Day 2

8.20: The qualifying trials are completed today, with the top fifteen singles runs over the two days going forward to tomorrow's Supreme Championship. This lunchtime the second batch of Brace runs will be held with a Brace Champion being announced early in the afternoon. 

Reports from Suzy Woolston on the field:

It's a fresher start this morning. The limited free seating spaces are already full before the trial has started. A closer inspection of the course from the handler's podium reveals that, while handlers can see their sheep on the drive, (spectators lose them), the sheep do still drop out of sight on the fetch into quite a large dip before the gates. There is a suggestion of sunshine as the course is cleared of competitors walking the course. 

8.35: Martin Doherty was first to the post with Moss. After an economical outrun Moss landed quietly behind the sheep. They spread out momentarily on the fetch, leaning to the right a little. The driving went well, catching all the gates, though the sheep were trying to stop on the drive away. The shed, pen and single were good. Stan Harden and Bob ran next. The dog started out wide and deep on a right handed outrun, passing behind the open pen. Good driving lines and tight turns were followed by a decent pen and single. There is sunshine across the field though the temperature is cool. 

9.40: Alastair Mundell and Taff timed up in the single. David Bristow and Bella were disqualified at the pen. Seamus Gallagher and Spot started well with a good fetch but ran out of time in the single after a lengthy spell at the pen. Kevin Evans and Jimmy have completed a good run; steady driving and good lines. The sheep went in the pen easily for Jimmy. A wide turn after the drive away gates will have cost a few points.

10.15: Neil Gillon's Bhoy started out on a fairly tight outrun but opened up near the top. Careful handling of reluctant ewes at the pen saw them on their way to a completed run. Richard Smith and Glen, first time team members for England, started and finished well but had some errors with the driving. Kevin Evans is now the leader, one point ahead of James McGee.

11.30: D McAuley's Joe was keen on his run. The sheep were testing in the ring. Medwyn Evans was disqualified at the pen. John MacKillop completed his run. English President, Dick Roper, had a good run with Spot; a great pen with the sheep fully accepting the dog. Aiden Gallagher's Jimmy also had a good control of the sheep producing a smooth run and they too finished. 

12.15: Arwyn Davies and Moel Floss missed their fetch gates but settled the sheep, had a good pen but timed up in the single. Mosse Magnusson and Myllin Davey completed with their run with good work. Dick Roper's run with Pete started with the sheep running about at the top of the field and he didn't get them settled until the work under hand. That was the last run before the Brace. 

1.50: The sheep have been more settled today. They are more of the same as yesterday but are running better. The sun is shining and a very light breeze is just getting up. The surrounding landscape still looks gloomy but the weather is fine on the field, even a little hot at times. A buzzard has been soaring over the trees. The first brace run has taken place. 

2.00: There have been mixed fortunes for the Doubles runners. J R Griffiths with Bob and Moss were disqualified in the shed. Hamish McLean with Roy and Jim retired after Jim left the open pen and the sheep walked out. Frank Cashen with Jip and Alex was first of the Brace runners and had a good run. So did the last runner, Ricky Hutchinson with Sweep and Fly, having a tight turn round the post to rival that of Kevin Evans yesterday. Accurate driving and good penning should put Ricky in with a chance of winning.

3.15: The singles have resumed. Some cloud cover has reduced the heat. Dan Morrissey with Dina had a fair run but slipped two sheep above the cross drive gates. Kevin Evans and Greg went well with another tidy turn round the post and good driving. An overshoot at the top will have lost a few points. Stuart Davidson and Queen had a lame sheep which made it harder to keep them together. They too fell foul of the deceptive cross drive line, passing to the top of the gates. At the pen the sheep tried to break away but Queen held them and suddenly they walked in. A nice single to finish.

3.30: Today's Brace scores have been posted. Ricky Hutchinson with Sweep & Fly is this year's International Brace Champion. Congratulations to them all.

3.45: David Wood and Sally had a fair run for England. A whistle near the top of the outrun and a low point on the cross drive will have cost some points. James McCloskey and Sweep held a good line round the post and the good form continued to a fine finish. Alan Jones (Defaidty) with Beca was one of the few to take the left hand outrun. Beca overshot at the top but had fair driving lines and turns and completed the course. 

4.15: Ian Brownlie and Mo had a tidy completed run pleasing Scottish supporters. Derek Scrimgeour and Fleece have also had a good run with tight turns and accurate lines and finished well. 

5.25: The four National captains run last, John Maginn (Ireland) took the left hand outrun. They had problems on the drive away at the gates. After tricky times at the pen they timed up at the single. Medwyn Evans and Meg (Wales) misjudged the cross drive and slipped the sheep above the gates. Then in the shed, the sheep stuck together, unobliging until time was called. Julie Hill (Scotland), the only female competitor at this year's International, had a fair run, but also misjudged the cross drive, with all the sheep going above the gates. The sheep tried to split away at the pen, but soon went in and the single came quickly. James Howard  and Wisp rounded off the qualifiers with a good run at the end of the day, penning with ease, and the collared ewe which had been a challenge in the shed was happy to be singled off to complete the run.

We now know the names of those who will be competing tomorrow#

Day 2 qualifier summary

Today's trialling was different to yesterday. The sheep were quieter and less challenging to the dogs allowing higher points. Eleven dogs from today's running qualified for the Supreme, leaving just the top four from day one going through. There were good runs to be seen but none of the captains made it through. While the weather ended up hotter the sheep held up well. There were more mis-readings of the cross drive line with a number of missed gates here. On the whole, handlers were making better turns around the post with the sheep less drawn to the exhaust pen than on day one. The final should be great to watch with talented dogs and handlers having made it through.