I’d planned to continue writing about goal setting and ideas for conducting annual reviews this month. That was until I watched One Man and his Dog on Countryfile recently. I felt moved to write about the incredible people and their dogs at this year’s finals.
Watching dogs work sheep has always fascinated me
I appreciate the hundreds of hours of training and dedication that must go into working a dog at the top level of the sport.
Karen and I went on a trialing taster day many years ago, we enjoyed it. The dogs we had at the time were hilarious. Millie couldn’t see the sheep, she was totally fixated on us, and Deacon my Border Collie, was apparently a natural, not on sheep though, maybe cows, or Buffalo! he was far too strong for sheep – I think the trainer was being polite and meant unruly!
This year’s young handlers put on an amazing show of professionalism and dedication while competing at this high level. Even when things didn’t go to plan, they continued to focus on the objective and worked with their dogs – I was impressed.
And then there was the judge, our very own Ceri
Karen and I were shouting at the TV “Hey, we know Ceri, she’s famous, we know her!”.
For me, this competition demonstrated top human and dog performers working in unknown and testing conditions – including a motley bunch of sheep, and under the pressure of TV and fellow competitors.
After the immediate ‘wow’ I got from watching these dogs and handlers, my brain flicked into sports psychology mode. I started wondering how the competitors prepare for these events, how do they warm-up (all that whistling must play havoc with your lips), do they visualise the outrun, the drive, how they’re going to pen the sheep. And how do they maintain focus when the performers (sheep and dogs) are working so far away. These questions and many others went over in my mind.
Congratulations to this year’s finalists who were all fantastic and a credit to the sport.
Congratulations to TOM O’SULLIVAN, RICKY HUTCHINSON, PETER MORGAN AND PETER OG MORGAN AT THE ISDS INTERNATIONAL SHEEPDOG TRIALS.
Skill, talent and superb training has created the champions of the ISDS International Sheepdog Trials in September 2021 at Aberystwyth. Each top handler chooses to feed their winning dog with a highly nutritious, natural diet from CSJ:
Tom O’Sullivan from Ireland with NorthHill Tess, who won the International Supreme Championship. Tom feeds Champ! and Go On! Herbs
Ricky Hutchinson from England with Jonah and Denwyn Moya, who won the International Brace Championship. Ricky feeds Champ! and CP30
Peter Morgan from Northern Ireland with Mossee, who won the International Driving Championship and became Reserve Supreme Champion. Peter feeds CP30and Champ!
Peter Og Morgan from Northern Ireland won the Young Handlers Championship with his dog Tip. Peter feeds CP30 to his trials dogs
Champ! Adult is our highly popular, cost effective recipe, formulated for adult working dogs or active dogs. Extensively used by champions for champions throughout all dog sports. More
CP30 is a super premium hypo-allergenic, high energy dog food for very active dogs, bitches in-whelp and puppies using salmon as the main ingredient. This ration has gained a great reputation and loyal following by champions in the various dog sports. (15 kg sack). More
Go On! has fast become a firm favourite among top agility, flyball and racing sled dogs. ‘Go On!’ is a natural ‘Competition Mix’ for active dogs. (300g foil pouch) More
Find out more about our feeds, herbs and supplements that make champions.
We’re going to The Orkney Islands and Scotland for our holiday this year for hiking, sightseeing and to catch up with Karen’s family. We’ve also booked a day’s sea kayaking exploring caves and wrecks around Orkney’s coast on what is labelled a ‘novice trip’.
Just before Covid we had joined our local canoe club
I did a lot of slalom canoeing in my youth and am still comfortable in a kayak. Karen on the other hand had a lot of enthusiasm and needed to work on her technique – in fact that is the problem, she only seems to be strong in one arm – going in a straight line alluded her for a while. Then she decided to apply her sports psychology skills, which look like this:
• Think of the dream – paddling in sea caves • Consider what is needed to achieve that dream • Break it down into a long term goal – written in current tense with emotions and senses: ‘The rugged beauty of the cliffs covered in nesting birds is mingled with their cries, the smell of the sea and the taste of salt water as we confidently paddle along the coastline.’
