Irish National sheepdog championships at Rossglass

Irish National sheepdog championships at Rossglass

7 August 2019

ROSSGLASS is to host this year’s search to find the Irish National champion sheepdog.

Each year 150 of the top dogs on the island of Ireland and the Isle of Man come together to compete for the coveted title.

The highest placed dogs and their handlers are rewarded with the honour of going forward to represent Ireland in the International championships held each year in September.

The competition is being held on the farm of Mr and Mrs Bernard Venney on the Minerstown Road, starting next Thursday and continuing until the following Saturday.

The local committee  indebted to the Venney family for the use of the land.  

The top five dogs from each day go to make up the final team with the top pointed competitor on each of the three days competing in a run-off on Saturday evening for the coveted honour of becoming the 2019 Irish National champion. 

The local sheepdog fraternity are well represented in the list of competitors with previous Irish National champions John Maginn, Frankie McCullough and local committee chairman, Allister Lyttle, previous Irish team members John Rooney and Peter Morgan along with Susan Venney, who will all pit their wits against well-known handlers in the hope of getting a chance to earn a coveted place on the Irish team. 

At lunch time each day the brace competition will take place with three competitors each day, each handling two dogs, competing for two places as Irish national brace champion and runner-up to represent their country in the International brace competition in September. This will be a chance to see last year’s Irish National and International Brace champion John Maginn attempt to retain his title.   

To stage a high profile event such as this takes a lot of hard work and commitment and the local committee, under the chairmanship of Allister Lyttle, ably assisted by vice-chairman John Maginn, secretary John Brennan and treasurer Seamus Maginn, coupled with the astute advice of past Irishl president John McCullough, has been working in the background for the past year to make sure the even will be a success. 

The committee is indebted to everyone who supported the many avenues of fundraising undertaken, especially to Newry Mourne and Down Council and Glen Farm Supplies who have come onboard as event sponsors. 

The trial field itself is just off the Minerstown Road. The competition starts each day at 8am and continues until 6pm.

To get to the field from Clough, go to the Newcastle end of the village and turn left into the A2 Blackstaff road and follow the signs for Tyrella and Killough. Stay on the A2 for approximately 7.4 miles and the entrance to the trial will be signposted on the left hand side of the Minerstown Road.