Rainow Charity Hill Trial

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Winner of the first day of trialling - Ben Dumbleton with Shep

Photo courtesy of Geraldine Clark

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September 2019 saw the third Rainow Charity Hill Trial take place at Summerclose Farm, Saltersford, by kind permission of Mr Andrew Maynard.

On Saturday, James Dumbleton judged 27 dogs over the challenging course in wet and windy conditions, although visibility remained good.  Despite the poor conditions, the excellent Aberfield sheep ran consistently well.  All competitors sent their dogs left on the 1000yd outrun, downhill and through a gap in the wall into the next field, from there the dog had to cross a stream, run uphill to traverse the next field, and then find a further gap in a wall into a field of rushes, there the handler lost sight of the dog altogether.  Some dogs turned out and took the longer route around the spur of a hill before climbing again to the packet of 4 sheep, others opted for the shorter route by turning down into the valley and then climbing steeply up the opposite side before turning out once again to approach the sheep.  Once lifted, the sheep had to be brought diagonally across the hill, taking care not to allow them to drift downhill into an area dotted with hawthorn bushes, then through some fetch gates and diagonally down the steep hill into the valley and across a bridge.  At this point, if the sheep had been pushed too hard downhill by the dog, they had a tendency to turn into the valley and off of the course.  Once across the bridge, the dog had to drive the sheep uphill through 2 sets of drive gates, before bringing them down to cross the stream at the point where the dog had crossed on the outrun, then bring them back up to the handler for the shed and pen.  Saturday’s trial was won by Ben Dumbleton with his dog Shep, losing only 31 points.  They also won the prize for the weekend’s highest pointed local competitor, a handmade mug, crafted and donated by Jenny Baddeley.

After a night of heavy rain, 27 dogs ran in Sunday’s trial which was run over the same course, and judged by Ross Watson.  Those running in the morning were lucky enough to stay dry, while those in the afternoon had to contend with rain, and the rising level of the stream, which caused a few problems for the dogs persuading the sheep to cross it on the return to the handler.  Nevertheless, there were some excellent runs, the best coming from Arthur Temple, losing just 27 points with his bitch Floss.  Sunday’s runs were videoed by Carol Mellin, who invited people to “purchase” their videos with a donation made by Carol to the charities.  Thanks to all who donated for the videos, to Carol for braving the weather to make them, to those who entered the raffle, and to all who attended and helped in any way.

Trial report provided by Geraldine Clark

It is apparent from the report that this was a very challenging and exciting trial, and one that gains such great support from the trialling community.

During the two days a truly outstanding amount of £1,244 was raised and was divided between the two very worthy chosen charities, The Christie Hospital and Macclesfield District General Hospital Maternity Department.




Trial photos courtesy of Malc Brunt


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