For the first time, Countryfile is home to the BBC's One Man and His Dog competition, showcasing the time-honoured skills and traditions of sheep dog trialling.
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and harvests gathered in for the winter months ahead.
But as the fruit trees and fields are picked of their bounty,
we're celebrating a farming prowess of a different kind.
We're here to revel in the art of shepherding.
That's the harmonious relationship between working dog and farmer.
And there's no better way to demonstrate that skill than
they don't come much better than this one, do they?
They certainly don't, because for the first time Countryfile
is the home of BBC's One Man And His Dog competition.
There are four nations competing, but there can only be one winner.
The very best handlers and their dogs have travelled here
from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to battle it out
I'm very excited cos I'll be in the commentary box talking
you through all of the trialling action.
And I'm going to be investigating whether or not it's the collie
that's the brains of the operation or whether the sheep
have been pulling the wool over our eyes.
Should I be jealous? You've got a new partner.
He's me new best mate and the newest member of the Countryfile team,
and for him, as I'm sure it is for some of you at home,
I think we know who's the brains of this operation. All right, Bob?
And out on the mountain ranges of north Wales,
Adam's discovering how a dog is very much a shepherd's best friend.
Millie and I are joining seven other shepherds and their working dogs
to gather 900 Welsh ewes off 2,000 acres of mountain.
Welcome to Countryfile's One Man And His Dog.
We've taken over a beautiful farm here in the Cotswolds
and turned one of its fields into a sheepdog trial course that will
test the nerve and skill of our handlers, and of course their dogs.
So here are those pairings from England,
But which nation will be crowned Countryfile's One Man And His Dog?
Our course is set, our competitors and their dogs are all braced,
and our nation's supporters are here to cheer them on.
Now, helping me guide you through this year's event is this man -
the International Sheepdog Society's Andy Jackman.
Well, as a trial man myself I've been trialling 30-odd years now
and I've judged extensively, and I consider it a privilege
to have been asked to do the job and I'm very much looking forward to it.
There's some top-class competitors here and one or two
interesting youngsters as well, and good luck to them all.
Andy will be alongside Matt in the commentary box
giving his expert opinion on today's trial.
And above them are judges Malcolm Ellis from Wales,
Now, One Man His Dog might be new to Countryfile, but this is just
the latest chapter in the history of this much-loved TV institution.
In February 1976, a new programme hit our TV screens...
bringing the largely unknown sport of sheepdog trialling to the masses.
This is the championship trophy for the BBC international television
sheepdog trials, and today both the singles
and doubles finals are being run off here at Buttermere.
it brought together the best of the best triallers
from around the British Isles, and showed the importance
of the bond between man and dog in a shepherd's everyday life.
The brainiest inventor can't dream up a gadget to control sheep
As the programme grew, so did its audience on BBC Two.
Looking for perfection in this final.
The ups and the downs of these trials captivated a nation.
I think he's lost the sheep up there.
For its 30th anniversary it even had the royal stamp of approval.
Throughout its 37 years, its character has remained the same.
If your eyes don't fill with pleasure every time you watch
a litter of puppies playing together,
as we welcome it into the Countryfile fold.
Some remarkable window-wiping skills from there from the Bradbury.
The first of our two trials is the young handlers.
Their combined scores will determine which nation will take the title.
The impact of the weather and the temperament of those sheep become
clear for all the young handlers, and this is the course they faced.
The handler sends their dog on the outrun to reach
The dog approaches the sheep and moves them
This is the lift and it's worth ten points.
20 points are up for grabs in the fetch.
All the sheep must go through the fetch gates
and the handler must remain at the post to get maximum points.
Next, it's the drive - worth 30 points -
and this is the most testing part of the course.
The dog needs to keep the sheep moving at a steady pace
and get them through all of the drive gates.
It ends when the sheep enter the shedding ring.
Here, any two sheep can be shed off and held by the dog
until the judges are satisfied, for ten points.
And finally, another ten points will be given
when all five sheep are penned and the gate is closed.
So, let's take a look at the highlights
and lowlights from the young handlers competition.
and his dog Tess were the first to take the to field for Scotland.
So this, the crucial moment, the lift.
Basically the first encounter of the dog and the sheep.
Yes, the trial is usually won at this point.
and indeed the sheep weigh up the dog.
