International Sheep Dog Trials starts on Thursday with Royal Visit

The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 begins on Thursday 10th September where the most highly skilled sheep dogs in the world will compete over 3 days for the title of Supreme Champion.  In attendance will be HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the International Sheep Dog Society.

Interest in sheep dog trialling has never been higher, with ITV’s celebrity sheep dog show Flockstars attracting millions of viewers and BBC’s Countryfile giving a new home to the iconic One Man and His Dog.

 Sheep dog trials take core, traditional shepherding skills and showcase them in a spectacle of tough manoeuvres that test the skills of each competing dog and handler to the limit.  As well as the competitive trials, the event will also showcase artisan food, drink and crafts, and will host an extensive Country Fair on Championship Saturday.

 Among the highlights:

Thursday:  Royal Visit from 12noon, Thursday 10th September

Year of Food & Drink Artisans Village, daily rural skills demonstrations and vintage vehicle display

Saturday: Supreme Championship competition all day

Saturday: Young Handler Final at 12 noon

Saturday: Countryside Fair with family friendly activities

Saturday: Trophy presentation at 6pm

 Key Facts:

The first recorded sheep dog trials were held in 1873 in Wales

The UK is the 'kennel of the world' as far as the working sheepdog is concerned, sheep dogs here set the standard for the rest of the world

Those competing have already triumphed in the National Trials in Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland held earlier this year

The youngest competitor is 13 and the oldest refuses to say how old he is!

The real stars are the dogs – there will be 72 sheep dogs competing

Thousands of Trial experts and enthusiasts from all over Europe are visiting this prestigious competition

Celebrity Shepherdess and Flockstars Coach, Emma Gray is coming to the Trials on Sat 12

 Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Event Champion said:

“I’m delighted to see an event of such regard choosing to take place in Dumfries & Galloway.  The Trials create a wonderful opportunity for us to let visitors and TV audiences see all that Dumfries & Galloway has to offer.

 “This is a sport that plays well to Dumfries & Galloway’s strengths – beautiful scenery, a rich agricultural heritage and a fantastic tradition of appreciating and promoting traditional rural skills and crafts.”

 Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the International Sheep Dog Trails and Country Fair this year. Scotland has a rich agricultural heritage and a stunning landscape against which to hold the trials, further enhancing its reputation as the perfect stage for events. The Trials will attract thousands of people to Dumfries and Galloway and more than 70 competitors, which will ensure the event will generate an impressive economic impact for the area."

 The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 take place on 10-12 September at Meikleholm Farm, half way between Moffat and Dumfries.  Day tickets can be purchased on the gate and cost £8, with children (and dogs) free of charge. 

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