There is something for everyone at the English National Sheepdog trial at Jervaulx Abbey on 27-29 July, where 150 of the country’s top sheepdogs and their handlers will gather at the historic and picturesque site near Ripon.

Spectators will watch the experts guide their dogs around the course, herding five sheep through a series of gates and into the shedding ring, where two sheep will be separated off, followed by the ‘pen.’ Anyone who enjoyed watching the ‘One Man and his Dog television series will also appreciate the brace contest, which will see one handler manoeuvre two dogs and a packet of 10 sheep around the challenging course.

Alongside the sheepdog trial, in which the highest point-scorers will qualify for the International competition, the event will host an open quoits championship, trade stands and a craft marquee packed with artisan food, gifts and home ware, as well as an exhibition of local sheep breeds. Another attraction not to be missed is the ‘dog and duck’ sheepdog display.  The local Young Farmers Club will be putting on a programme of activities to occupy the children, who will also be entertained with traditional funfair rides.

A wide range of refreshments will be available over all three days, with the Black Sheep Brewery running the bar, while Kielder Organic Meats will be offering freshly-cooked burgers, sausages and other family favourites in the catering marquee.

Visitors who can spare some time away from the trial ground may wish to take a wander around Jervaulx itself, which is the country’s largest privately-owned Cistercian Abbey and is a popular film and TV location, sitting in the midst of the stunning North Yorkshire countryside. The Jervaulx tearoom and visitor centre will be open throughout all three days; entry is by donation.

The entry fee for trial spectators is £5 and there is no charge for children under 16. The site will be open from 8am until early evening; no need to book in advance.

The event, which is part of the International Sheepdog Society’s (ISDS) annual trials series, is being organised by the local ISDS branch, the Northern Sheepdog Association. To take part in the open quoits championship, contact trial secretary Lynn Morland on 07415 516859.

Entry fee £5, children under 16 go free. Jervaulx Abbey is located at HG4 4PH

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