The Aberfeldy and District Young Farmers organise the largest sheep dog trials and shearing competition in Perthshire attracting competitors from all over Perthshire and further a field for the Annual Sheep Dog Trials and Shearing Competition.
The event allows the outsider to get a very special glimpse in to the farming community, the comaraderie and friendship, the skills and the special ambience that exists throughout the whole day of sheep dog trials and the shearing competition.
On the Friday evening the locals take part in their sheep dog trials, followed by a day long competition of some of the very best sheep dogs and handlers in Scotland. In 2012 the Saturday sheep dog trial started at 7am and ran through the day finishing at 7pm at night with a run off of the two top dogs.
The sheep dog trial consists of a large field in which the dog handler walks out with his dog to a stake in front of the judges where the handler stands with his dog. Four sheep are then released at the very top of the field, and the dog handler instructs his dog to run out, as wide as possible to collect the sheep.
The sheep and then driven down the hill to the dog handler, around the handler and through two gates, back to a small pen, where the handler and his dog with great skill persuade the sheep to go in to the pen. Marks are given for each aspect of the operation from how the dogs run out to collect the sheep, the drive and penning the sheep.
In the large marquee local shepherds and young farmers compete in shearing sheep, removing the woolen coats in the fastest and most efficient way possible. There is a judge for each competitor who carefully note how well each competitor shears the sheep.
Each sheep's woolen coat should be removed with as few cuts as possible, and as near to the sheep's skin without doing any damage (no cuts or grazes) to the sheep. Each coat needs be cut so the wool fibres are as long as possible for the spinners who will use it in the production of garments.
This event is one of several events held through out the year and takes a very considerable amount of organisation and cooperation. Bolfracks Estate supply the field, Rimmenie Estate supplies the sheep, others supply the shearing equipment while many individuals give up their time to be judges, ferry sheep to the shearing marquee, release sheep on the hill to manning the bar, collect gate money, operate the food stall (with very good value prices) to running the raffle.
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