Rory and Tess soon faced a stand-off from the sheep.
This is heart-in-mouth time for Rory.
There's one ewe right over the top of the dog.
Now all of the sheep are on top of her.
With the sheep getting the better of Tess,
it wasn't looking good for this Scottish duo.
But with a bit of perseverance, they soon got them moving.
They come on the right side of him for that turn
cos they then have to head around Rory
and then back through those two gates at the top of the screen.
There's been a disqualification and the... Well, that's it.
and if there's a confrontation head-on, that's fair enough,
but you don't want a dog getting hold of the sheep.
So that grip of the sheep by Tess, which isn't allowed in trialling,
meant the end of the competition for this handler,
but he'll keep his score up until that point.
As the wind picked up, it was our youngest competitor,
England's 14-year-old Mark Hopper and Zac's turn to face the sheep.
so certainly not the same start as Rory.
Did just manage to get all of the sheep through
It was then time to focus on the second set.
It was becoming increasingly clear that the wind was causing problems
So we're looking then to get two of these sheep away
Two-and-a-half minutes to pen these sheep.
It's another disqualification. So it's all over.
So, with two disqualifications, will the sheep be a challenge
for Ireland's Jake Hamilton and his dog Jim?
There they are. Five looking straight at him,
but if he keeps that pose and keeps coming...
How will these sheep react to Jim's presence? Well... Ah, now then.
Straight as a die so far. Yeah, it's a good fetch.
Cool and calm performance from Jake and Jim saw the sheep being driven
through both sets of gates to enter the shedding ring.
Keep down. Come by, come by... Stay there.
Don't panic, don't panic. Wait, wait. Come by. Now... Here we go.
The judges have accepted that. But he faced a bit of bother at the pen.
Ooh, there's... Yes, he slipped one.
Oh, oh, oh... Away. Away. Stay there. Back. Here we go...
Brilliant. He pens them with a minute to go.
and the only shepherdess in this competition,
is Gwenllian Pyrs with Meg for Wales.
And the only young handler so far to send their dog out to
the right-hand side, so wants to keep sight of the sheep.
Come on, let's not have a repeat performance of this
confrontational type of sheepdog trial.
Meg overpowers the sheep, but still misses the fetch gates.
She's under good control, going down here. A sweet turn.
possibly she couldn't hear the command.
Possibly an opportunity shaping up, here. Here's a chance. Come by.
Very efficient shed. Lining up nicely, now.
Just edging closer. That's it, good. Getting closer to the opening.
The only problem is Gwenllian's coming onto the sheep as well,
That's time. She'll be waved off the field from the judges. Lie down.
So, after a tough round for our youngsters
and their canine companions, it's 18-year-old Jake Hamilton who
has triumphed, putting Ireland at the top of the leaderboard.
Scotland's Rory Marshall down in fourth place.
But what have their fellow team members learned?
Well, the wind's hampering communication between handler
and dog and this bunch of sheep are stubborn!
I presume you've had a word with the young handlers,
Our handler did a really good job, considering the sheep,
really tough sheep. He couldn't have really done much more, really.
What would you have done in that situation? Ask somebody else to run!
OK, if that's not an option, which it isn't...
Well, to be honest, you've just got to handle what sheep you get
and they've been tough sheep today, so...
You make the best of what you get, really.
And bearing in mind what has happened,
I mean, are you going to get them tighter in
in the out run to get more of a presence there?
I'll probably try and lift a little bit harder if I can,
Depending on how the sheep stand at the top.
For me, it's get them going and keep them going, really. OK.
So, this is where the competition is at the moment.
Ireland 12 points ahead of Wales. Arthur,
your dog has had a bit of time off, I understand. Yes, he has.
So, does that make you quite apprehensive?
If he competes on a weekly basis, you know what to expect.
And, Michael, what is your opinion of the girls that have been
running around this course - the sheep?
They've done well with the sheep they were handling, you know.
Young Jake Hamilton had a very good run for Ireland
and I hope I don't let the side down now!
So are you feeling the pressure? I am now.
Ben, I have to say, you look like you've been in the wars.
What's been going on? Fighting with the sheep. Pardon?!
Loading some sheep up yesterday morning.
One decided it wanted to head-butt me full in the face.
