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By Mark Davey
Young sheepdogs from across Scotland will flock to Clochkeil farm next weekend.
Shepherds with 45 dogs, aged under two-and-a-half on October 1 last year, from the nation’s nine regions, will compete in the Scottish Nursery finals, judged by Cairndow’s Roddy McDiarmid, on Saturday March 3.
Kintyre Sheepdog Trials (KSDT) in conjunction with the Arran region is hosting the event which last came to the area nine years ago.
During the winter months each region of Scotland tries to run five or six trials for nursery dogs. The best five dogs from each region go forward to the finals.
KSDT’s Andrew Ronald said: ‘We have shepherds coming from Lochaber to run in our area which we need for numbers.
‘In the final Kintyre region will enter three dogs from Lochaber, one from Arran and Skipness’ Alex McCuish.
‘As well as the dog’s age regulation they are not allowed to have won a prize in an open trial in the previous year.’
There will be refreshments, a raffle, a marquee supplied by Kintyre Agricultural Society and for the first time ever, at a Kintyre trial, a portable disabled toilet supplied by Jim Martin.
To offset the cost of the disabled toilet Campbeltown Community Council granted KSDT £300 from its Scottish Hydro Tangy fund.
The evening before the trial Scottish Nursery Trials will hold its AGM at the Argyll hotel.
Organisers expect the trial to attract many and that it will fill Kintyre hotels that weekend.
Action opens at 8am on the venue regularly used for the Kintyre trials in August, given courtesy of the Barr family, on fields immediately opposite Mach Dunes golf club.
Mr Ronald said: ‘It is a very dry field because of the sandy soil so cars and vans should have no trouble parking.’
A competitor in the August 2015 KSDT trial. 25_c35sheepdog06_August_2015
Sheepdog trialling is thirsty work. 25_c35sheepdog09
Clochkeil’s field behind the Sound of Kintyre houses. 25_c35sheepdog01