Matt Baker and Anita Rani preside over proceedings as the best shepherds and their dogs from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland battle it out for the trophy.
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County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland -
a land of lakes feeding verdant, rolling hills.
Amongst the beauty of the landscape nestle buildings that tell
the story of communities that have called this countryside their home.
Including this place, the magnificent Florence Court,
one of Ulster's most important 18th century houses.
Later on, I'll be exploring this place and its surroundings,
but the main reason we're here is because we've brought along
a stunning spectacle of our own.
Well, if it's illustrious history that you're after,
it doesn't get much better than this,
because this is the setting for the 40th anniversary edition of
One Man And His Dog, a celebration of shepherding skill
and an institution that Countryfile has taken to its heart.
Yes, the best shepherds
and their dogs in the British Isles have gathered.
There they are behind me, raring and waiting to go,
cos it's all about this, the coveted One Man And His Dog trophy.
So, let's let battle commence.
Tell you what, you got down here pretty quickly.
I'm as fast as one of those sheepdogs.
Since it first hit our screens in 1976, One Man And His Dog
has captivated the nation, with its demonstration of the
incredible bond between man and dog, and the art of shepherds
whose whistles can turn a collie on a sixpence.
-And the family are delighted.
And Paddy's happy with it too.
Four decades later, it's still going strong,
and it's as hotly contested as ever.
Today's teams have travelled from far and wide to be here.
But only one will return home champions.
And there they are, our teams
representing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Now, our senior handlers are all champions in their home countries,
and they've been paired with
an up-and-coming talented young handler,
and it's their combined scores that will determine the overall winner.
'Watching over proceedings will be our judges -
'John Robinson and Tim Longton.
'And joining me down below in the commentary box is the
'familiar face of the International Sheepdog Society's Andy Jackman.'
-Are you ready?
-I'm ready. Are you?
OK, let's get on with this year's One Man And His Dog.
-Here we go.
-Let's do it.
As we prepare for the off, our young handlers will be first up,
and this is the course they'll be facing.
The handler starts by sending their dog either out to the
left-hand side, which is "Come-bye," or away to the right to pick up
five sheep waiting 200 yards away at the end of the field.
This first stage is called the "outrun,"
and 20 points are on offer.
Then it's onto the lift,
where the dog must start the sheep on their way in a controlled manner
to stand a chance of collecting a maximum ten points.
Once they're on the run,
all the sheep have to be guided through the fetch gates in
the middle of the field, and around the handler back at the post.
20 more points can be picked up for the perfect fetch.
Next up, it's the highest scoring element of all - the drive,
where the pack must be guided through two drive gates set
on either side of the field.
This can often make or break a run, with a massive 30 points on offer.
Then it's time to enter the shedding ring
for the penultimate challenge.
Our youngsters must keep all five sheep in the circle and split off
any two from the flock, hoping for a perfect ten points.
Finally, it's onto the home straight, as they head for the pen.
Another ten points can be picked up here,
as all five sheep are guided in and the gates closed.
The whole course must be completed in a maximum of 15 minutes.
Our head of sheep, Malcolm Sowerby,
signals the flock are in position, and first up it's Caolan Byrne
with his dog, Dan, representing current title holders Ireland.
One Man And His Dog has been won by the Irish team, I believe,
-three times in a row, hasn't it?
-So there's a bit of pressure?
There is, yeah, yeah. Hopefully there'll be a fourth.
So here we go, then, Caolan Byrne, 16 years old,
with his dog Dan.
He's got to go round the offside of that line of oak trees but
also stay in contact with the sheep at the top of the field.
Yeah, well, he's in the right place now. The dog's gone well.
They're coming quite sweetly.
Very, very good line, and it's a very tricky part of the course,
to kind of keep the brakes on them coming down this hill
and hit these gates at the bottom.
They got 19 for the outrun, out of 20.
One point lost on the lift.
He's a good chance of catching this. The dog's in the right place.
Stay there, lad!
Very, very impressive first part to this trial.
Yes, one or two will have gone there, but no problem.
Stay there, you!
Just enforcing the command there. Oh, hello!
-A bit lively.
-Ooh, dear, dear, dear, dear.
-Held it. Well done, Dan.
-Yeah, no, he's turned. Back she comes.
A vastly experienced dog at ten years old.
Things have settled down, that won't have cost him too many.
16 out of 20 scored for the fetch.
Ah, he's going well, he's going well.
Stay there, Dan!
-That's a nice, gentle pace now, that's exactly what you want.