I wanted to help the other guys out and obviously not look too good(!)
Listen, we will know the winning nation of One Man And His Dog
very shortly, after of course these lads have been.
Listen, I'll let you make your way over to the course
and everybody else over to the spectator area.
Now, in the meantime, Adam is over in Bala in Wales at the spiritual
These wild and bleak hills are a world away from the trial site.
140 years ago, it was here in Bala that the first sheepdog
900 Welsh mountain sheep need bringing down off the hills
This isn't a job for just ONE man and his dog - it's a team effort.
And it's being coordinated by farmer and landowner Richard Price.
There's a group of four or five sheep down there which
so I think you'll go down on the bike, go round, push them in.
Adam, if you can take your dog, push them...
This area is so vast that the shepherds use quad bikes.
But there are parts of the hills that they can't get to,
even with the help of a motor. And that's where the dogs come in.
I'm getting a bit left behind. Not being a lot of use, really.
I'm either up to my knees in bracken or there's rocks.
And I was talking to one of the quad bike riders,
and he was saying you have to really know the terrain and go carefully.
They can tell what the lie of the land is partly
because of the vegetation, so where there's weedy areas like this,
they know there will be bog, and here
they could really sink in and get well and truly stuck.
It doesn't make for easy walking, either.
The dogs seem to work the mountains with ease.
Like their handler, Alan Jones, they know almost every inch of it.
Working a dog out in this heather is very different to
working it on a grass field, isn't it?
Yes, the heather is so big and there's no fences around,
so the dog has to spot the sheep and go behind them and most of the time,
they go up behind them and they don't see the dog going behind them.
Because the dog is below the heather and the sheep disappear,
It's absolutely brilliant, the way he's working the dog.
That's done it, they're coming up onto the track now.
We'll have to pull the pressure back now,
because the sheep don't look like they're going to go on this.
They're turning on the dog. I'll let you call her off.
and eventually start to flock together, which is a welcome sight.
I've now just got around them up and take them through the gateway.
This is where Millie can come into her own.
Up on the mountain where the heather was deep,
and they were in ones and twos, it was far too difficult for me and her.
So I'll send the dog off and just gather these up. Millie, by.
That's it - she's going round those nicely.
So all the sheep are now bottlenecking into this
paddock to take them down to the shed.
All the shepherds and dogs have now come together.
HE WHISTLES Millie, that'll do.
As the sheep pass through the final gate,
they're driven down to an enclosure, ready to be sorted.
an amazing set-up with these old stone walls.
There will be one or two sheep that belong to different farmers,
so they're putting them through this amazing handling system.
They'll go down the narrow sheep race, there's a drafting gate at
the end, where he'll separate out the sheep that don't belong in this flock
and then the neighbouring farmer will have to come and pick them up.
The handling pens are attached to an ingenious structure.
It's an Australian-style shearing shed.
What makes it special is that it has shelter underneath to keep
the sheep dry. It's thought to be the only one like it in the UK.
and the countless flocks they've farmed are on every surface.
Amazing, all these rosettes. Isn't it lovely?
Yes, we did have a shepherd here for 50 years and what you see
here is probably a third or a quarter of what there are in total.
There's one really interesting one which was
actually before his day - we were obviously showing sheep
before he came on the scene, but this one up here was a
That's the day the Second World War broke out. Oh, my word.
Coming home and celebrating with first prize
then you hear that a war's broken out.
It must've been horrendous. I hear there's one other little unique thing
Well, you're probably thinking of the sheepdog trials! Yes.
The first one of which was held here in 1873. Fantastic, isn't it?
Yeah, it's pretty good. Can we see the site? Yes, let's go.
Ah, so here it is. This is the spot. This is it.
"The first recorded sheepdog trial was held on the site
"organised by the late RJ Price Esq." So what a relative was he to you?
He was my great-grandfather and he was dining in London one night
with a Scottish friend of his and their conversation at dinner
in London obviously got around to dogs,
"My shepherd's got the best sheepdog in the world."
"No, he hasn't," said the old boy, "because mine has."
So then they devised this method of putting dogs to the test, sheepdogs,
and the trial was held on that field there on 9th October, 1873.
So, tell me about these lovely paintings.
