Video: Ireland’s best sheep dogs take to the fields of the Model County

Hundreds of visitors flocked to the rural town of Bunclody, Co. Wexford, to marvel as some of the country’s best sheep dogs were put to the test.

Held in the Bridge Meadow, found adjacent to the town, this year’s Irish National Sheep Dog trials amassed an entry of over 150 dogs and handlers.

The 3-day spectacle took place on August 3-5 and handlers from all corners of the country gathered in the hope of securing a place on the 2017 Irish National Team. Just 15 places were available and, as a result, the competition was particularly strong.

After three days of trials, Co. Fermanagh man Allistar Lyttle, and his dog Scott, took the National Championship title. Lyttle also secured second place with another dog called Jim.

The national title adds to Lyttle’s impressive record, which includes the Irish Young Handler of the Year title and the BBC’s One Man and His Dog Competition title in 2010.

Irish National Sheep Dog Trial results 2017:

  • National Champion: Allistair Lyttle and Scott;
  • 2. Allistair Lyttle and Jim;
  • 3. James McCaffrey and Mey;
  • 4. Frankie McCullough and Cap;
  • 5. Johnny Cremin and Sally;
  • 6. Toddy Lambe and Ben;
  • 7. Martin Feeney and Jack;
  • 8. Martin O’Malley and Gwenno;
  • 9. Eamonn McAuley and Roy;
  • 10: John Rooney and Taff;
  • 11: Kieran McFadden and Star;
  • 12. Dean McAuley and Jan;
  • 13. Michael Hopkins and Dale;
  • 14. Peter Concannon and Sweep;
  • 15: Mich Burke and Tiny:
  • Reserve: Martin O’Malley and Groesfaen Jock.

Along with the individual competition, the trials also featured a ‘doubles’ section. This involved the handler working a team of two dogs. This year’s ‘doubles’ competition was won by Dennis Birchall and his dogs Peggy and Tweed. Sammy Long filled the runners up spot with Roy and Jaybeez Broozer.