in May of 2021, three of us traveled to the North of England to attend the famous Deerplay Hill Trial run on Jim Cropper’s hill. Myself, Con McGarry and Ger Egan travelled over together by ferry from Ireland, to compete with our sheepdogs. We were fortunate in that we were able to stay at Alf Kyme’s place nearby. Deerplay is a super test laid out annually for the last 40 years or so, by Jim Cropper. It was run for 4 days in total. three days of qualifying with a final to be held on the last day. Both myself and Con qualified with our dogs to compete in the double lift final on the Sunday. Ger narrowly missed out in a place in the final but he was very pleased with the performance of both his dogs. Ricky Hutchinson went on to win the final (beating probably 220 dogs, in doing so) with Nigel Watkins coming second and Frankie McCullough coming in third place.
We were lucky because the sheepdog trialing did not end with Deerplay, There was another trial organised for the monday on Duckworths hill ground. It was here that I sat in with Alf to hear his thoughts.