Then turn that dream into Short Term Goals written using SCCAMP criteria:
• Specific – By the middle of July I will be able to do a day’s sea kayaking in Orkney. • Challenging – The trip I’ve booked is for novice paddlers – am I at novice level yet? • Controllable – I can book sessions and the trip…not to be confused with controlling a sea kayak! • Achievable – We are now regularly paddling for a couple of an hours at a time • Measurable – The more I practise the stronger I will be so I will measure how many hours practice we get in. • Personal – I spent many a happy holiday in Orkney on my uncle’s farm and would love to experience some of the islands from the sea.
Now I consider the skills required to reachthose goals
One of the skills I need is to know how to deal with a capsize situation, which we practised last week. I felt my body strength needed to pull myself back into the kayak in water was lacking and so I find myself on a similar fitness regime to agility. Weight loss, planking and running for aerobic strength as well as time on water.
The rest of the holiday we plan to be sightseeing and walking the dogs.
CSJ products are going to be well used:
• Kibble – easy to feed – dry or wet if they need more fluid • Billy No Mates keeping the fleas and ticks at bay • Skinny Spray for protection before they go running in moorlands • Skinny Cream in case of any irritations • Skinny Dip Shampoo – Chic will surely find something to roll in and I must remember to order, • DemBones – ideal if they get ‘deli belly’
I hope you have fun planning for your own holiday whether you use it to push yourself to achieve something or are just relaxing.
12 yr old Charlie Dumbleton gave top handlers a run for their money at Deerplay hill trial
Charlie Dumbleton, 12 year old son of Fay and James Dumbleton has worked a dog since he was 6 yrs old, enteringhis first trial at the tender age of 7 years with Hillmoor Dot, trained by Frank Cleary and given to him by Ed Thornalley.
Thanks to Ed, Dot was the start of Charlie’s journey into the world of sheepdog handling and trialling. She was a wide flanking dog but great stopper and could be trusted to help gather sheep with Charlie at an early age.
Where it all started
Charlie is a typical young boy who enjoys his ball games, motor biking and swimming in the brook with his cousins Noah and Rory. Like his friends Ashley and Daniel Hutchinson, he also has a love for animals such as chickens, guinea pigs and dogs. It was through his interest in chickens, selling his home bred Welsumer pullets and his eggs on his egg round, that he saved up and bought his 9yr old bitch Preseli Del (Llion Harries’ Cwmadog Bess X the late Pennant Williams’ Sweep), from Angie Blackmore.
Credit is given to Angie whose previous trial successes and experience with Del have given Charlie the opportunity to progress. He spends a lot of time around the farm with Del and has built that very important bond with her; something that cannot be bought but with respect, is earned and worked for.
Charlie comes from a long line of farmers
Charlie has generations of farming in his blood and unlike his older brother Ollie and sister Neve is very keen to carry on the family tradition, particularly on the livestock rather than the machinery side of farming. James and Faye are under no illusions that Charlie could change his mind at any point, he’s only 12 years old and as long as he is happy so are they.
Both Charlie’s father James and Uncle Ben are successful competitors and judges of sheepdog trials so it seemed inevitable that at least one member of the family should follow suit.
Advice & encouragement from the best
As is common in the Trialling fraternity, advice and encouragement, especially to a youngster, is very forthcoming and both Charlie and James have benefitted from some of that advice along the way. James’ own enthusiasm to help Charlie created pressure between them but some wise words from handlers Kevin Evans and Ricky Hutchinson to basically remember that he is still a young boy, to take off the pressure and to give advice more tactfully and not during or immediately following training or trials, has made a big difference says James. It is also important to realise that too much advice from too many people can confuse a young handler and his dog.
