The entry for the Trial is rather small  and due to the publicity circulated by the charity providing the refreshments it may well be that there will be quite a number of spectators .Since the trial may finish quite early and a lot of people may still be there we want to provide something for them to watch.

After the Driving class finishes,if time allows there will be a Sweepstake Class for one dog per handler without prize money or rosettes. The entry fee of £3 to be donated to the Cowling's charity for which we run the Trial.



 Message from Lynne Zorab.


Hello All……I have just spoken to Gillian Payne who is the organiser for a charity called Fishing for Life.  You may have heard of it, it's a charity for breast cancer where women can join the group and learn/take part in fly fishing.  Apart from the social side of the group, the gentle exercise is good for them.  They have 11 groups around the country, one of which is based at Wimbleball.  

Russell asked them if they would like to cater at the BR trial and they said yes they would love to.  Gillian is obviously a great mover and shaker and has plastered posters everywhere, it's in the local parish mag and she is busy handing out flyers left right and centre.  Nearer the time she is going to put up a big poster along the hedge by the trial field advertising it all.  
Ben Cowling is going to put up a marquee the day before, there will be an ice cream van, BBQ serving bacon butties, cake stand and produce stand as well as a tombola.  There will be teas and coffees, and cold drinks will be served from the ice cream van.  Gate duty is also being organised!  Gillian asked what sort of prices to charge and I suggested 50p cup tea/coffee but we didn’t discuss anything further.
Gillian runs a B&B on the edge of Wimbleball and knows the Cowling family very well. I  explained about leaving room for competitor parking and not encroaching onto the course.  She asked if I had any ideas on numbers and I said not at this point but last year we had 40ish dogs running but that wouldn’t mean there were 40ish handlers.   
I suggested to Gillian that she called round to the Brendon Hills trial this weekend so we could meet her and have a chat about things, so she was pleased to do that.  
 Message from Hilary Jones (  Chair or Chair woman if you prefer !  ).  


Please, please support the catering that has been arranged for Brompton Regis. The Trial and raffle are in aid of local charities and the catering as shown above is in aid of such a worthwhile charity. Lets try not to have our own flasks, gas rings and field kitchens at this Trial !

We run a raffle at the Trial so all contributions will be gratefully received.





For all matters relating to The Somerset Trialling and Training Club
please refer to their website or contact their Secretary.

Please contact Caroline Woolley on 01934 732661 or email






      Report on Raleghs Cross from Lynne Zorab



Glorious sunshine heralded the first trial of the season for the Devon & Exmoor Sheepdog Society. The trial, held at Ralegh’s Cross up on Exmoor, had a good turnout of competitors, with the field and sheep kindly loaned by Russell Cowling and family.  The sheep proved testing, with dogs having to be kept well off if they were to complete the course and local judge Brian Duke was kept busy judging the Driving class, with Victor Pitts from Exminster judging the Maltese Cross later in the afternoon.  Jed Watson was the clear winner in both classes, giving a masterful demonstration of quiet handling with his dogs Zac (driving) and Ken (Maltese Cross).  The Novice Maltese Cross trophy went to Rob Hawke from Wiltshire who had a good run with his dog Mo.  The highlight of the day, however, was the success of young Will Carter from Cornwall who deservedly won the Novice Driving trophy on a score of 70 with Jill, as well as winning Best Young Handler in both the Driving and Maltese Cross classes. 



Super photo below of Will Carter with his bitch Jill

 Photo by Shirley Greenaway









Yet another local independant Trial.



Ross Skelly is running an Open Driving Trial on June 30th.


This will be a qualifing Trial .  Entries on the field.  Start 9.30 am


Higher Bughill Farm,

Shaugh Prior,

Nr Plymouth PL7 5EW


Tel: 07866336875





                        FYNYDD      SHEEPDOGS 

               Thursday and Friday August 15th and August 16th.  Start 9.00am  finish 5.00pm. 

