Tom O’Sullivan, a native of Kilcummin in Co. Kerry and his sheep dog, North Hill Tess took first place in the Supreme Championship at the International Sheep Dog Trials in Wales this month.
It’s the second time Tom O’Sullivan has participated in the trials with six-year old, Tess.
He was joined by 14 other members of the Irish team who participated in the event.
O’Sullivan and Tess beat off stiff competition from duos from England, Scotland and Wales to secure the top title.
Watch Tom and Tess in action at the international event in the video below.
International Sheep Dog Trials results
While Tom O’Sullivan and Tess took the top accolade at the event, they were not the only winners from Ireland.
The Irish National Champion was named as Peter Morgan with his dog, Moosee, and this duo also won the Driving Champion category.
The Irish Brace Champion was Dean McAuley with Jan and Joe, while the Young Handler prize went to Peter Morgan Jnr. and his dog, Tip.
Chairman of the International Sheep Dog Society, Ian Fleming said: “I would like to extend, on behalf of myself and our members, our grateful thanks to all those who made these events possible this year, after all the difficulties and uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Landowners who allowed us the use of their premises, farmers whose sheep were used and all the volunteers who organised the trials.
“Local committees had worked hard to organise these events for 2020 only to have all their efforts dashed by Covid-19. They rose to the challenge again this year and put on wonderful events despite the extra work caused by Covid-19 restrictions.”
In 1873, the first recorded sheepdog trials were held in Bala, north Wales.
However, it was not until some 33 years later that The International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) was formed, following a meeting of English and Scottish sheep men in 1906.
Shortly afterwards the first international trials were held in Gullane, Scotland and, except during the war years, have continued to be an annual event.
The ISDS was founded with the intention of stimulating interest in the shepherd, the shepherd’s calling, and to secure better management of stock by improving the shepherd’s dog.
The society has over 6,000 members from all over the world.