International flavour to Staffin Sheepdog Trials

THE Staffin Sheepdog Trials takes place next week with competitors from several different countries making their way to the hugely popular annual event in Trotternish.

The judge presiding over the handlers and dogs has an impressive pedigree himself.

Stuart Davidson, who will be casting an expert eye over a stellar field of competitors, is no stranger to silverware and has been the Supreme Champion twice and Scottish National Champion five times.

Handlers from all over Europe, Wales, England, Ireland, and of course Scotland, will be competing at Elishadder, which is part of the Hebridean Circuit. The Staffin event has grown in popularity in recent years and is heavily supported by locals and vistors to the Taobh Sear.

Skye handler Jimmy Lamont in 2014.

Skye handler Jimmy Lamont in action in 2014.

The trials start at 9am on Friday, July 17, with the usual food and various stalls. Everybody is welcome to attend the trials in Elishadder, which is 30 minutes north from Portree, on the main A855 road. 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 about 1/4 of a mile past the end of the 40mph speed limit, over the brow of the hill. All proceeds from the annual event will go to Skye Cancer Care. More than £2,300 was raised at last year’s event in baking hot temperatures, with about 50 handlers and their dogs in competition, before a crowd of about 300 people.

For more information, or if you can lend a hand with the preparations, please contact Ian MacDonald on 01470 562 388.