Just eight handlers each day £40 . Spectators welcome for a small contribution. 

Venue is Hilary’s training paddock at Thorndon Cross, Ashbury Caravan Park, 
Moorland View. EX20 4NE
To book a place ring or email Hilary Jones 01837 871483 

The sheep will be reasonably ‘dogged’ and the paddock is level with a large round pen available. There are ample hurdles for constructing pens gates and so on. 

Light refreshments will be  available all day and the caravan site toilets and small fenced dog exercise area can be used. The six members only Caravan sites are likely to be full in August So priority of use of the facilities must be given to the caravaners. 

All dogs MUST be on lead at all times except in the exercise run or while under instruction in the training paddock  . Handlers MUST pick up after their dogs (bins are provided) 

Each handler will have two twenty minute sessions during the day with approx five minutes between each individual session for discussion and questions. Lunch break from 1.00 pm to 1.30 pm . Each handler can work one dog twice in the day or two dogs working one AM and another PM. 

Please be aware that people who are not familiar with sheepdog work and training will be on site as interested observers and the welfare of sheep and dogs is paramount. 

A number of people have already booked places but at present there are a few vacancies.



Here is a photo of the lovely new trophy presented to the Society

by Julie Tucker.


It is to be presented to the junior handler gaining the most points during the Open Trial Season.









    Results of the English Nursery Trials Final



  Well done to the West Country Team. All three aquitted themselves very well and Jed Watson was second 

  overall. Many congratulations you all did the West Country proud.








































































I am a sheep farmer and student in my final year of Rural Business Management BSc at the University of Plymouth and the Duchy College. As part of my Honours Research Project I am conducting a survey of the current business practices and intentions of farmers, with sheep, post-Brexit. I would very much appreciate it if you could participate and distribute the link to other farmers as I would like to reach as many as possible.
If you have any queries please email me on the email address provided within the link.
Here is the link: 
Many thanks,




Some photos from Challacombe Trial from Penny Roe


Holly at the pen with Carol


  Winston competes his cross drive for Roderick             Huthwaite Roy about to shed the sheep for Jed        













Mendip Trial from Penny


Ian Wheeler shedding with ? Don                           Merril's Alfie on the cross drive














Lynne Zorab's Tweed straightens his sheep for the fetch gates.








Some photos from Penny Roe from Brentor Weekend and from Tony's Trial.



   Round the post .                                                                                Ready at the top of the field.















Victor receiving his trophy for winning the Brace 






















Pittsworthy Farm.


             Spectators                                                                    Judge and Host




The owners of the very good sheep.




Huish Champflower Trial









































Pennywell Trial.  Photos from Penny Roe






























Brompton Regis 

Photos from Penny Roe




































Photos from Penny Roe.






Set against the beautiful Exmoor landscape Mary and Mac take the sheep round the post.



















Mary and Mac had a good day at the Trial !

















Bob's young dog Ben

through the away drive gates.












 Jed's young bitch Kelly takes

the shed.






Photos from Penny Roe.








Carol's Holly at the shed.











Probably the best place to be

at Kentisbury Down !













Two nice photos courtesy of Julie Tucker taken at Ian MacKay's Charity Trial

at Sanduck Farm.


Thank you Ian from all of us.















Over the years Ian has run many, many Trials both Nursery and Open at his farm. Ian has decided that the time has come to pull in his horns a little, so sadly this year was the last of the two days of trialling at Sanduck Cross.


A presentation was made to Ian on the day to thank him for all he has contributed to the sport over the years. He received two figurines to mark the ocasion and is shown here opening the parcel and holding the cold cast bronze figures both suitably shepherd and dog themed.


Close up of the figurines below.     Thanks to Penny Roe for the pic below.





Some photos from Sanduck Cross and Ashwater Trials from Penny Roe.



Dave Kennard with Fly and Sweep around the post in the Brace. 










Jed Watson round the post with Huthwaite Roy.








