International Trials

The purpose of a Sheep Dog Trial is to test the abilities of the best working dogs, in an environment close to true working life. The UK is very much the ‘’kennel of the world’’ as far as the working sheepdog is concerned.

Following the four National Trials the International Trial is held, usually taking place in early to mid September. The International trial rotates around the four nations year on year.

The International Sheep Dog Trial is the pinnacle in the sheep dog trialling calendar, the ultimate test is the Supreme Championship Course in which the dog has to go and fetch ten sheep, bring them to the middle of the field, and then turn to fetch another ten sheep. For this reason it is called a 'double fetch'. This is used at the International Trials to find the best from the final fifteen dogs, and award an overall 'International Supreme Champion'.

Qualification for the Supreme takes place during days 1 and 2 of the International trial. We see the top 60 handlers, made up of teams of 15 handlers and their dogs from each of the nations (the competing handlers and their dogs are determined during the 4 National Trials, held during July/August each year). England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete against each other to determine who will qualify for a place within the Supreme Championship, held on day 3 of the International Trial. The Supreme Competition is restricted to the 15 highest pointed dogs from the Qualifying Trials irrespective of Country or Class.

All handlers are seeking to win this prestigious individual award, however there is also the team competition, and the individuals have a strong desire for their nation to win this.

In addition to the Supreme Championship, the Brace Championship and Young Handler Competition takes place.

The International Sheep Dog Trial attracts audiences from all over the world. 


Ricky Hutchinson with Jock, International Sheepdog trial 2017 - Supreme Run


Information regarding past International trials and results can be found on the International trial web-page.