-Oh, going a bit far right now.
Oh, just look at that.
Just in time, now the big left to get the turn.
-Go, go, go.
Brakes on again now. Whoa, whoa-whoa-whoa.
And this is a very tricky part, this is the cross-drive.
The idea is to try and get the sheep going in
a nice straight line right in front of the house.
-He's got him.
-Come-bye, come-bye, come-bye.
No, no, no, too quick.
Go on, swing round, swing round...
Yeah, that flighty ewe just took the lead there, drew 'em all across.
Judges have awarded 14 out of 30 for the drive.
It's not too much of a bad tactic just to calm the sheep down
-before they enter into the shedding ring.
-Yeah, we're settled again now.
-Dan a very, very calm dog.
And the sheep look calm,
they don't look like they think they're a target.
-He's just waiting for the right opportunity to call Dan in.
Sit there. Stay there, stay there, stay there!
Will you stay there?!
-Dan, listen up! Come-bye.
-You can see he wants to make sure...
-Go, go, go, go.
-Here, come in here, come-bye, come-bye.
-No, no, no.
-Dan! Wait, wait, wait.
-That didn't happen.
The sheep are out of the ring as well, so there's a missed chance,
and out of the ring, that will be expensive.
-There was a little misunderstanding, I think,
between handler and dog there.
The dog just felt like he wanted to do his job and regroup the sheep.
Stay there! Dan, stay there, stay there!
-Good, now, here's a chance again.
-Stay there, come-bye.
Stay there, come in here, Dan, Dan, Dan.
-Yeah, he's got him.
-Relief for Caolan.
Two scored for the shed.
-Now, he's a good line into the pen here.
If he can get 'em to the heel of the gate, he'll stand a good chance.
-Stay there. Sit!
-There's one looking in.
Two looking in now.
-Just wait for it, be patient.
-Round you come.
Stay there, wait, stay there!
-He's got 'em.
Eight scored for the pen, then, and Caolan Byrne with his dog Dan
completes the Young Handlers course in 13.5 minutes.
So Ireland in defence of their title set the pace,
and after a shaky middle, Caolan and Dan pull out a strong pen,
making 68 the score to beat.
I see you've got a big smile on your face. How do you feel that went?
-Er, except for the last gate it went all right.
-The last gate.
-I suppose you'll be wanting to know how you did.
-OK, well, erm, you did it in time.
-In the nick of time, Caolan.
-68 out of 100.
But what I do have to say to you,
because it's just being transmitted to me live now,
you're in first place. Well done to you.
Cos I was the only one that went!
Well done, Team Ireland, Caolan and Dan, good luck.
Thanks, thank you.
Ireland's hoping for win number four, but as she heads to the post,
Wales' Esyllt Smith has that top spot in her sights.
-Are you competitive? Does it matter if you lose?
-Oh, I hate losing.
But when it comes to trialling,
I know that I have to let the best person win on the day.
Well, that day's arrived.
Can Esyllt and Jaff set Wales off on a winning streak?
-Now, she's gone off on the left.
And not too deep into the field.
Want him to go, yeah, there's the command to keep him out.
-And she's landed him well. Now, just a bit sharp there coming away.
-15 out of 20 for the outrun.
Two lost on the lift, eight scored.
Come on, down!
Positive handling here. Forceful command, dog's taken it.
This looks very, very good, Jaff has got command of these sheep.
ESYLLT SPEAKS WELSH
Ah, there's a bit of Welsh command going in there, eh?
Don't ask me what she said, though.
She's doing a good job.
-And nice and steady here on this turn.
-All good and...
-Oh, oh, oh!
Oh, she's all right. She's all right.
There'll be a point gone there, maybe, but, er, she's got her turn.
Now, then, away we go.
Just a bit of left and right
and that's just stirring them up a little bit.
-17 out of 20 for the fetch.
-That's better, that's better.
That's it, yeah, nice balance now.
-Just a touch right, whoa.
-Wait there! Wait!
No, whoa, whoa, whoa!
She's got 'em.
And again they're going at some lick now, these sheep.
Yeah, but he's cut the corner again, that's a young dog for you.
-Now she stands a chance.
-Ooh, go on, go on, go on, go on!
Yeah, just put the lie down in a bit quick.
Oh, one's going to go through. No. Oh!
Oh, we've done a figure of eight now.
That will be costly.
12 for the drive, that's 12 out of 30.
On 52 at the moment.
-We're back in control. We're back on the line.
