The créme de la créme of sheepdogs from Ireland and Britain came to Co Wicklow for the International Sheepdog Trial 2023 – a three-day event that saw one of 60 dogs and their handlers winning the Supreme Championship.
On the rolling expansive of Three Castle Farm near Blessington, Co Wicklow, participants gathered for the three days of trials.
The competition comes to Ireland every four years, rotating though each of the competitor countries.
Qualifying rounds in each nation see 15 sheepdogs eventually make it through to the international competition that is held every September.
Eamon Connell of the International Sheepdog Society says it a huge event in the sheepdog calender, stating, “the International Sheepdog Trial 2023 is the longest running premier sheepdog event in the world. Every year its a big draw and it’s the one all the handlers from the four home nations want to run in. They call them the home nations because that’s where trialing originated.”
The sheepdogs, all border collies, are highly trained for herding sheep, and are said by many to be the most intelligent dogs in the world.