Enfer ISDS World Sheep Dog Trials - 2005 HOME

The Flags from the twenty-one countries
represented were held high in the
Tullamore town square
Thursday 7 July 2005: The Enfer ISDS World Sheep Dog Trials commenced last night in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. Led by the St. Brigids Pipe Band, dogs and handlers from the 21 countries represented at the event paraded to a welcoming ceremony in O'Connor Square. The procession was an assemblage of color as each team followed their country's flag along the parade route.Several hundred townspeople joined competitors and visitors from around the world to hear welcoming remarks from trial organizers and local officials.
!n this festive atmosphere, children mingled with some of the best working sheep dogs in the world and handlers socialized freely with each other, belying the intensity that began with the today's qualifying rounds. More than 240 dogs are expected to compete in qualifying rounds on Thursday and Friday, with the top 42 dogs advancing to a semi-final on Saturday, and top 16 from Saturday competing for the Enfer ISDS World Sheep Dog Champion for 2005.
The Welsh had lots of
supporters along the
parade route.
Thursday's qualifying round began under threatening skies, but the rain stayed away for the most part. Running on three fields, competitors began trialing at 8:00 am and continued throughout the day. Qualifying trials lasted until nearly 8:00 pm on Field 3, where the sheep were reported to be difficult. The best run of the day was recorded on Field 2 by Mr. M. Doherty of Ireland with Craig, who scored 205 of a possible 220 points. The best run on Field 1 was 188 by Mr. D. I. Morgan of Wales with Mirk. On Field 3 a score of 193 by Mr. C. McGarry of Ireland with Dan was the highest.

Mr. R. Roth (Switzerland) and
Lady are happy to have
completed their run on Thursday.
Perhaps the sentimental favorite of the day was Miss Haley Howard from California, who entered two dogs neither of which was able to compete. One could not travel from the U.S. because of illness, while the other was denied entry into the U.K. at Heathrow because authorities could not locate its microchip. Using her mother's dog Spot on Field 1, she had a good run going until the cross-drive panel and timed-out after the pen due to a difficult first shed, leaving the field to appreciative applause. A score of 144 failed to qualify her and Spot for the semi-final.
The top seven runs on each field from today's trial, 21 competitors in all, advanced to the semi-finals on Saturday. Notable qualifiers from Thursday include former International Supreme Champions John Wilson, Bobby Dalziel and Bobby Henderson, current Irish National Champion Con McGarry and former Continental Champion Serge van der Zweep. With first day qualifiers representing Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Wales, the Enfer ISDS World Sheep Dog Trials for 2005 promises to be a truly international event!

Another 21 competitors will attempt to qualify for the semi-final on Friday.