National sheepdog trials for Filleigh

WOOLLY and canine stars will be flocking to Castle Hill Estate at Filleigh in August as North Devon hosts the prestigious English National Sheepdog Trials for the first time. The Earl and Countess of Arran were delighted to offer their land as a location

WOOLLY and canine stars will be flocking to Castle Hill Estate at Filleigh in August as North Devon hosts the prestigious English National Sheepdog Trials for the first time.The Earl and Countess of Arran were delighted to offer their land as a location for the three-day event, which runs from August 21-23 and will be combined with an action-packed Devon Country Fayre, with all profits going to the North Devon Hospice. Mole Valley Farmers has volunteered to be the main event sponsor.There will be craft, food and art marquees plus trade stands and a host of activities and demonstrations for visitors to enjoy, from falconry to working dog displays, Young Farmers' contests and duck herding!It is also a chance for visitors to explore the stunning gardens and landscapes of the Castle Hill Estate.The Trials themselves are the ultimate challenge for shepherds and their working dogs, with the very best of the best competing. The event is organised each year by the International Sheepdog Society and has a huge following."Everyone on the estate and we as a family are so proud and feel so honoured they wanted to bring the national trials here," said Lady Arran, who is patron of the North Devon Hospice."We're especially thrilled the hospice is going to be part of this major event."It has been made possible by North Devon's own celebrity shepherd David Kennard, who is chairman of the 2009 English National Trials committee."There will be a total of 150 dogs competing over the three days, plus three pairs in the brace class each day and the competition will be just as fierce for this as for any major sporting event, " he said.The top 15 will go on to represent their country at the International Sheepdog Trials in September.Tickets for the English National Sheepdog Trials at Castle Hill in Filleigh cost just �8 in advance and �10 on the day. Children aged under 16 and accompanied by an adult go free.


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