Perthshire’s Peter pips international field to win Staffin Trials

A TALENTED Perthshire sheepdog handler, who is one of Scotland’s in form competitors, has reigned supreme in Staffin.

Peter Martin, from Glenlyon, and his dog Jen beat almost 70 other competitors from all over the UK, Europe and North America last Friday in Ellishadder.

The annual Staffin Sheepdog Trials, which is part of the Hebridean Circuit, featured a top-class line up of handlers and dogs. It was a long but enjoyable day for judge Ian MacKay, of Leanach Farm, Culloden, who presided over the action for his second time at Staffin.

There were 68 dogs in the contest and handlers had travelled from as far afield as America, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, including Lewis and Shetland. The handlers and their dogs are scored on elements of the trial such as the success of the outrun, lift, bring and penning.

Staffin Sheepdog Trials 2017 winner Peter Martin.

Ian, an international sheepdog handler who is originally from Raasay, said Peter and Jen had put on an excellent display. Peter is a former International Brace (running two dogs at the same time) Champion and is one of Scotland’s top handlers at the moment.

Ian said: “He had kept to the lines better than anybody else, that was why he was the winner. It is a very challenging course at Staffin. They are taking the sheep in at an angle and the sheep were very light, a bit flighty. The dogs had a job with them on the day.”

Ian, who has competed at Staffin himself, said the international handlers faced the same challenges as the UK competitors. It was a largely dry and pleasant fresh day although there were outbreaks of rain in late afternoon. The trials organiser, Ian MacDonald from Digg, won the Local Competition with a two-year bitch called Zoe.

Ian thanked everybody in the local community for their support in attending the event and his band of helpers who help before, during and after the event. The excellent total of £1,800 was raised on the day for Crossroads Care and donations are still coming in.