Well, Tweed, was the dog which belonged to Mr Thompson
from Scotland. Tweed is on the right. This one? Yeah.
And the Welsh dog on the left was known... His name was Chap,
And I'm afraid Tweed went back to Scotland with the prize. Oh, did he?
The Scots won? The Scots won. And is this your great-grandfather?
Great-grandfather, yes. Quite a character.
It's a lovely story and One Man And His Dog is upon us now with
four countries taking part. Yep. And perhaps the Welsh will win this year.
Well, that would be very nice but let's wish them all good luck.
JULIA: If you thought the young handlers were good,
these guys are at the top of their game.
It's the all-important singles - that's one man, one dog
and seven sheep. Here's Matt to explain the course.
The seven sheep are set at the far end of the field.
The handler sends his dog out to the left or to the right
The dog approaches the sheep and gets them to move
gently back towards the handler with the lift.
The sheep are taken through the gates on the fetch towards
The drive - take the sheep on a triangular course
through two sets of gates ending in the shedding ring, for 30 points.
In the shedding ring, one of the two sheep with red collars
has to be singled off and held by the dog
until the judges are satisfied, ten points.
The course will be completed when all seven sheep are in the pen
and the gate is closed, for ten points.
and it has to be completed in 11 minutes.
The defending singles champion of One Man And His Dog,
Ian's been trialling since he was 11
he is determined to make it a double.
'We just go and try our best and see what happens.
'I'm not going there just to make up the numbers,
So, he'll keep an eye on the sheep all the way round here, Andy. Yep.
That's the beauty, I suppose, of running them off
Yes, he won't lose sight of them. He's taken a good line here.
He's not running the full extent of the field
Sheep waiting patiently, it's a great outrun. It is. Lie down.
The sheep are questioning. Lay down. Lay down.
Lay down. Good, good. Away and online, just a twist there.
IAN WHISTLES Positive lift.
that are right in the middle of your screen.
Back onto what is a perfect line so 20 for the outrun,
He's positioned, goes out on that left
because the sheep have a tendency to drift up this hill.
Yeah. The dog is on the side, where the weight is.
Wait, lay down! There's another minor wobble there
but Ian using voice commands. Lay down!
Corrected just enough at exactly the right time! Yeah!
You won't get any closer to missing it than that.
These sheep eager to go off to that left-hand side.
The dog's on his feet and he's in command of the situation.
Lie down. Away back. This is going to be a nice turn, this. Yeah.
Again, a good line here. Oh, yes, good line and a good pace.
IAN WHISTLES Lie down.
..as you would expect. Take your time noo!
Out of 20 for the fetch, Ian and Gus score 13
Just asking the question at the gate.
Well, they're through. Yep. Around Gus goes.
He just needs to come up the field a little bit. That's better.
when they get some distance between dog and sheep.
Yes, the hearing then is maybe not quite what it should be
I think there's definitely a hearing issue there.
Not only has he missed, the dog wasn't picking up
the verbal command there and he's gone through for a big turn.
The idea here is to single off one of the sheep wearing a red collar.
There'll be ten points available for this.
Stay there. Collared sheep on the left-hand side,
and it's going to come off the back. Lie down.
Nice to see a master at work, isn't it? It is, yes.
taking of the collared sheep off the back.
Unsurprisingly, a score of ten out of ten, on 66
as they head over to the pen. Lie down!
His plan there is to bring them to the heel of the gate
but that collared ewe has got other ideas
and she's gone round this side of the pen.
So, he'll want to bring all the flock round this side
and then Ian will use that gate as a barrier and...
Ooh, there's some pressure on this side.
He's got them. He's got them. APPLAUSE
Absolutely first-class, really, from the pair.
a testing moment, hasn't it, Andy... Absolutely.
..for so many dogs and their handlers? Yep.
What a shame that they missed that obstacle there on that crossdrive
because without that, it would've been a storming, storming round.
Ian, well done. Thank you. Nice to watch you at work there.
Very nice indeed. So you had a pretty perfect start
and scored maximum points for your outrun and your lift.
The crossdrive was a bit more tricky.
Yeah, I'm not sure if he was taking over,
or the wind was playing a part, I'm not sure,
but he certainly was going the wrong direction.
I think perhaps Gus couldn't even hear you... Possibly.