Charlie watches other handlers very closely at trials and when asked who his favourite handler was said that there were too many to choose from but he agreed with James and Ben and liked to see Aled Owen, Kevin Evans and Ricky Hutchinson finish their runs. He admires Colin Pickford and James Gilman who are local and train their own dogs, taking what they have and working with them. Charlie enjoys watching James Howard, David Wood and good work dogs that can trial to a high level. These are an important part of trialling yet he also recognises the importance of farm dogs or ‘dogs for farmers’.
Charlie has had quite a bit of success over the years, usually at local trials, but this year was the first time he’s attempted a course like Deerplay Hill Championships. He was the highest placed Young Handler under 25 years and came 7th out of 20 in the final of the prestigious Deerplay Hill Trial.
Delighted to say that Charlie feeds CP30 and our Salmon Oil to his bitch, Preseli Del.
Charlie’s father, James says that Preseli Del was so full of running that he felt she could have done the course again!
No Ake! Is a highly potent herb that is aimed at the nutritional maintenance of the dog’s musculo-skeletal system and in particular the inflammatory response.
Composed of Devil’s Claw Root it is extremely effective and can provide that extra bit of help for dogs experiencing acute stiffness of the joints or are perhaps getting over an injury – without the need for steroids or pricey alternatives AND it won’t upset the dog’s tummy.
Here’s what one dog owner posted: “Amazing supplement!!”
“I used No Ake for my elderly golden retriever, Ellie, to ease her aching joints for several years. She only needed vet meds as well from about the age of 15, and lasted past 16 years and 4 months. Thank you CSJ!”
The tiny daily dose can be added to the dog’s dinner on a continuous or ad-hoc basis and is provided in a 100g foil pouch of the dry herbs or in the 250ml liquid form of ‘No Ake! Tincture’.
The innovative new bag design for CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds illustrates the masses of dog sports whose competitors use their products.
Ranging from sled dogs to working gundogs CSJ feeds the most Champions in the most fields and designed their new bags to pay tribute to the countless dogs and owners who have benefitted from CSJ products over the last 20+ years.
Kath Hardman, Team Manager of Heelwork to Music Team GB, emailed to say, “Just to say I love the Heelwork To Music logo on the bags of food! The other disciplines are good but WOW! The HTM is perfect!”
Formulated by dog people for dog people and chosen by Champions in every field – CSJ never forgets its roots …
When founder Ceri Rundle and her father H. Glyn Jones couldn’t find great food at a sensible price for their own working and competing Border Collies they enlisted the help of leading nutritionists and herbal experts to devise their own winning recipes.
Made in the UK with an ongoing commitment to develop natural feeds, supplements and treats together with sustainability plus support for canine activities, CSJ is rightly renowned for being ‘the whole package’.
Ffermio – S4C’s weekly flagship farming and rural affairs programme is bringing to you a new short series celebrating the unique bond between shepherd and sheepdog and the art of sheepdog trialling.
‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ is a Telesgop production for S4C.
There are 3 special programmes which will begin this evening – Monday August 24th at 9.00pm on S4C and then weekly in the same slot up to, and including Monday September 7th.
As there are sadly no official sheepdog trial events being held this year, Ffermio has brought together 6 of Wales’ most talented youngsters to showcase the art of sheepdog trialling on a special course designed by Meirion Owen:
Following all Welsh government Covid-19 guidelines, Ffermio has created 3 programmes which see the youngsters go head to head on Meirion’s course, in a way which not only shows their skills, but highlights the special bond with their dogs as well as their love of sheepdog trialling.
The programmes will also feature the stories of some of Wales’ biggest names in the world of sheepdog breeding, training and trialling including Aled Owen and Gwynfor Owen, and the competition will have insightful commentary from Wales’ captain for next year’s World Trials – Dewi Jenkins.
‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ is an exciting new competition brought to you by the team behind S4C’s flagship farming and countryside programme ‘Ffermio’. Over the course of three episodes, 6 of Wales’ most talented young sheepdog handlers will take part in a challenging sheepdog trial with a course unlike anything you’ve seen before!
