The Sheep


The 2017 ISDS International will be run using 400 North Country Mules. The sheep are currently lambing (March 2017) and during turnout are being separated from the main flock in order that, as a group, they can be kept away from Lodge Park until the trial. Therefore, these Mules will be visiting Lodge Park for the first time, along with competitors and visitors.

Please remember that these trials are about handling sheep with a dog. Although many spectators and competitors only see the dog and the sheep during the trial runs, there is a dedicated team of shepherds who are taking care that when the sheep are released for each run, that they are handled with the utmost care and consideration so that they are calm and steady, ready to be chaperoned around the course by the dog. Often, this requires that sheep awaiting thier turn to be worked will be fed, watered and sheltered as well as moved around in pens in a way that does not upset them. It may be hard to understand or accept, but it takes years of experience and a certain character to be able to do this job,  especially so as it needs to be done consistently for three days. Luckily, we have one of the best letting out teams in the country to take care of our sheep and 'letting out'.

When each run is completed, there is another set of shepherds that will use their dogs to take the sheep to the exhaust pen to catch their breath before being turned out again for grazing.

This is what the sheep will see when they are set out for the qualifying trial runs, in the distance you can see the handlers post.