..at that stretch but never mind, you regained yourself at the pen.
Are you happy? Er, no. You're not happy? No.
So at the end of the first run, it's a disappointed Scotsman.
We'll soon see if our other home nations can fare any better
But before that, Matt is catching up with our on-site crook maker,
Dafydd Davies, because he's got something we'll need later.
You've got such a beautiful array of sticks there, Dafydd.
Obviously, with a pheasant, the badger... It's beautiful wood,
that one. Just give us an idea of what wood that is.
That's hazel, but what we call mottled hazel, it's like snakeskin.
We're quite lucky in Wales, we've got a high rain climate,
you get moss growth appearing on the actual shanks
and when you take the moss off, it appears then,
like a coloured shank, so it's quite unique.
It adds that little bit extra to the stick itself.
I'm here then to choose a trophy for the outstanding handler.
These are true trialling sticks, because they're lightweight.
When it comes to the penning, they're nice and light to use.
you get a bigger person who prefers a slightly bigger stick.
A bit heavier stick. So it's either a young handler or...!
Well, to be honest, I think they're all...
Well, they're all old enough to have one of those.
Shall I go for that one? Is that all right? Yes.
I'll leave you to it and try this out on the way over. All the best.
See you later. Ta-ta. Time to crack on with the competition.
So, the next handler to the post then is Ben Smith from England.
Up in Northumberland... Here he is, running six-year-old Meg.
Benn won the English Nationals last year,
but this is his debut on One Man And His Dog.
Once I train a young dog, I pretty much take him to work every day
and then my trialling is my second thing, I've got to earn me a living.
A lot of people do a lot of schooling, but I don't.
And so Meg runs off to the left - that's the "come by" command.
That looks like a good line. Not too far off...
One of the most gentle starts that we've seen. Indeed.
Oh, absolutely, but.... Oh, she's away.
There's the odd point going, but nothing serious.
Just needs to bring those sheep just a little bit more to his left,
which he's done perfectly. Another deviation there,
but nothing that will damage his prospects.
They're just going to ask the question now, but there she is.
And that moment will stand them in good stead when they get to the pen.
Things going well for England. Mm-hm.
You'll see those gates come into view very shortly - there they are.
Oh. And a wide turn, as well. Same story here as was with Ian. Yes.
That cross drive is proving difficult.
And the wind now, they're drawing this way.
I'm not sure whether they're hearing just in front of that gate.
Difficult to judge from where the handler is standing? Absolutely.
You're on a flattish field, there. It's difficult to get your bearings.
So, just a reminder... After one of these sheep with a red collar on.
There's an opportunity coming, and there we are. She's in... Lay down!
There's a question mark whether the judges will like that,
whether she'd had control of that sheep. Meg, Meg!
It hasn't been accepted, so back into the ring we go. I'm afraid so.
That was a big chunk of points will have gone, of course.
Hopefully that ewe who separated will get the idea now.
You feel a little for him there, because everything was done,
but the dog needed to stay in the middle.
Here's another opportunity, now she IS in. Come by, come by.
There can't be any doubt about that now!
Yeah! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, judges!
He's nearly sent that sheep into Oxfordshire!
Into the catering tent for a quick cuppa.
The sheep have been regrouped and on we go to the pen.
And the approach angle is so important, isn't it?
Yes, he'll be looking to put them on the heel of the gate
There's a collared ewe looking as though she might like to go round
He's away, he's got them. He's got them.
In the pen with exactly one minute to go.
So, Ben, you've invented a new manoeuvre, the double single!
The judges weren't convinced, were they,
that you had control of that single sheep?
It's proving to be a very tricky fence here on the cross drive.
What do you think it is? She couldn't hear.
She was looking back at me and she never looks back,
she was lifting up to try and hear. That's definitely the wind.
That is unfortunately a problem for the day.
But very good final pen action, there. Not bad, she worked well.
Well done, Ben. Thank you. Well done, Meg, as well.
At the halfway stage, England are edging ahead.
and the nerves are building for our other home nations.
Are you going to be the first person to get the sheep through that gate?
I hope I don't let the team down now, you know?
So the tension is rising amongst our remaining competitors
because so far it's the sheep that seem to be getting the upper hand.
And as I found out, that's hardly surprising
because they may be much brainier than we bargained for.
