Hello there everyone!
Well as some of you know I have been in Holland with very dear friends from Zimbabwe to watch the World championship Sheepdog Trials 2017. It is the first time they have been hosted outside of the British Isles and the first time they have been won by someone outside the British Isles namely Jaran Knive and his dog Gin from Norway.
The photo above is the awards ceremony and it also gives you an idea of how flat the are is. We were in a small town called Hoogwoud and WOW it must have been the cleanest small town I have ever seen. Well actually I think all of the countryside in Holland was scrubbed and polished and swept. Not sure if anyone knows if Amsterdam is the same, (?) but my goodness they are proud of their countryside.
Above pics show a dog putting the shep in a pen. I apologise for my photos this run was taken just with my cheap and cheerful cellphone, but it does give you an idea of how it works if you zoom in, and really, this chap, whose name I forgot to note down, did make it look that easy. As did many other competitors. Just to mention that the sky that morning had the most beautiful cloud formations, but we were looking into what would have been the sunrise, it has come out a little dark.
Here is another of a dog covering, or gathering together its sheep during a shed when they have to separate one sheep off from the flock of 5, in this instance. when it ran past it was going so fast you could hear its paws galloping across the ground. Again a different field incredibly flat countryside, windmills everywhere both modern and ancient.
30 nations, 243 dogs competing! Not to mention the dogs wandering around the grounds, or with standholders. So many doggie pictures not enough space on the blog this week for it all. No fights that I saw, friendly atmosphere. Some nations were louder than others all were very happy to chat, all had one thing in common a love for our doggie companions and a genuine admiration for the ability of Border Collies to work in such connected, subtle fashion with their owners, to move sheep around a field with incredible accuracy. I am not saying that all the runs were successful, that would be ridiculous, but it had as much joy, tension, frustration, disappointment and elation as any Wimbledon.
The winner above Jaran Knive with Gin, 2nd Kevin Evans with Ace, and 3rd Serge Van der Zweep with Gary. And the cutest picture of Gin below left. And to the right below is Karianne Buer with her dog Allie, also from Norway, who won the young handlers competition.
And just to be a little random here are some trained fish that lived in the pond at the house where we stayed. They would come to be fed and stroked!
See you all soon.
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I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area