Day 3

7.00: An early start for the final day.

7.45: The first four runs have taken place on another windy day. The wind is, perhaps, worse this morning. The first runner, P Atkinson with Fly, timed up in the single. Michael Davidson and Sweep completed. Rabbit Slattery's and Wendy Cole's dogs have both gone up the field, come in early, near the trees and failed to pick up the re-direct commands. Two retirements therefore, in quick succession. Sadly, today looks again to be adversely affected by the wind. The sheep are the ones used on Friday.

8.00: Arthur Temple retired on the fetch. James Gilman has just delighted with a good run, completed with 57 seconds to spare. Two extra commands on the left hand outrun, and being off line at the very top of the fetch will have cost a few points, but, at this stage, it is good to see a finished run. The sun has started to peep out a bit, although the forecast is cloudy all day. 

8.30: The sun is still out and David Bristow has had a nice run with Parksfarm Bella. Bob Watson and Max have retired. Onto the ninth run in less than an hour and a half.

9.00: Mark Day, Jim Nichols and Norman Ireland have all retired on the fetch. Tony Griffiths has stayed out and reached the pen, where he ran out of time, having had a very slow lift. 

9.30: The sun has gone and the wind has increased in strength. Thomas Longton and Tot have had some nice driving but timed up in the single, where an uncollared ewe was determined to go with the collared one.  Colin Pickford also reached the single but after two unsuccessful attempts he timed up. The first scores have been posted. David Bristow is leading on 180.

11.00: Ray Edwards risked the right hand outrun. The dog crossed very high up the field and was unable to hear the commands to correct him. Stephen Duckworth and Barney were called off in the single. Val Powell and Cully had a nice round, penned well but time and the sheep got the better of them after several attempts at the single. Roderick Hayes and Astley Ned had some good outfield work but under hand had problems and timed up at the pen. Peter Wood and Floss retired. David Henderson had some good driving but timed up in the single. There have been some light showers and the wind persists.

11.50: Paul Johnson and Bo went well and completed. John Marsh and Craig got up the field well but the wind got the better of them on the fetch and they retired. Wind is gusting more now. Rob Moore and Nidderdale Jill completed their run despite increasingly windy gusts to much applause. The number of spectators has grown. Local committee chairman, Dick Roper, has had a stylish finish with Spot for another completion. 

12.00: The last run before the Brace was Gavin Fearon with Meg. They have just stayed out their time though not completing the single. The sun is currently shining which makes it all more pleasant. The judges, Carol Worgan and David Kennard, are replaced by Derek Scrimgeour and Tony Rofe who are judging the Brace. 

12.30: Ricky Hutchinson, running Fly and Sweep, is the first runner in the Brace for today. In contrast to the other Brace competitors, Ricky sent his right hand dog first. It arrived well before the one sent to the left. Their completed run was well appreciated by the increasing number of spectators. 

1.00: The crowd, which is quite considerable now, was entertained by the sheep in Katy Cropper's Brace run. Twice, one sheep ran up behind Katy after she had the split, so she had to shed again. The third time it attempted this, she managed to stop it from joining the others. While it was enjoyed by the spectators it will have cost Katy a lot of points on what had otherwise been a fair run. Katy lost her hat to the wind but got both packets penned with four minutes remaining. 

1.15: George Bonsall makes it three completed Brace runs for today. Brace scores and therefore the name of the Champion awaited. 

2.30: Ricky Hutchinson is the National Brace Champion. George Bonsall is the runner up and joins the English Brace team.
The first of the afternoon's singles runs was Tom Lawrenson with Max. An extra command on the outrun sent the dog on the correct path to the left and they completed a nice run. Jim Cropper and Nidderdale Nidd timed up in the single but at least we are getting some points on the board today. Gordon Watt's Storm missed the sheep on the right hand outrun so a retirement. Lesley Lock and Moss timed up in the ring. Matt Watson and Shinehill Morse have completed. Dare it be said, the sun has been shining for a while now. Fewer dogs have been sent right today and therefore more have got to the top. David Wood has braved a right hand outrun though and sent the dog on over the brow on the right track to the top. They too have completed. 

3.00: Just as it looks as though runs are getting better, we have three more retirements. Commentators' curse!! 

3.30: Nij Vyas completed the course. George Smithson was disqualified with Jan in the single. The sheep have been running well on the whole. Less touchy than yesterday and less heavy than on day one. 

4.00: Robin Dean reached the pen but fell below the standard. Tom Huddleston's young Ola has retired. Sue Little and Bryn had a reasonable start to her run, but mistakes in the shed put her below the standard. 

4.20: The wind is not as persistent and is more gusty. On the whole, runs are less affected by it and we have seen some better scores at times today. That said, John Carter has retired withJay. George Redpath has also retired with Scott after being high on the cross drive and going to the top side of the gates. 

5.00: Retirement for Norman Delgarno. John Palmer and Dot have finished. The sheep are much easier to pen today. 

5.30: They are still not easy in the ring though. Shirley Cropper has timed up before the single, having spent a while getting the shed. She penned well though Merrill Fox and Bob picked up the sheep well. Some points lost on the middle part of the fetch and at the drive gates put them below the standard. John Thomas dropped below the standard with Nap in the shedding. Alison Smith and Lil had wide turns on their drive but had the sheep moving at a steady pace. They were also called off in the ring.

6.00: Jane Harper and Lil retired. One to go on what is now a sunny afternoon with a breeze. The shadows of the oak trees on the course are getting longer.  Last to run, David Cole, retired after the pen. We wait for the running order for the two run offs. 

6.15: Run off for reserve are the elements of OLF and pen. Thomas Longton runs first. Dog sent to left. A swift pen completes Thomas' run. Ed Hawkins sends his dog to the right. An extra command on the outrun and the fetch is good. They too have a good pen.  Only two ran for the reserve.

6.30: The running order for Champion/Captain is James Howard, Derek Scrimgeour and David Wood. A full fifteen minute course for this run off. James sent his dog to the right. Dog blown out. Smooth lift. Sheep and dog out of sight on the fetch but stayed on line. Coming at a slow canter. Caught fetch gates. Steadier near the handler. Not so tidy round the post but drive away looking good. A slight kink before gates but caught. Quick turn. Getting high on the cross drive but corrected. Caught gates and tidy turn. On line back to the ring. Shed and pen achieved quickly, single accepted. One down, two to go. 

6.40: Derek sends Fleece right. A whistle bends her out further after the first set of five oaks. Another whistle sends her out and she lands in the right place.  A bi twisty at the start of the fetch and they disappear heading slightly off line but re-appear in the right place. Through the gates and sheep looking towards the exhaust in the left corner of the field. Dog keeps them on line. A few small turns on the drive away. Caught gates and very tight turn here. Turned back down a touch but on a good cross drive line now. Hit gates. Into ring smoothly. Shed, penned and singled. Hard to call as to who is ahead. Certainly the first two have put the pressure on the last competitor. 

6.55: David Wood and Sally are also going right. No more commands until right near the top, where several whistles given. Slow to lift. The wind has picked up. The sheep are finally on the move. Nice trot down the fetch. The sheep moving nicely for the dog and on the drive away looking good. Stopped before the gates to graze but on and through. Bit low on the cross drive but corrected quickly. Caught gates and tidy turn. Sheep stop again to graze. David was caught by the bell in the single, after taking longer than the others to shed and pen. Three good runs though. 

7.30: The reserve is Ed Hawkins with Bill. In the runoff to decide the Champion and Team Captain, David Wood came third, Derek Scrimgeour second, so the winner is

James Howard and Wisp. Congratulations! And well done to everyone who took part, especially to the England Team members.