Sheepdog trials return to BBC ALBA

Donald MacSween and Catriona MacPhee will present the very best action from the trialling scene.

Donald MacSween and Catriona MacPhee will present the very best action from the trialling scene.

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Sheepdogs, the ever-popular BBC ALBA series, returns this January and once again showcases the best competition from national and international sheepdog trials across the UK and Ireland.

Across eight programmes, Donald MacSween and Catriona MacPhee will present the very best action from the trialling scene.

In programmes one and two, Donald and Catriona visit trials at Harelaw and Blairgowrie.

At Harelaw, a rough terrain doesn’t appear to affect the quality of runs from David Kinloch and Nell, Jock Welsh and Cree and Stuart Davidson and Queen.

At Blairgowrie, meanwhile, the big handlers compete, with Ian Brownlie, Neil Campbell, John McKillop and Jock Welsh all aiming to chalk up some season points. Everyone performs well but it’s Rook who runs an almost perfect run for handler Andy Carnegie.

The third, fourth and fifth programmes in the series take us to Stranraer for the Scottish National championship as we witness who becomes the champion – and who will make the Scottish team for the international competition. Among those competing are Neil Gillon, Scott Renwick and 2015 world champion, Michael Shearer.

For programmes six to eight, we travel to Wales for the international sheepdog trial which is being held on the Cardigan Bay coast of southern Gwynedd.

Three days of competition reaches a climax with the Supreme Championship and there is an intense finish as Kevin Evans and Ci score high on the first run.

Irish captain James McLaughlin, running Dan, is incredibly close but his run is interrupted when the judges realise the packet is missing a collared sheep. With the tension high on the restart, are the remaining 30 seconds enough for James to beat Kevin’s run?

Sheepdogs is an eight-part entertainment series produced for BBC ALBA by mneTV.

The programmes will be broadcast on the BBC ALBA on consecutive weeks each Tuesday (starting January 3rd) at 9pm.

Each programme will also be repeated on Sundays at 9pm, with all programmes also available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days following first transmission. So don’t miss the first episode!