I am very proud to have received the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2020 Award which puts the Nij Vyas Sheepdog experience in the Top 10% of Attractions in the World. This is a tremendous achievement. I have been running the experience days for members of the non-farming community for over 20 years and the event is becoming more and more popular. Held at Launde Abbey and surrounding countryside this is a very “honest” experience where participants are given a full taste of what makes the Border Collie dog the world’s premier herding dog. The scenery is beautiful and the food at Launde is of very high quality and reasonably priced. The experience involves demonstrations with 4 of Nij’s successful winning dogs working the 60-acre parkland at Launde working a commercial flock of Aberfield sheep, which are testing, and make for an entertaining day. Clients are given hands-on experience also working with Jake and Mist, both of whom have represented England. They are also informed about sheep and dog Psychology and how young dogs start out with sheep. The day is popular whether you have dogs or not and having up to 500 sheep run towards you can be exhilarating and exciting.
Cotswold Open 2018
Held on the same ground as the International last year this testing course with an outrun of 1100 yards to the right proved a very challenging one. Todd running second on the day ran out confidently and taking 4 commands on the move, arrived to find a single ewe had separated. He returned her to the flock before a good fetch, with a handler error after negotiating the bridge, as to the correct line. Running on 10 fresh Suffolk crosses all day, the rest of the course was straightforward, with tidy lines good shed and pen. The sheep were consistent all day, though perhaps the heat did make them a little heavier in the afternoon.
Cody, running in the mid-afternoon sun again ran out well, with 5 whistles on the move. The fetch was the worst of our elements with the sheep pulling strongly to their right and Cody not quite flanking enough to straighten them up onto the correct line. The hardest part was returning the sheep to the bridge to continue the fetch. Young Cody, for the first time, was challenging and needed strong persuasion to trust me. Thereafter his performance was, as it has been all summer, sublime negotiating all the hurdles with good lines and finishing well.
Todd finished 3rd and Cody 6th.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly Tom Huddlestone with Ola who put up a memorable run. This dog is an absolute class above the rest on big courses and was a deserved winner. James Dumbleton with Sid was runner-up with a good run late on. James and Sid showed up very well at Deerplay earlier this month.
Big thanks to Dick Roper for giving us the chance to run on this amazing course after our appetites were wet following the International. It was sad not to see Ricky there, who I believe was celebrating his birthday, but I think many of us were celebrating far more!
1 Tom Huddleston – Ola
2 James Dumbleton – Sid
3 Nij Vyas – Todd
4 Tim Longton – Roy
5 Kelvin Broad – Levi
6 Nij Vyas -Cody
Had a wonderful opportunity to meet students from Myerscough Agricultural College, Lancashire, at Launde today . I give a short demonstration with Todd and the Aberfield sheep that are being piloted here. Having found it very hard to get advice when I first started I made it my goal in life to to be generous with advice, particularly to young people. The sheepdog world and trialling needs youngsters to take up the discipline and give it a much need boost. Hill farm is very progressive and running some two and a half thousand sheep. Each year 600 Aberfield gimmers are brought in to top up the numbers. Approximately 1800 are lambed each year.