Ed Hawkins, of Flockstars fame, joins judges at the East Anglian Sheepdog Society’s Sheepdogs in the Park competition

EASS Shepherd Neal Rouse in action at Ickworth Park

EASS Shepherd Neal Rouse in action at Ickworth Park - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of spectators flocked to Ickworth Park today to enjoy a day of sheepdog trials.

The event, organised by the East Anglian Sheepdog Society, has been held at Ickworth, near Bury St Edmunds, since the early 1980s.

Throughout the day, 51 working sheepdogs and about 30 dog-handlers from all over the country took part in the annual challenge which this year was judged by Megan Jenkins, from Thetford.

Among those scoring highly in the trials was 29-year-old Ed Hawkins from Nedging, who was an advisor on the recent Flockstars television show.

Mr Hawkins took overall first place in the open competition with his dog Max, gaining 85 points out of a possible 100.


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He also secured third place in the same competition with another dog, Troy. In addition he scooped top honours in the ‘best drive of sheep’ challenge, also with Max.

Claire Neal with her dog, Blake, came second in the open challenge with 79 points. The ‘outrun, lift and fetch’ competition was won by Bob Wilden with Sam. The pair also topped the novice category.

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In addition to the serious business there was also a lighthearted dog show with 18 classes.

Kath Perry, trials secretary, said: “We held a fun dog show which was very well supported with around 180 entries across all sorts of classes including ‘dog the judges would most like to take home’ and ‘waggiest tale’.

“The weather held out for us too which helped to make it a lovely day.”

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