Below is Frank Richards penning with Jill.



















Dick Montgomery shedding with Meg below. 




































A few photos from Cheselbourne courtesy of Penny Roe. Above is the scene while contestants enjoyed the sun beside the refreshment trailer and a shot of a packet of sheep taking a dislike to the fetch gates.

Below is a shot of Charles Fitzgerald's Dot on a good line at the away drive and also a photo of Jim Nicholls with Maud completing the shed. Thank you Penny for these.


















There has been an alteration to the rule on Microchip checking at our Society Trials for this year.


Rule 13 now is that at one randomly selected DESDS Trial all dogs competing will have their microchips scanned as they leave the course at the end of their run. Water will be made available at the check point.


PLEASE do one simple thing and do it before the Season starts.




Your cooperation will be much appreciated.






 A very large number of members paying by direct debit  have seemingly not bothered to act on the notice below. Since their Banks will by now have paid the old and now incorrect amount  they


will now owe the Society £3 payable to the Membership Secretary.

ALTER THE PAYMENT TO BE MADE WITH THEIR BANK . This will hopefully save our hard working membership secretary's sanity.

The annual membership sub is increasing to £10



There is no time like the present !

You do not need to contact the Membership Sec just notify your bank to alter the amount of the yearly payment.



Please note that on November 1st 2017 the membership fees were subject to a small increase.


Joining Fee £10

Membership Annual Sub  £10

Family Membershipb £15 Two adults per Household

Junior Membership £2.50 per child








Below is a copy of the delightful response that I received when I requested permission to use the lovely copyright  photo which I show here of John Carter being presented with The Wilkinson Sword Trophy by HRH Princess Anne at the International Trial. 

If you Google   The Gather Photographs  you will be able to view the wonderful albums of photos on the site.

There is a whole section devoted to Sheepdogs. Do Google and enjoy, you are in for a treat !


email received 18/09/2017 

Good afternoon Hilary, 

Please find attached two copies of the image at an appropriate resolution for your website with our compliments. We are proudly bad at business because, in cases like this, it seems to us wrong to profit from the wonderful achievements of the true gentleman that is John Carter. Via a common acquaintance we have offered  to John our images of the presentation. 

We are happy for you to use the version with or without the (c) watermark but would very much appreciate an acknowledgement if the un-watermarked version is used. 

With best wishes, 

Sarah & Nick (The Gather)






All members , indeed all dog owners , should be aware of the following information.


Now that all dogs must by law be microchipped it is vital that when you get a dog / litter of pups

chipped or buy a dog you must check that the chip implanter has registered the details on a recognised data base.





There is a website called PETCHIP  that will claim to register any chip number into your name for a fee of £15 and put the details on " The National DatabaseThere is no such thing as a National Database

and if you send off £15 that is the last you will hear from them.


The site also claims that the keeper registered for any chip number can be checked on their website. Just try it and see !! Enter the number of a dog you own that is on Petlog for example and it will come up as an unregistered chip number and hence the keeper of the dog can not be traced.


Any vet will be able to read a microchip and tell you what database the number is recorded on.


When you have pups chips implanted make absolutely sure that the implanter does send off the paperwork and that you get confirmation from the relevant database that it has been received and

when buying a dog ask at the point of sale who is the registered keeper and be sure to arrange to have the correct form provided to you so that the keepership can be transferred.


The term Keepership is used as this is not in law the same as ownership.

Strictly speaking,as I understand the law, if  a person other than the owner is responsible for a dog for over six months then that person should be the registered keeper.




Notice to all members and competitors.


It was agreed in committee back in Dec 2016 that, at all DESDS Trials, the full name including the prefix ( if any ) of every dog running would be entered on the score board. This would ensure that the correct details are shown in any results published and that the identity documents will correspond to the microchip number when a dog has the chip scanned. 


As website manager I had failed to note that this information was not on the site and so I apologise for the omission.  Hilary Jones pleading guilty as charged !