The International Sheep Dog Society’s (ISDS's) major trials are set to make a full return this month, with visitors invited to watch them both in person, and online.
The major trials were cancelled in 2020 and last year were subject to numerous covid-19 restrictions, however they will “be back in full swing” this summer and will also be livestreamed online, the society has said.
National trials will take place over the course of three days in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales where 150 sheepdog and handler teams from each nation will compete to represent their country at the internationals.
15 teams from each country will go forward to compete at the three-day international event in Castle Howard in York, from September 9, to September 11.
Teams can also qualify to run at the internationals through their country’s Brace Competition, which sees handlers work two dogs together.
The culmination of the event will be the double gather final on the last day, where the winner will be crowned International Supreme Champion. Welcoming the return of the event, ISDS chief executive Isabel Branch said:
“It is wonderful to see a full return to ISDS sheepdog trials this summer, with a coming together of all our members and their dogs, to be tested at national level for a place on the team for the International.”
England has already held its national trial, which took place at Berwick-upon-Tweed. The winner of the singles category at the event was Frank Richards and his sheepdog Lola, while Helena Svobodova who was running Harper and Wicky, was the brace champion.
Next in the calendar, it is Ireland's turn on August 11-13, which will be followed by Scotland on August 18-20, and then Wales on August 26, 27 and 28.
“The English trial was a huge success with fair but testing sheep which saw a new winner of the English National in both the brace and singles competitions. We now look forward to the ensuing trials," Branch added.
For those who cannot make it to the event, there are a number of packages available for viewing the livestream including on demand access for which ISDS members can receive a discount.