The programmes will also explore the special bond between a shepherd and his dog as well as asking some of the country’s top breeders: ‘What makes a good sheepdog?’. There will be the opportunity to get to know other breeds working on Welsh farms and to meet other working dogs, like those fighting crime on the front line with Dyfed Powys Police.
‘Ffermio’ presenter Alun Elidyr is thrilled to be fronting the programme: “As a hill farmer, sheepdogs are an important part of my life, I simply couldn’t farm where I live without them. It’s great therefore to be celebrating these incredible dogs and their handlers by putting them through their paces on a sheepdog trial course that’s going to really test their skills.”
Commentating on the trials alongside Alun will be world renowned sheepdog breeder Dewi Jenkins from Talybont near Aberystwyth: “We’re incredibly lucky in Wales not only to be breeding some of the best sheepdogs there are, but also to have some the best young talent when it comes to sheepdog trials. I’m incredibly excited to be part of ‘Ffermio; Treialon y Cwn’ and can’t wait to see how the 6 contestants tackle a course that’s very different to what we usually see.”
The course has been designed and built by Meirion Owen, famous as the owner of the ‘Quack Pack’ display team. Meirion usually spends his time visiting shows across the country and running corporate events with his team of collies and Indian Runner ducks. With all the events he had planned to attend this summer having been cancelled, he was delighted not only to work with the ‘Ffermio’ team to arrange the trials, but also to host the competition on his land in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire.
Explaining a little about the course he said: “It has some of the elements of traditional sheepdog trials but there will also be obstacles that neither the sheepdog handlers nor the sheep will be expecting! We’re introducing things like a bridge and a water obstacle and it’s going to be interesting to see what these young but experienced handlers make of it all. It’s certainly going to be compulsive viewing.”
‘Ffermio’ is one of S4C’s longest running series having been broadcast since 1997 and the programmes particular focus on farming and rural affairs consistently draws some of the channel’s biggest audiences. ‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ will combine the series producer’s expertise on bringing you the stories that celebrate Wales’ farming and rural communities, with an electrifying competition, that is ‘must watch’ TV.
Tune into ‘Ffermio: Treialon y Cwn’ on S4C every Monday at 9.00pm from August the 24th through until Monday September the 7th.
Although in Welsh, the programmes will have English subtitles and S4C is available outside Wales on Freesat 120 and Sky 134 as well as BBC iPlayer.
There is a very high standard of competition over a different style course than the usual.
“This is some of my team that have been shepherding in a number of Lake District valleys for shearing feed on CSJ ‘Hike on!’ and CSJ ‘Complete Tripe!’ I’m seeing good results from CSJ and wouldn’t feed anything else now.”
“This is the best brand of dog food I have ever tried. I have my 19 month old dog on Herbie Ringsand Billy No Mates! Everyone comments on how amazing her coat is. She gets 1 cup per day and keeps the weight on.
She isn’t a big eater, so won’t eat any more, but this is the only company with dog food that works for her. This is a brand, I will never be switching. I have told everyone at dog training and Jessies followers on tiktok.
She was 16kg and now 20kg but still looking lean. She does agility classes and training, so she is always getting watched since changing our food. We have always have good comments.
We have two lovely border collie pups, Smoke and Spook, who have been plagued with chronic runny tummies.
They drink from the Thames and fetid puddles, so at first we attributed it to that. But they’ve tested for giardia, had all their parasite meds, and even on days without lapping up at random ponds the output was variable. The vet suggested looking at diet.Though we live in London suburbs, we’ve begun training them and they have of late been losing weight from the exercise; no doubt their regular kibble was inadequate for them.
It’s anecdotal, but it took just a day for CSJ mixed-in to their diet to stabilise them. We shall monitor the weight (too early to tell), but the dogs love the kibble and it shows. They sniff about near the new kibble bag, ignoring the old one (a so-called leading brand).We plan to move to the Irish countryside soon. We’re thrilled your brand is available at Quinn’s agricultural stores and other fine locations. Bravo. Many thanks and Keep it up!