She was obviously quite apprehensive going into this trial, but suddenly
gets to the post and then she's certainly not afraid to shout now.
No, no, no, she's done a good job keeping the lid on this one.
He's in the right place, out of the way for the time being,
let the sheep settle.
-Oh, this looks good.
Oh, yeah, fair play.
-First time of asking, in he came.
Ten out of ten for the shed.
Now, she just...
-needs to organise this here now.
-Yeah, she's got where she doesn't want to be,
and round the pen they've gone.
Now, they now know where to escape. However...
Now she's in a good-ish spot.
Settled the job down.
-The pack are problematic.
-He's got tight there again, and that's just rattled them.
Nice and steady now.
She did say to me beforehand,
she was feeling the pressure after Caolan's 68 score.
Yeah, this is going to be close, this is going to be close.
Excellent, well done.
That's a score of four.
So, very, very close indeed, this, in the Young Handlers round.
A tale of mixed fortunes for Esyllt and Jaff,
with a costly drive and a problematic pen.
But that superb shed keeps Wales in contention with 66 points.
-You were so nervous.
-I have to say, I think you've got...
You had strong command tactics, you've got a powerful...
Some set of lungs on you, haven't you?
That's why my voice is a bit croaky again.
What you did get, which was outstanding to watch,
is ten out of ten for your shed.
-Good girl, so well done to you.
-You can go and relax now.
So, halfway through our Young Handlers, Ireland lead the field,
but by a narrow margin.
Scotland and England are still to run, though, and as Anita's been
discovering, this is a truly grand location in which to go for glory.
Nestled among Northern Ireland's lake district,
and watched over by the bold Benaughlin Mountain, you couldn't
ask for a more theatrical setting in which to stage our contest.
Florence Court was home to the Earls of Enniskillen,
built in 1719 in opulent Georgian style.
But if you really want to get a feel for what this fantastic house
is all about, you need to fast forward 200 years
to when it was in its heyday - the Roaring Twenties.
'And if it's the juiciest gossip you're after,
'of course you've got to talk to the housekeeper.
'Mhairi Walton has been looking after Florence Court for ten years.'
Nice to meet you, Mhairi. Lovely to see you. What a place.
And why is it frozen in time in the 1920s? Why that era?
That time was such a fascinating time. It was a time of change.
It was the time for the 5th Earl, totally different from his father.
At the time when the 5th Earl was here,
he was here with four children -
three daughters and the one young son -
and it'd have been full of laughter,
it'd have been full of echoes of laughter.
The children would have been out,
they would have been dressing up, they had a whole estate to play on.
The 5th Earl turned Florence Court from a stuffy stately into
a fun-filled family home.
What a great room, fantastic!
-There he is.
-Yep, and there we have the man himself, the 5th Earl.
You can see with his attire, the way he's actually standing,
his colours, everything, even his wee cheeks, they're all blowing red.
You know, you can see he's been out on the land.
He's the man that you'd have seen on the back of a hayrig,
checking all the estate.
He'd have been getting his hands dirty.
It sums him up, doesn't it?
And you're right, he's got those rugged...
-The wee cheeky-cheekies, yeah.
It must be quite something to take care of a house like this, Mhairi.
Yeah. It's a lot of work, you know,
but she is an old lady.
There's a lot of dedication that goes in here.
Items that you see within these homes,
they've belonged to somebody at some point, and you have to look
after them, you have to be able to treasure these things.
I love that you describe this house as a "she".
Yeah, she is. She is a beautiful old lady.
I love it.
I think it's brilliant, that's why I still work in these houses.
-I'm moving in!
More than welcome!
Well, out here, we have well and truly taken up residence.
Half of our young handlers have already run, and next up to the post
is Scotland's Jock Welsh, who has ancestry of his own to live up to.
Now, your family has been working sheepdogs for a long time.
Does that put pressure on you or do you feel some help from it?
Yeah, there is a bit of pressure, but it makes you a wee bit better,
-It makes you try harder!
-You've got a hard act to follow!
So, as the heavens open,
Jock Welsh and his dog Nell will be praying for a perfect run.
Just a reminder, Caolan Byrne and his dog Dan scored 68,
and then Es Smith with Jaff scored 66.
Just a tad economic, that outrun. But the sheep have stood and waited.
-Hit that 12 o'clock position beautifully there.
Yeah, come away reasonably well too.
-Two points lost, then, on the outrun. 18 scored.
Eight scored on the lift.
-This is a good line, this.
Nice through the gates.
All three young handlers have done very, very well
-with this first section of the course.
