Devon & Exmoor Sheepdog Society Committee Officers

David Kennard         Chairman                    01271 870056

Victor Pitts               Vice Chairman             01392 832669

Wendy Watson         Secretary                    01822 880215

Julie Tucker              Treasurer                    07970 033813

Shirley Greenaway    Membership                01647 221543

Julie Tucker              Trials Secretary           07970 033813

Selena Short            Trophies Secretary       07805 922831

Committee members

Roderick Hayes           01884 860019     

Philip Davies Russell    07717217142

Fiona Davies Russell    07388116905     

Lucy Knight                07875394583  

Nick Fell                     07887594829


For DESS Victor Ludorum rules click HERE Victor Ludorum Rules 091221.pdf

For DESS Trial Rules Click HERE DESS trial rules from Dec2023.pdf


DESS Data Security Policy
The DESDS hold Society Members details on password protected computers for the sole purpose of contacting members.
Contact is necessary to impart information about Society Events, Trials and News Letters.
Members are asked to give the Membership Secretary their consent that their information may be used in this way.
If members fail to give consent  in writing when this is requested then their details will only be used for postal contact.
No details will ever be shared with a third party unless the Member gives their expressed consent and if a membership lapses for any reason the details held will be deleted from our records.
Members may give consent as to what details they are happy for the Society to hold
i.e. Just their address, phone number or numbers and Email address as they see fit.
If at any time a member wishes to alter or cancel the details held they should contact the Membership Secretary.






The Society was formed in 1964 as the Devon Sheepdog Society at an inaugural meeting near Tiverton.

There were 14 founder members.Sadly Ken Watson the last of our founder members still remaining with the Society died in the Autumn of 2010. A very well attended memorial service held at Postbridge bade farewell to a much liked and respected member of our Society. However the various cups and trophies record a great deal of the history of the membership in the past. The names of handlers and dogs engraved on these trophies serves as a roll call from days gone by.

We have been unable to trace any record of just when it became the Devon and Exmoor Sheepdog Society but certainly from an early stage some of the Society’s main Trials have been held up in the Exmoor area and three trials are held there to this day.


In common with most Societies there have been ups and downs over the years. The biggest  “down” being when a long gone Treasurer borrowed all the funds and forgot to pay them back! The membership rallied to the flag and a big jumble sale was held in Exeter. Many of the farmer’s wives who were accustomed to the polite affairs held in their village halls were much amazed at the hurly burley of a sale in the big city. We almost needed bouncers on the doors and it was a most wonderful example of country mice come to town.


The “ups” thankfully have been more numerous. The National Sheepdog Trials have been held in the South West four times in all although the first occasion was prior to the founding of the Society. There was a gap of forty years before the event returned and was held at Powderham Castle.


The 2009 English National was run in North Devon in conjunction with a Country Fayre with all the proceeds going to The North Devon Hospice. The staggering sum of £82,000 was raised over the three days of the event and the National was deemed to have been one of the best ever.


The 2013 National Trial was held once again in North Devon.Once again in conjunction with a Country Fayre and at the same venue on the estate of Lord and Lady Arran at Castle Hill, Filleigh, Nr South Molton. .


Current membership is in the region of 150 and the Society continues to grow and to promote all aspects of Sheepdog handling in the area. Thankfully as some of the members begin to show signs of wear and tear new faces appear and new hands volunteer to carry the baton forward.


The venues for some trials  may alter over the years while others remain  at the traditional sites .

The Society now runs six main open trials and two with restricted entry conditions plus organising the Devon V Cornwall match in alternate years.


The purchase of a mobile sheep handling system in 2015 has been a big but very worth while step which is a great aid to the smooth running of the events.


Long may the Society flourish and the membership continue to enjoy the sport of Sheepdog Trialling whether as competitors or spectators.