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English National Sheepdog Trials return to Lancashire after 46 years
9:00pm Wednesday 27th June 2012 in Farm & country
OVER Kellet is gearing up to celebrate the return of the English National Sheep Dog Trials to Lancashire after an absence of 46 years.
Around 150 top sheep dog handlers from all over England will take part in the three-day competition in August.
Allthough it is only six years since the trials were held just over the Cumbrian border at Kirkby Lonsdale, the last time Lancashire held the premier trialling event was 1966 – the year England won the World Cup.
The event’s local secretary, Tom Huddleston, said: “It’s quite surprising that it is 46 years since it was last held in Lancashire, and six years since it was held in Cumbria.
“Lancashire and Cumbria are the centre of dog trialling in England.
"Around a third of the 150 dogs that will compete are from these two counties, as were two-thirds of the English team that went on to compete against the Welsh, Irish and Scottish last year.
“We are very proud to be hosting this event, and excited to be able to show people in our area how wonderful these dogs are and how skilful their handlers are.
“I invite everyone to come along, be amazed by the trial, explore the trade stands, get a bite to eat, even get your dog micro chipped.”
The annual English National Sheepdog Trial is the largest and most prestigious sheep dog trial in the country.
Every year it is in a different location – Surrey last year and Northumberland the year before.
High profile triallers taking part at Over Kellet include champion Alf Kyme, from Rossendale, and Lancaster trialler Ricky Hutchinson, who is also the current (brace) international champion.
Also competing will be Katy Cropper from Shap, the first and only woman to win the BBC’s One Man And His Dog competition.