-They have. Yeah.
Jock's grandfather shares the same name, very famous Scottish handler.
Nice turn too.
He'll be pleased to this point.
18 for the fetch.
Oh, and a nice, wide flank there by Nell.
So far, it's this cross-drive that has been the sticking point.
Yeah, he's come too low again now,
he wants to climb the hill to be sure.
-Will Jock and Nell be successful?
-He will if he goes now.
Go, go, go, go, go.
And just as the rain gets worse, he negotiates the gate, and well.
Excellent, excellent. 24 scored out of 30 for the drive.
Yeah, it was a good drive.
Looking very confident, very relaxed as well.
-He'll be well ahead now with that drive.
Nice line back into the ring.
Jock ready and waiting in the middle.
Es and Jaff have really set the standard in the shedding ring,
a score of ten out of ten in the last round.
You can see Jock looking for the opportunity, looking to make it.
Here it comes.
Oh, she's on the wrong sheep.
She's on the wrong sheep, I'm afraid.
He's made a very good job, but unfortunately
he should be dogging the two sheep, not the three.
-So the judges have not accepted that.
-No, no, no.
So far, a score of 68 on the total.
-So, already matching Caolan's.
His second shed now will be for not a lot.
That'll do, that'll do, that'll do!
So, this time, no mistake where Nell's focus is.
Just one point for the shed takes them to 69, so they are ahead.
Still plenty of time.
Now, he's set this pen up very well.
Regained his composure.
Nell back on her job.
Now he's a chance, a good chance.
-Well commanded, that.
-Yeah, job done.
So, Jock swings the gate shut, then, with a score of seven for that pen.
We've just had word, Andy, from the judges,
that they've reduced the points for the cross-drive down to 20,
-as opposed to 24.
That will be a lot less than what Jock will be expecting, Andy.
Yes, it will. He left the peg
once the sheep had come through the second drive gate.
The traditional way is you don't leave the peg
until the first sheep is in the ring.
A real roller coaster of a round for our Scottish young handler.
But even with that deduction on the drive, overall,
Jock and Nell end on a high
of 72 points.
Jock, what are you thinking?
Well, I thought I had a good run round the course.
And then...I just made a mess of it myself at the shed.
Well, really, Jock,
overall it didn't matter because you scored 72,
-which puts you top of the leaderboard.
-How do you feel?
-Well done, well deserved, good job.
With just one more young handler left to run,
this is how things stand.
It's Scotland who've gained some clear ground,
notching up a supreme 72.
Wales trail the field on 66,
but Ireland are only a couple of points ahead of them.
Only English young handler Tom Blease
and his dog Queen can top that.
Tom grew up in a town,
but two years ago fell in love with trialling.
His family moved to a 22-acre smallholding
so he could follow his passion.
And today, that dedication could pay off.
He seems like quite a special young man to me.
Yeah, he's all right, just in a real, nice, quiet way, yeah, he is.
Absolutely. You know, farming's in his blood,
so he starts his apprenticeship on Monday.
So, yeah, that's his future.
-All to play for.
Here we are, then, Queen off to the left-hand side.
Running wide. Now she's going to go left around the big sycamore tree.
She's locked on now, she's seen them.
There will be a chunk of the outrun gone, but she's landed and deep.
You can just see Meg, Malcolm's dog there,
just helping to hold the sheep in position.
And he's away nicely. Nice, steady lift there.
Here we go.
One point lost on the lift.
It was a good lift.
Nice line down now. That one ewe is still looking to go back.
All four young handlers through the first set of gates.
Nice, steady pace.
It's a good, good pace.
It's a good turn and he's off on a good line
up this first leg of the drive too, now.
16 out of 20 for the fetch.
It was a good fetch.
Seem to have a really good understanding, don't they?
-They certainly do.
-A great partnership, these two.
Looking calm as well. And obviously incredibly focused at this stage.
Very, very intense, this.
Just a touch right now.
-No, no, he's all right. He's all right.
Well done, he's managing that well. Another one.
She's gone round the back.
Stop it, stop it, stop it. He'll get the turn.
There we go. Now then.
The balance, the distance between the sheep and the dog,
really key on this cross-drive.
He's held a good line there, she's helping him a bit.
He's caught it.
Good line back now.
20 scored for the drive.
So, matched Jock and Nell.
He'll be pleased.
Good pace as well, good tempo
-to this trial.
-Yeah, sheep are settled now.
Lie down. Now come-bye. Get! Lie down.
Lie down, lie down.
Come-bye, lie down.