Cambridge - a city of architectural splendour and academic excellence...
where the students are brainy, the lecturers are boffins
and even the sheep are swotting up for their next big test.
They may LOOK like ordinary sheep, but they're not just pretty faces.
These animals are leading the way in a scientific study that
promises to change our perceptions about the way they think and behave.
Prof Jenny Morton has been studying flocks of Welsh mountain
and Norfolk horned sheep here for the past three years.
This is one of the groups of sheep that we use. Hello, hello. Morning.
'that her discoveries show that sheep are smarter than we think.'
They ARE intelligent because they have complex social lives.
In fact, face recognition is really important
I've got a group of sheep outside that know me very well.
My sheep recognise me and they won't recognise you.
So, it's time for the first of today's tests.
These are Jenny's sheep. They're very pretty.
'To you and me, sheep look like sheep, so to them,
'you'd think that one person looks like another.
'But Jenny claims that her sheep know her face
'and can distinguish it from mine. Let's see.'
Hello, girls. Are you going to come and say hello?
But will they recognise Jenny's facial features
They didn't come when you called them?
No, you'll be very happy. Why don't you just call them then? Girlies!
Look at that! This is Julia. They're like Labradors!
So that's the first test - passed with flying colours.
OK, so they appear to be intelligent and they did recognise Jenny,
but it's not exactly hard science. It's time to raise the ba-a-ar.
Time for test number two. Decision-making.
Jenny and her colleague Sebastian McBride have been working with
this group on a task that teaches them to identify different symbols.
So how does this course work then, Sebastian?
There's some sensors just here, so as the sheep passes them,
They're then getting presented with two stimuli, two visual stimuli,
What the sheep have to do is work out which of those visual stimuli
The sheep have to decide whether to head for the O,
automatically released in the form of food pellets.
To make things more complicated for the sheep,
the X and the O sometimes swap sides between goes.
Have they learned to read the symbols
and can they make the right decision?
and leave Sebastian and the sheep to it.
She triggers the computer... Hopefully she'll go to the left.
She's gone straight to it! Yes. So she HAS recognised the X.
She had a look at the nought. Checked it out, gone straight for the X.
But is she really clever or was it just chance? This is Irene.
She is my favourite sheep. Come on, Irene!
She got it right. She's clever as well. What's not to like?!
In fact, it's a 100% pass rate as every sheep
That's it. They are all through. Good. What do you think?
I think it's very clear that all of these sheep went to Cambridge.
In fact, they are much more like us than you might think.
This is a plastic model of the human brain. And this is a sheep brain.
You can see how convoluted this cortex is.
This, essentially, is the complexity of the brain.
This replicates... That's what lets sheep do executive tasks.
That's what makes them make decisions.
That's what makes humans make decisions.
That's why they are clever because they have got all that cortex.
Which brings us to the third and final test of the day -
Three years ago Jenny taught Irene the sheep to kick a football.
Nobody knows whether or not she'll remember how to do it.
But he knows that success is not just about one man and his dog.
You can't do a good day's trialling without
some elements of fortune on your side.
Arthur will know exactly what the judges are looking for
because he's been a judge himself on One Man And His Dog.
The judges will have touched the end of that outrun, I suspect.
He needs to square up here because he's off the line.
Ooh, he's... He's going to need to square up.
Ooh! Now he has rung the sheep. Now that will be costly.
By ringing the sheep, he's come round in front of them.
Arthur has moved away from the post here, looking for a tight turn.
He has to tell himself that the two handlers before,
Well, that would have... The mistake was in the middle there.
It was a costly one but nevertheless all is not lost. Looking good here.
He's maybe just over-gone a little bit.
He'll have to come back and get in behind them.
He's coming towards him now. He's coming up the field a bit too much.
The sheep have gathered pace. This is the difficult bit coming up now.
Yeah. It's that fine balance of keeping the contact
but not getting too close so they burst away. Absolutely.
The weather conditions could take over here. There you go.
the dog hasn't heard the command and he's took a left hand.
Well, I'm not... This hearing is definitely a problem over there.
How many points lost for that, do you think?
There's a big hole in the drive there. A big one.
went on the latter end of the crossdrive and the second gate.
Keep your eyes peeled on the red-collared ewes.
