Deerplay double gather for American-bred Fleece

DEREK Scrimgeour won the Deerplay Double Gather Championship with his prick-eared tri-coloured smooth-coated bitch Fleece, which was bred in the US by Geri Byrne, and imported as a youngster.

Trained here, she won one of the most prestigious trials in England, after winning the Deerplay Open last year.

Running near the end of the championship, Fleece lost six points off her first outrun for commands, one off the lift and four off the lengthy first fetch across the hill.

She lost another four off the turn back and the second gather, with a clean lift, and two off the long second fetch. After dropping five off the shortened drive, Derek and Fleece had a very good finish to their run.

Clear open winners, Sue Horn had led the field since run three, with Jock.

They had a slightly better first outrun, lift and fetch, but not as good a second outrun, lift and fetch. The nearest contenders were David Wood with his young bitch Sal at 17, and Sophie Holt with Black at five. Both had good runs, losing points mainly on their first outruns.

Sue Horn and Jock were well on form, having won the Open trial on the Saturday. Jock did a clean outrun and lift, losing just four points on the long fetch and three points on the shortened drive. Trying hard to pen the three lively Cheviot shearlings meant they lost just four points there, losing 11 in total.

Early lead

Pennant Williams had taken an early lead with Sweep, losing out on outrun, lift and fetch to Sue and Jock, who ran at 20. Derek Scrimgeour and Fleece were the nearest contenders at 66, gaining third place. Regulars in the Deerplay final, Carol Mellin and Maisie were fourth, and Lisa Hansson from Sweden was fifth, this time with Pat.

Both days were judged by last year’s winner Chloe Cropper. Only a handful of dogs did not get their sheep, with the outrunning much improved this year. The sheep are let out of a trap once the dog was behind them, taking off across a steep part of the hillside.

Most dogs managed to take control and put them on a track, which the sheep followed down the hill, through three sets of hurdles. Many points were lost in getting the sheep across a bridge at the bottom. It was tricky for handlers to judge the drive, and the Cheviots shearlings proved difficult at the pen, improving over the two days.

The pen was probably the deciding factor of this year’s open trial, as the results would have been completely different if more handlers had managed to pen their sheep. In the championship, the sheep were not fighting quite so much at the pen, but the odd one was quite happy to break away on its own.

Elsewhere, Dick Roper took the Mid-Shires open title at Harringworth with Scrap, on fit Mules which tested the dogs. Richard Montgomery won at Cropredy with Meg on the OLF rule, pushing Adrian Hall and Fleur into the reserve position. Gordon Thompson won at Thistley Haugh in Northumberland with Red.


DEERPLAY HILL (Judge, C. Cropper, Water) Open (72 ran) 1, Sue Horn (Tweedsmuir) Jock, 11 lost out of 100 OLF; 2, P. Williams (North Wales) Sweep, 11; 3, D. Scrimgeour (Keswick) Fleece, 12; 4, Carol Mellin (Oakworth) Maisie, 14; 5, Lisa Hansson (Sweden) Pat, 15 OLF; 6, S. Holt (Bacup) Black, 15.

Best outrun, Tom Lawrenson and Spot.

Local (12-mile radius) S. Holt and Black.

Top 20 handlers qualified for the Double Gather Championship, 1, D. Scrimgeour (Keswick) Fleece, 24 lost out of 170; 2, S. Horn (Tweedsmuir) Jock, 29; 3, D. Wood (Derwent) Sal, 33; 4, S. Holt (Bacup) Black, 35; 5, T. Lawrenson (Brindle) Spot, 39; 6, J. Cropper (Bacup) Mirk, 47.

Aggregate, D. Scrimgeour.

Best turnback, Ron Airey (Trawden) and Bet.

NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUE, Coquetdale, Thistley Haugh (C. Dixon, Coldingham, 46 ran) 1, G. Thompson (Bellingham) Red, 89 out of 100; 2, G. Pringle (Alwinton) Mist, 88; 3, B. Elliott (Yetholm) Rod, 86; 4, T. Iley (Longframlington) Grit, 79; 5, F. Noble (Tow Law) Moss, 78; 6, J. Edgar (Consett) Molly, 77.

Novice, P. Telfer (Haydon Bridge) Meg, 66.

BAMFORD (R. Briggs, Wennington) Open (61 ran) 1, J. Gilman (Macclesfield) Bob, 90 out of 100; 2, D. Wood (Derwent) Sal, 86; 3, G. Dermody (Nantwich) Jess, 85 OLF; 4, P. Williams (North Wales) Sweep, 85; 5, C. Pickford (Rainow) Chappie, 84; 6, David Wood, Moe.

Brace class (G. Bonsall, Slindon, 4 runs) 1, J. Cropper (Bacup) Black and Tess 97; 2, J. Gilman (Macclesfield) Dot and Peggy, 96; 3, T. Cashmore (Coventry) Midge and Lyn, 94.

Local class, 1, D. Wood, Sal, 86; 2, D. Wood, Moe.

MID-SHIRES, Harringworth, (A. Rouse, Hildersham) Open (52 ran) 1, D. Roper (Eastleach) Scrap, 88; 2, A. Hall (Wolvey) Fleur, 87 OLF; 3, D. Hemmings (Evesham) Bea, 87; 4, D. Roper, Spot, 86 OLF; 5, N. Vyas (Wigston) Mac, 86; 6, I. Murdoch (Sutton on Forest) Bob, 85.

Novice, 1, J. Porter (Broughton Astley) Tula, 75; 2, J. Fletcher (Chesterfield) Jack, 74.

CROPREDY (J. Aldridge, Daventry, 47 ran) 1, R. Montgomery (Bristol) Meg, 87 OLF; 2, A. Hall (Wolvey) Fleur, 87; 3, D. Roper (Northleach) Spot, 85; 4, A. Blackmore (Ledbury) Bob II, 84; 5, J. Thomas (Middleton Stoney) Nap, 83; 6, B. Powell (Cold Ashby) Drift, 81.

Local novice, John Porter (Broughton Astley) Tula, 68.

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