-Keep them in the ring.
-Lie down. Lie down!
Hanging on Tom's every word, is Queen.
Yeah, just waiting for that command.
Lie down, come-bye. Lie down.
Lie down, come-bye. Lie down, lie down.
-Lie down. Wait, wait.
The opportunity wasn't really there, but he did ask for it,
and of course all five have left the ring now.
So there will be a chunk gone from his shed, I'm afraid.
Time to regroup and start again.
Lie down. Lie down.
Well, he's shedding for not a great deal,
other than the opportunity to go to the pen.
-A minute and a half to go.
-Yes, it's a tough call now, I'm afraid.
It's that one sheep, she's on her own and nobody wants to be with her.
Get in there, Tom, get in. Good boy.
Lie down, go on.
Lie down, go on.
Lie down, lie down, lie down.
Good enough when it came.
Well, now he's going to have to run.
He's got 50 seconds to try and get these sheep into this pen.
One point for the shed,
but that one point could be crucial
later on in this competition.
Don't mess about, Tom, you've got 30 seconds left.
-The dog's fast enough, that's for sure.
-Lie down, lie down!
-Now then, he has a chance, but it's a small one.
-Go, go, go.
-Be kind, come on, you've got ten seconds.
-Lie down, lie down. Come-bye. Lie down.
Oh, I thought it was going to happen there, I really did.
-But that is time up, I'm afraid.
Running out of time at the pen means
Tom and Queen score nothing for this challenge.
Our English newcomer ends on 58.
Tom, how do you think that went?
All right, I was pleased with how she ran, she tried hard for me,
but the sheep were just a bit sticky in the shedding ring
and she wouldn't keep up, but overall, pleased.
You've only just been trialling for a very short period.
It is something that you've just taken to, isn't it?
Yeah, I really enjoy it and it's great fun.
-Yeah, all right.
You should be, you should be.
-It was really impressive to watch, well done. Well done, Queen.
At the end of the first half of our competition,
all our young handlers have run.
And whilst England stay just in touch on 58,
at the other end of the table, Scotland are sitting pretty on 72.
But it will be these scores combined with their senior team-mates'
which determine who lifts this 40th anniversary trophy.
And they'll be following in the footsteps
of some quite remarkable shepherds, perhaps none more so
than a man who was an inspiration behind this trial
and who lived sheepdog trialling until his last breath.
That man was Bob Fraser.
At the northern edge of Northumberland,
a stone's throw from the Scottish border, lies the Mindrum estate.
It was here that Bob lived and worked.
From a long line of shepherds,
Bob had a natural gift for working with dogs and sheep,
as his daughter Joyce remembers.
It was all he ever wanted to do.
He used to run away from home and go to the sheep
before he went to school.
He had a way about him,
he just had this instinct, I think,
for reading the sheep as well as his dog.
It was this instinct, born out of his shepherding roots,
that gave him the edge when he began to trial competitively.
He won the International three times
and he's won the English National six times with six different dogs.
But it was an encounter with BBC producer Philip Gilbert
that would secure his legacy
as an inspiration behind One Man And His Dog.
Gilbert was keen to bring the competition to the small screen.
So he went and had a word with my father.
And he said, yes, it was a great idea
to think about dog trialling for the television.
He was very pleased for it, absolutely,
because it showcases the intelligence of the Border collie
and the time and patience in training these dogs.
One Man And His Dog was born.
Bob took part in the first-ever series,
finishing second by one point.
You've got to have a cool dog
and you've also got to keep cool yourself.
That's one of the main things, I think.
And it all builds up to sort of man and dog cooperating together.
My father wasn't a boastful man at all.
And it was just like another trial to him, I think,
he just took everything as it came.
While the TV show went from strength to strength,
Bob remained a humble shepherd and dedicated sheepdog handler
until his death in 1986.
He died on the trialling field with his dog beside him
and was awarded a posthumous third place.
What a better way to go.
My mother just said, "Well, he died as he lived."
Bob's legendary status in the trialling world lives on,
as does the programme he helped to create,
sharing his passion with millions.
Didn't really take it in until he died.
You know, he's just my dad, after all.
And 30 years after his death,
I can't believe this is still being recognised today,
which is lovely.
40 years later, his spirit lives on in the programme,
showcasing the skilful harmony of shepherd and dog
that Bob understood so well.
Oh, yes, yes. Completely in control.
Ten points scored out of ten.
Well, it goes without saying, Andy, we're very grateful
to have a character like Bob,
-because without him, we wouldn't be sat here.
