Sheepdog TV series in North Wales sets out to rekindle glory days of One Man and His Dog
Web-based programmes have been produced by Denbighshire’s CSJ Canine Feeds to recapture the true essence of sheepdog trials
LOOK: CSJ web TV sheepdog trials
A Way with Dogs presenter Bryony Billson
A leading dog food firm from North Wales is behind a new TV venture which aims to throw the spotlight on sheepdog trialing in its rawest form.
Many of the region’s top handlers agreed to take part in A Way with Dogs, a web-only TV series commissioned by CSJ Canine Feeds, Bodfari , Denbighshire .
The four-part series is being launched on Monday, November 14, and climaxes on Boxing Day with a grandstand final between the three top-scoring handlers.
Company boss Ceri Rundle hopes the on-line programmes will reach a younger audience and inspire a new generation of handlers.
“Wales was and remains the home of sheepdog trials and this series will enable people to see handlers they might have heard about in action,” she said.
“We’re now seeing some very good handlers emerge in other countries around the world but there are fewer youngsters getting involved in the UK.
“Hopefully this series will encourage some to take up trialing.”
The competitions were filmed at Bwlch Isaf Farm, Ceri’s home and the base for her company, now one of Britain’s leading suppliers of specialist dog food.
Nine top handlers were invited to compete over a tricky, steep course, including Dolgellau shepherd Medwyn Evans, this year’s Welsh National Champion .
Others in the line-up are Gwyn Jones, JR Griffiths, Arwyn Davies, Hefin Jones, Gwynfor Owen, Gethin Jones, Alun Ll Jones and Pennant Williams.
The competition was judged by Llangwm’s Aled Owen , a four times International winner and double World champion .
Ceri is a renowned sheepdog handler herself, having been the first woman to qualify for the Welsh National in 1996.
But her interest in the venture has its roots in the success of her late father H Glyn Jones, a former International champion and five times Brace winner on TV’s One Man & His Dog .
His TV success came in a different era, she said.
“These days the show relies on fast editing to interest the viewer but it means you can’t follow the action properly and see how the dogs perform,” said Ceri.
“We wanted to portray the true skills of the handler and the dog, enabling the viewer to see the straight lines to and through the hurdles and the tight turns.
“Our films will show this very clearly – allowing the viewer to understand what is going on and how the run is judged.”