All roads lead to Ellishadder for stellar Staffin Sheepdog Trials line-up

AROUND 60 dogs and their handlers from across the UK, Ireland and further afield are expected to compete at the Staffin Sheepdog Trials on Friday.

The annual event, which is held in the crofting township of Ellishadder, is part of the Hebridean Circuit and has raised thousands of pounds for different charities over the years, with strong support from locals and visitors to Skye. With an encouraging weather forecast the organisers are hoping for a bumper crowd again on the day.

The strong field of talented dogs itself will be judged by the hugely experienced Wester Ross handler and Scottish internationalist, Ewen MacKinnon.

Ewen, of Coulags, Strathcarron, has represented Scotland on several occasions and is the country’s former national president of the International Sheepdog Society.

The popular family event starts at 9am on Friday, July 20. There will be food and catering on offer by the Crofters’ Bite from Struan. From late afternoon the local ladies will be providing hot drinks and refreshments.

Kensaleyre handler Jimmy Lamont in action at Staffin.

The trials are held at Ellishadder, 30 minutes north from Portree, on the main A855 road, and will be well signposted. It is one of the most scenic trials in the UK, with the dogs competing against the backdrop of the Trotternish Ridge, which includes Beinn Edra and the Quiraing. The event will be signposted.

If you are travelling from Uig, it is approximately 20 minutes over the hill road, and when you reach Staffin it is just north of the 40mph speed limit, over the brow of the hill. All proceeds from the annual event will go to Cancer Research.