And he was inspirational to the programme 40 years ago now.
Well, I'm sure he's looking down and watching this.
I'm sure he is, and you know what?
-He'll have the best view of that cross-drive line.
40 years on, the passion this competition brings with it lives on.
Halfway through, our young handlers have all run.
And Scotland have come out top dog.
-Well commanded, that.
-Yeah, job done.
But it's these scores, combined with those of their senior team-mates',
that will determine today's overall winner.
And the seasoned shepherds have
a much more difficult challenge on their hands.
They'll have two extra sheep to contend with.
And the lift post has been moved back another hundred yards,
or the length of a football pitch.
The second set of drive gates have also been rotated 90 degrees,
making the gap between the gates
more difficult for the handler to judge.
As if that all wasn't enough,
two of their seven sheep will be wearing red collars,
and once in the shedding ring, they'll have to split
just a single collared sheep from the rest of the flock.
Like the young handlers,
they'll have just 15 minutes to complete the course.
And as the weather closes in,
it's not just the course promising to make life more difficult.
If you work on Countryfile,
you always have to have a variety of outerwear in your bag.
The weather is not messing around today.
-Here comes Malcolm, our head of sheep.
-You're looking grand, Malcolm.
-Dapper as ever.
As England are currently last, they'll be first to the post.
And if ever there was a man who knew about overcoming the odds,
it's Dick Roper.
This time last year, I started losing the sight of my right eye.
And over the summer it's died, so I've just got my left eye now.
And that makes trialling difficult
because I don't judge my distances so well.
So, with ground to make up
and limited vision on this tricky course,
Dick and his dog Will could be tested to their limit.
So, Dick and Will with it all to do.
And he goes off to the left-hand side.
Dick in traditional pose, sleeves rolled up.
You see already two sheep wearing collars there,
they'll come into play later on in the shedding ring
where there has to be a single taken off.
Oh, one's caught up in the collar already...
Oh, it's free again.
Just one point lost on the outrun.
One point lost on the lift.
This is a very good line.
Nicely through the fetch.
Nice pace now, and seven sheep for the senior handlers here.
A formidable competitor, Dick.
And a nice turn.
And it looks as if we've got a bit of sunshine here as well.
-Things brightening up for England.
-Well, Dick is known as Lucky Dick.
And there's a long story behind that.
Just three lost on the fetch.
He's only down five, and he is going well.
Those problems that he has with his sight these days,
it could be very tricky as far as perspective is concerned
on this cross-drive that's coming up.
But things looking good towards the first set of gates on this drive.
Looking very good.
Very calmly done.
-Yeah, good, nice.
Stand. Steady, man.
-This is good work here. Good work.
He's lined that gate up well.
-And he's gone for the turn.
And got it.
-25 scored for the drive,
just five points dropped.
You can see what Dick's plan is here, he's going for it,
put the pressure on the boys to follow.
Nice and steady, then, towards the shedding ring.
The plan here - to take one of these ewes away from the flock
that's wearing a collar.
Just look at how calm the scenario is here.
And that's the key with good trialling.
They're not rattled at all.
Out, keep out.
Lie down, now lie down.
And you'll see him walk around the flock,
just to work out the best position...
to sort of intercept and almost interject.
Come-bye, out, out.
Come-bye, out, keep out.
He's just going to creep up here. He's going to take it.
Stand, stand, stand.
Eight scored for the single.
Now, the final job. Can he pen these sheep?
He's lined them up well, they're coming to the heel of the gate.
All looking good. Just letting them look.
Stand. Keep out, stand.
Will keeping his side. I don't think they're going to go past him.
One in, two in. Three, four, five.
-All in. Yeah, good pen.
It's a score of nine at the pen.
And a pat on the back there
for Will. Good job done, my son.
So, Dick Roper and dog Will prove consistent throughout,
and that reliable run brings home
the highest score of the day so far.
Dick, masterfully done, sir. Masterfully done. Were you happy?
Yeah, very happy, very happy. Tricky trying to get that single off.
Yes. That was where your team-mate Tom came a bit unstuck as well.
What you're trying to do is do something very unnatural
which is take a sheep away from its mates.
And sheep are flock animals and they want to stay together,
so by taking one away, that's the last thing they want to do.
Well, it's all done now. Well done.
Thank you very much indeed, that's great.
So, our first team total of the day is posted by England, with 145.
That's the target for Wales's Aled Owen
and five-year-old Cap to aim at.
This superstar of the shepherding world has won
just about every major title.