Just one of those. There's two in there.
There's one to the left I'm not sure he wants to leave.
He's got a chance here, possibly one on the end.
The shed was accepted but just two points awarded.
They need seven points here at this pen,
if they want to stay ahead of England.
A clean pen required, really, and...time to do it.
He spent some time away from the trial field.
Decided to return about four years ago.
It looked like she was going to go in and take the others with her.
She's still looking. She's still looking.
Go on, collared ewe. Go on. Come on, it obvious! It's just to your left!
The collared ewe is... Oh, she is the wrong way round. She's...
She's stopping the others from going in.
ARTHUR SHOUTS A COMMAND And in they go.
APPLAUSE Congratulations to Arthur and Chip.
You got the sheep through the gate and I guess communication error.
It's the same problem again that dogs can't hear.
Just couldn't hear so she went the wrong way? Yes.
You really left it to the very last minute as well.
At the pen here, you had to get seven points
to get you the lead, in terms of getting ahead of England.
There was a bit of a face-off, wasn't there, going on?
Well, there had to be. They are sheep that test the dogs so...
He held his ground there. He did. Well done.
In a few moments, our final competitor will take to the field.
can Michael Hastings capitalise on young handler Jake Hamilton's
impressive first round of 74 points to win the title for Ireland?
Well, the pressure is certainly on our Irishman.
You can see how Michael and his dog, Ben,
get on after the Countryfile five-day forecast.
Good evening. It has been a blustery day across all parts. The winds are
set to strengthen and overnight tonight a storm is heading our way.
The impact has already been felt from this. The strongest winds are
to the west of the United Kingdom. There is considerable concern at the
Met office because we are looking at damaging gusts of wind overnight
tonight. It moves eastwards and there is a real squeeze on the
isobars to the south of the low centre. This is the area where we
will see the strongest winds. Gusts up to 80 miles an hour in some
places. If you can delay going to work in the morning, do it because
it will be quite dangerous. In the middle part of the morning it will
move out into the North Sea and then things will quieten down. Western
Scotland is prone to showers in the afternoon. In eastern Scotland it
will be a bit brighter. Northern Ireland is prone to showers, but
down through the Midlands and East Anglia it is mostly dry and bright,
but still quite breezy. The southern counties of England can expect a
feud showers. Temperatures up to 13 if you are lucky. Still fairly
breezy in the afternoon. Into the evening the winds keep going and if
anything tomorrow there will be more frequent rain. The winds switch
around into a north-westerly direction and that will cool things
down. It will be into single figures. It will be a cooler day of
late on Tuesday. But there will be some sunshine on Tuesday. The best
of that will be in the East. Eastern England seeing some spells of
sunshine. The further north and west, you will see a feud showers
coming and going on the breeze. A cool day, I suppose. Possibly 13
around the London area. On Wednesday a brief ridge of high pressure
drifts across the United Kingdom. There may be some mist or fog
forming on Wednesday morning. A band of rain moving into Northern Ireland
and getting into western Scotland in the afternoon. Then it makes steady
progress southwards. That could delay the clearance of that rain on
Thursday. It will be slow to move away. Further north and west it will
be quite breezy. As we get on towards the end of the week it is
quite windy again. But it is a westerly wind and it will be
bringing in a feud showers to the west of the UK. Bright and breezy
conditions and temperatures at best round about 13 or 14. But in the
short-term, stormy conditions overnight tonight and disruption to
travel is more than likely. Keep The setting for Countryfile's
One Man And His Dog, the competition that showcases
some of the best sheepdog handlers and their working collies
from across the UK, all vying to become
champions of 2013. It's been a challenging day
for our competitors. and all that the weather
could throw at them. Scotland's supreme champion,
Ian Brownlie and his dog, Gus, kicked off the singles round with
an excellent outrun. But things didn't go quite
to plan at the pen. There was a commanding partnership
between England Ben Smith and his dog, Meg, but a mistimed
shed cost them dearly. They finished off their round
with a superb pen. The blustery conditions
got the better of Welshman Arthur Roberts
and his dog, Chip, and caused them to have a poor
crossdrive Before the title is decided,
there is one pair The job of wrapping up this
competition lies with Irishman Michael took up
trialling after watching When it comes to his dogs, he's
certainly got the gift of the gab. I use praise a lot like "good dog",
"good dog". If you see them doing something nice
that you like, praise them. We're all set for the final round of
One Man And His Dog 2013. You can see Ben checking
where those sheep are. He's watching them
all the way as he runs round. He's coming onto
the corner of them a bit. However... Being a little bit
hesitant, a little bit jerky Maybe needs a bit more
contact on the sheep. The pressure is to the left
as we look down the field. But again we're needing pressure
on that right-hand side. He's got to scoop them up
and take them round the other side. Is it too late? I think it is.
