GOLDEN JUBILEE WIN FOR WYN
The winner of the Sheepdog Trials first ran a dog there fifty years ago!
The Ceiriog Valley Sheepdog Trials and Show were held on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th August on Tal y Garth and Ty’n y Groes Fields, Glyn Ceiriog, by kind permission of Mr Jeff Eamons and Mr Gareth Thomas. The President was Mrs Carys Davies, Pontfadog, who has a long personal and family connection with the Show.
The Sheepdog Trials were judged by Mrs Sue Main, Bala, and Mr Eryl P. Roberts, Betws y Coed. In a closely-fought Final round of the Open Class, only five points separated the first four prize winners.
The winner was the prominent North Wales trialler E. Wyn Edwards of Ruthin with his dog Cap, losing 13 points. His victory in the 2011 Trials was a fitting commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of his first running a dog at Glyn Ceiriog. Hot on his heels in second place was Arwyn Davies, Bryneglwys, with Floss, losing 14 points, closely followed by Pennant Williams, Treuddyn, with Sweep on 15 points, and Gethin Jones, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, with Jess on 18. It was heartening that as both Arwyn and Gethin are young men it is clear that the tradition of sheep dog trials in North Wales is well set for the future.
In the Second Class, for Novice Dogs, the winner was Alun Jones, Selattyn, a leading figure in national and international trialling, with his bitch Kate, losing only 9 points. Second was Ouisal Belghitti with Denwyn Lad on 12 points. Ouisal exemplifies the international nature of trialling, and the attractions of the North Wales trials, as she comes every summer from her home in the Netherlands to compete at Glyn Ceiriog and elsewhere. Similarly, Gisela Normann, who came fifth in the Open Class, comes regularly from Germany to Glyn Ceiriog, and will be representing Germany in the World Trials which take place later this week in Cumbria.
The Local Class was won by Andy Smith, recently arrived from Hampshire to work on the Nantyr Estate, Glyn Ceiriog, with his dog Paddy.
The Sheep Section was very well supported, with more than 100 animals on display.
Once more, Alwyn Morris, Tregeiriog, carried off the honours in the Welsh Mountain (Hill Flock) section, judged by Mr Geraint Jones, Cerrigydrudion. He showed the Champion Exhibit in the section, and took the cups and trophies for the groups of rams and ewes.
Mr Tony Jones, Oswestry, judged the Minority Breeds, including Welsh Improved, and gave his awards to Brian Roberts, Llangwm, who is a prominent breeder and exhibitor of Welsh Improved sheep, often winning prizes at the Royal Welsh Show.
David Edwards, Llanarmon DC swept the board in the Bluefaced Leicester and Welsh Mule and Halfbred classes, showing in each class the champion exhibit, as judged by Mr John Jones, Nantyr. His success in these classes also enabled him to take home the John & Edwina Lloyd cup for the highest number of points in the Sheep Section.
Mr Tony Jones adjudged the entry from Eifion Jones, Froncysyllte, to be the best in the Other Breed Class, and that of Robert Hughes, Halton, the best in the Crossbred Class.
Brian Roberts and Alwyn Morris battled it out in the Interbreed Championship, judged by Mr Peter Sheppard, Gobowen, Brian Roberts took the George Jones Rosebowl for the best male and female pair of Welsh Improved sheep. He also took the John Turner Trophy for the Interbreed Champion, a Welsh Improved ewe. Alwyn Morris was awarded the John Turner Cup for the best exhibit of opposite sex to the Champion, a Welsh ram.
The Shearing Classes always attract a large audience, consisting partly of critical experts and partly of visitors to the Valley who are interested to see how it is done.
Hand Shearing, judged by Mr Ieuan Jones, Gobowen, was won by Huw Williams, Llangynog. Interest in this traditional art is growing, and it is intended to introduce a new class in which less experienced hand shearers can compete.
In the Machine Shearing classes, both judged by Mr Richard Morris, Maengwynedd, the Contractors’ Class was won by Aled Jones, Tregeiriog, and the Farmers’ Class by Robin Edwards, Llanarmon DC.
Entries in the Horse Section were rather fewer than in previous years, this being a common experience at Shows in the present economic climate. However, there was good competition, and all involved had an enjoyable day.
The Show Champion from the In Hand Classes was the Welsh Cob Brynfor Lucky Llinos, shown by Stephen Mason of the Stepol Stud of Chorley, Lancs. The Reserve Champion was Blossom Lady shown by Samira York of Glyn Ceiriog.
The standard in the Fancy Dress class was so high that the Judges found it impossible to distinguish among the competitors, and so awarded a Joint First Prize to Phoebe Cook, Izzy Cook, Olivia Hughes and Emily Martin-Jones.
A special award was made this year in memory of the late David Evans, for many years organiser of the Horse section at the Show, and a much admired and beloved Head Teacher of Selattyn and St Martin’s Primary Schools, who died in the autumn of 2010. The trophy was presented to Marli Pughe, Pandy, Glyn Ceiriog, as being the child who most encapsulated the spirit of the Show. Marli took part in many classes, and always smiled whatever happened.
The Companion Dog Show, judged by Miss Kate Bradley, Connah’s Quay, was as usual well supported, with a large number of entries in both the pedigree and novelty classes.
The trophy for the Best in Show went to Rebecca Blake, Pandy, with her Newfoundland, Pilot, the winner of the Working Dog class. The Vin Allman Cup for the Best Conditioned confined to the Ceiriog Valley was carried home to Pontfadog by Angela Baines with Keira, a Tibetan Terrier cross Lhaso Apso.
Stalls were mounted by local organisations including Riding for the Disabled, where many visitors bought home made cakes and jams, and a children’s face-painting stand in aid of the Glyn Ceiriog Playgroup.
Despite some heavy showers during the afternoon, the Show was well attended and can be counted as a success.
This report was written by Peter Farthing, who was the Secretary of the Sheepdog Society from October 2009 until October 2011, when he resigned on account of illness. He died on 30 April 2012. (Obituary)