Can he add the 40th anniversary One Man And His Dog trophy
to his cabinet?
Away. He's away.
So, off goes five-year-old Cap.
Good line out.
He's put Cap where he wanted him.
The sheep have just moved off the top end.
Cap's covered them.
On to the point of balance and away we go.
18 scored for the outrun.
-Eight for the lift.
-Heading on a very, very good line.
-And getting very close to these gates now.
-Yeah, looking good.
Perhaps he knows exactly what the judges are looking for
cos Aled was a judge himself last year for us on One Man And His Dog.
He definitely was, yes.
Wales here need a score of 79 to go ahead of England.
-A nice turn.
And away we go up the first drive, sheep are settled,
all in together.
Two points dropped, then, on the fetch.
A score of 18 out of 20.
Maybe drifted a tad there.
Lovely balance he's got there.
And they've drifted to the right.
Seven sheep round the inside of the hurdle will be costly.
And they've dipped down a little bit there.
Just coming down the hill now.
Aled needs to be careful,
he'll be under this one as well, if he...
and he is.
-Oh, my word.
-Two drive gates down.
That will be very expensive.
And a big turn.
Just 11 points then on the drive,
11 out of 30.
Well, it goes without saying, this
is definitely not going to plan.
No, but it just goes to show,
it doesn't matter what history you've got, every dog has his day.
-Aled won't take his foot off the pedal, that's for sure.
Just looking for one of these collared ewes
to separate from the flock.
-Eight minutes to go.
-Now, there may be a shout here.
Here we go, spot on, good one.
Liked that. Nice.
Nine for that single.
Cap will regroup the sheep as Aled walks over to the pen.
-Still plenty of time left with this pen.
On a score of 64 at the moment.
Nice line into the pen now.
Aled's got them roughly where he wants them.
The sheep on the heel of the gate.
One just looked to go down the side.
-Cap covered his side.
-And that is how to pen seven sheep.
Perfection at the pen,
a score of ten.
Aled, like so many others today, losing valuable points on the drive.
And proving that even an old master can make mistakes.
The technical term for you, actually, Aled, is "the man".
I don't know about that.
When it comes to trialling, you've won pretty much everything going,
so it just goes to show, you don't know what's going to happen.
Exactly. And that's the beauty of this sport.
Florence Court in the breathtaking countryside of County Fermanagh
is the spectacular site for a very special championship -
the 40th anniversary of One Man And His Dog.
All day, our teams have been giving it their all,
battling against a tricky cross-drive...
No, no, too quick.
..and driving rain...
The weather is not messing around today.
..delivering some moments of truly inspired shepherding.
And that is how to pen seven sheep.
England are just ahead, but Ireland and Scotland are still to run.
At stake, the chance to be crowned best of the best.
For the last three years, that honour has fallen to Ireland.
Now it's down to Sammy Long and his dog Roy
to see if they can secure an historic fourth victory.
-Here they are in front of...
-And Roy's gone off left.
Looking good thus far, heading up towards the chestnuts.
Sheep have waited for him, there they go.
-They've gone off at a pace.
-Yes, they have
but they've stayed on the line.
16 for the outrun.
This trial off to a flying start.
Yes, there's a bit of pace about the job,
they're coming downhill a bit quick and off-line.
The lift was quick,
but they scored eight out of ten.
They need to straighten up,
otherwise he'll be outside the fetch.
No. Saved it.
-Saved it, but there'll be
some points going.
Just a little bit frantic at the moment.
That's better, more like it.
Sammy will be happier with that.
Stand. Stand here.
Sammy just trying to settle things down here.
Nice enough turn.
-This is nice now.
Now on a score of 39,
chasing that total of 78
to go ahead of England.
Roy looking back at Sammy.
A nice approach towards
the first drive gate.
He's all right.
Sammy making sure.
That's the first gate successfully negotiated.
Here they come.
Gaining pace again.
Good line, though.
He's going to need a right-hander here.
-And just too much and he's put
them round the top of the hurdle.
And a big turn.
Now then. Game on.
19 scored on the drive.
19 out of 30.
So, they need maximum points
from both the single and the pen
to go ahead of England at this stage.
A big ask here.
-Oh, hang on.
-Here, right, right.
Stand here. Here, Roy, here, here.
He's kept them in the ring.
-He's kept them in the ring, good work.
-Roy, come on up.
Stand there. Stand there.
-Here we go.
-Maybe, maybe, maybe... No, yes.
Stand here, stand here.
Stand here, stand here.