Not quite enough pressure on. However...
MICHAEL WHISTLES MICHAEL WHISTLES
Back on the line now. This is the thing. He hasn't
upset them too much by readjusting. He's kept them calm. That's the key
as well, isn't it? It is. Especially with this wind.
You're aware of the big picture. If he can get round half sensible
with a good finish, it's in the bag. We've gone round the corner.
Wait. Lie down. Lie down. Just needs to straighten them up...
Lie down. Lie down. Here. Lie down. Lie down.
Here, here, here. Now we're on a good line!
Look at this, Andy! Lie down. Lie down. Oh. 8 points
for the fetch out of 20. Well... Where there has been an error,
they've punished it. Ben just looking round for
a bit of reassurance, perhaps. Nice turn.
Nearly took the paint as well. Lie down.
MICHAEL WHISTLES Now then... Can they be the first
ones to get them through? I think she is going to take them
straight through the middle. No. Oh! Oh, man! Again, the weather has come
into play there. And he's took the flank too
soon in front of the gate. MICHAEL WHISTLES
Lie down. Lie down. Who is it going to be?
It must be that one. Well, there's one
right in the middle. And then we've got this...
There's... She was going to go. She's still there.
She's definitely the one to go for. She looks relaxed,
obviously, grazing. She doesn't look like she feels
she's a target at this point. Here we go. Lie down. Ben has
just turned her back in there. This particular... Lie down.
Now then, now then. Here we go. In comes Ben. Lie down.
Lie down. Lie down. Time is getting tight now.
Lie down. Lie down. We won't end with a completed pen.
Lie down, lie down, lie down. That's time for Michael Hastings.
And his dog, Ben. Oh, Michael, the weather has turned.
The weather was terrible. Your luck has turned as well.
My luck ran out. You ran out of time, couldn't
get them into the pen, bad luck. It was a tricky trial
for you, wasn't it? All round the field, there were
tricky sheep all round the field. in the overall scores
for the adult singles? Well, there you have it.
He's in third place. England's Ben Smith takes
the top spot. But after combining his score
with young team-mate Jake Hamilton, he's done enough to put Ireland in
a winning position with 136 points. It's been a wet,
windy and challenging day. That's just from my hair's
perspective. But we have two awards to
give out. First, Mr Baker. It's the Outstanding Handler's
Award. Andy and I have decided
to give this to a handler that showed remarkable
composure under pressure. It's not just the handler,
it's the dog as well. Not only that, they did in fact get
the highest points of the day. So we are going to give this to
Jake, from Ireland. Congratulations! Of course, One Man And His Dog isn't
just about one man and his dog. This is the award
for the championship. Congratulations.
Congratulations. Super job! Andy, thanks ever
so much for all the help. A big thank you to our judges,
the handlers and all of the dogs. That is it from the trial field.
It is indeed. If you want full,
uninterrupted coverage, then press the red button
at the end of the programme. when I'll be receiving some expert
advice on my very own apple tree. So if you fancy a trip round ours,
bring a fork. Excellent. Apple crumble on the menu?
No, a pitchfork. You're going to help me plant
a new orchard. See you next week. Bye-bye.
Well done, everyone.
For the first time, Countryfile is home to the BBC's One Man and His Dog competition, showcasing the time-honoured skills and traditions of sheep dog trialling. The very best sheep dogs and their handlers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete to become the 2013 champions.
Matt Baker takes to the commentary box to take us through all the trialling action. Julia Bradbury finds out if the collie really is the brains in the operation, or if the simple sheep has been pulling the wool over our eyes. And Adam is in Bala in North Wales - the birthplace of sheep dog trialling - helping farmers bring down more than 900 Welsh mountain sheep from the hills.