ONE of the national stars of the shepherding world is due to take on the judging at this year’s Dovedale Sheepdog Trials.
Katy Cropper, the only female winner of the One Man and His Dog competition and nationally-renowned sheepdog trainer and judge, will travel down to the event from her farm in Cumbria to watch over the proceedings.
Organisers say the two-day event, which takes place at Blore Pastures on Tuesday, August 19 and Wednesday, August 20 from 7am until 7pm each day, has attracted one of its strongest ever number of entries.
More than 100 competitors will take to the field with their dogs, rounding up the sheep under the watchful eyes of the judges, and cash prizes are up for grabs for the top scorers.
Chairman of the trials Bill Carr said: “The entries this year are fantastic, it’ll be our best for quite a few years, certainly since the 1990s.
“Trials nationally are on a bit of a decline and numbers seem to be dropping everywhere but we always seem to be a favourite and people keep coming back to us, which is great to see.”
Each year visitors and competitors flock to the show from as far afield as Lancashire, Wales and even Brighton and up to 800 people have been known to attend.
Classes in the trials are split up, with the main event being the open competition - with entrants aiming to walk away with the Champion of the Dales Trophy.
Local dogs are also running in the open, novice, nursery, brace and junior sections.