Stand here, stand here.
Roy did all he could.
Eight scored for the single.
Now, to the pen.
-Shaping well now, he's lined the pen up.
Stand. Stand here.
Sammy's got this weighed up, I think.
-It's a patient dog.
-Nearly an over-flank there and he's turned the sheep.
-He's turned the sheep.
-All seven are in.
The trial is over. But how costly has that been?
So, points going adrift throughout for Sammy and Roy
and that drive gate once again costing dear.
It just goes to show, actually, watching you all,
that you just don't know how it's going to play out on the day.
You make all the plans what you want and the sheep, or the dog,
may not oblige you on that day.
Well, I can tell you that you got a solid 75 overall.
-Oh, I'm pleased enough with that.
-And it's stopped raining.
It's stopped raining, well, that's unusual.
Well, that result means Ireland will not make it four in a row.
It's still England who stay ahead by a nose
and have one hand on the trophy.
Only this man, Scotland's John MacKillop
can take it from their grasp and as he steps up to the post,
he looks determined to do just that.
Stand, stand. Come-bye.
They need a score of 74 to win.
Now, we've had a score of 74, a score of 75 and a score of 87
so who knows what will happen?
Now then, Joe's going to come inside the trees,
is he, or is he going to kick out?
No, he's gone round the back.
-Oh, he's plenty close enough there.
And that's affected his lift.
17 for the outrun,
three points dropped on that lift.
The sheep are rattled so...
Yeah, he's come down the hill with a little bit of pace.
Joe's well back, they'll need to stay straight.
-Yeah, caught the gates.
Striking-looking dog, Joe.
John in control now.
Come-bye, come-bye. Stand.
24 at this stage.
-A nice turn coming.
-Yeah, that's probably the best turn we've had. Very nice.
18 out of 20 for the fetch.
Stand! Stand. Stand.
Just felt the dog a little there. Minor.
Score's building now.
Going the right side, though. Ooh!
He's going to have to be careful here,
he's going to have to be careful!
-Seven on the inside.
Similar to what Ally did and a bigger turn now,
that's made it interesting.
Here we go on the cross-drive, the sheep have gathered pace.
-Oh, half through.
-Four out, three through.
-It's a score of 12.
This is going to be very, very close indeed.
It is, it is.
It is nail-biting stuff here.
It is for Tom and Dick from England.
Watching very, very closely.
Now, he's back on the line, that's an expensive drive.
Over to this shedding ring which has really sorted out
-the competitors this afternoon.
Stand. Stand. Away!
John just letting things settle here.
There's just enough points available for Scotland still to win this.
19 to draw from the last two, 20 to win.
Here she is, here she is.
-Now, the judges might look at that...
They might look at that.
John setting up the job now for the pen.
-He'll know it's close.
Away, stand! Stand!
-Lined up nicely.
Well, the collared ewe's going to take them in.
And sure enough, good pen.
Eight for the single,
ten scored for the pen!
What a trial we have seen here. Right down to the wire.
So a score of 72 brings Scotland overall
to within one point of England
who hang on by the narrowest of margins.
It's time to reveal the results to our teams.
Well, every handler and their dogs gave their all over what proved
to be quite a challenging course in tricky conditions.
Thankfully, it's stopped raining for the prize-giving.
Yes, but before we go, to the main award,
there is a special prize for this year's best young handler
and as it is an Olympic year, what better than a gold medal?
And this year, it goes...
to Jock Welsh and Nell for Team Scotland.
-Congratulations. There you go.
-Very well done, Jock.
Well done, well deserved.
Absolutely brilliant work, really good work.
-What a wonderful partnership.
And so then, for the winners of the 40th anniversary edition of
One Man and His Dog, it's no secret that
it was a very, very tight battle between England and Scotland.
In fact, there was just one point in it.
The winning team is...
-England. Well done, Dick.
-Well done, Tom.
-Cheers, thank you.
-Good work. Well done, Queen. Well done.
Well, that is it.
England, the winners of the 40th anniversary edition
of One Man And His Dog here
in the glorious surrounds of Florence Court.
Next week, I will be exploring an old Surrey industry.
And John will be revealing which photograph you voted best
in the Countryfile photographic competition.
-I hope you can join us then but from all of us here, come-bye.
I'm off for a lie-down.
Matt Baker and Anita Rani preside over proceedings as the best shepherds and their dogs from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland battle it out for the trophy. While Matt takes to the commentary box, Anita explores the history of the estate and catches up with the friends and family of the competitors.