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RUTHIN 6HEEP DOG TRIALS.I

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RUTHIN 6HEEP DOG TRIALS. I ■SUCCESSFUL GATHERING. [FROM OUR OWN REPOHTEK.] Easter Monday, the day selected for the holding of this gathering, had been looked forward to for a considerable time by a large number of persons, aud the weather, when the day at last did arrive, was certainly charming. The town, in conse- ouc-nce cf the decorations after Saturday's rejoic- ings not having been removed, presented a very gay aud liv. ly appearance, which was quite in harmony with the feelings of the residents and visitors. This being the first dheep dog trial held at Ruthin, no one can wonder at the members of the committee feeling a bit anxious about its sue- cess, but with the arrival of the first train that anxiety was partly set at rest. The railway com- pauy had very wisely issued cheap tickets from Rhyl, Denbigh, Corwen, &c., for the day, and the train which arrived about 9.15 a.m. brought with it hundreds of people. tJoon after the little town was all of a bustle. Stroug-built fellows walked about in groups warmly diocussing the i merits and de-merita of their respective dogs, while. the dogs themselves seemed as if they were conscious cf their temporary importance, and kept barking and growling at each other in a moat persistent manner. The members of the committee were to be seen here and there with their coloured rossettes looking exceedingly anxious and important., while the indef atigable secretary of the movement was observed witu a black satchel in his hand walking biiskly trorn. one place to another making the preliminary pr^parations for the f rials-a duty which he seemed to go into with heart and soul The time for the commencement of the proceed- ings had been appointed at ll.aOh.n., but long before then hundreds of people ha. congregated on the eminence r /erlcokirg the course where the dogg were to rjr'orm. P0^ the -me away seme were lazily lymg on the ground basking in the sun," whue others chatted and walked about with the ^e^ A refreshment tent erected on the grouua by Mr Edwards, Crown Inn, attracted a good many people, but to his credit be it aaid none left there the worse for drisk. The first c^mpetivon was that for the local stakes. Eight entries l ad been made, but only seven put in an appearance. The interest manifested by all in the trla1 was great, in consequence ot it being quite a uoveltv to many OR the ground, and dozens who when arriving there knew comparatively nothing about sheep dogs, thought themselves well versed in the art of sbeep-wcrking and sheep-penning before the trial was half-over. The sagacity and instinct of the dog?, their immediate obedience to the command at their masters, and the manner with which the, worked the sheep was something wonderful, and was admired by all. Ten minutes was allowed them to work the sheep round the ground, and five minutes to pan them. Some difficulty was experienced ty all the compet t .rs in starting the sheep, but when that was done, their work was confined t.) keeping them outside the fin's. But the most interesting part of the work was penning the sheep, who see:n«d to be greatly frightened by the new hurdles in which they were to be penned. According to the ex- pressed opini-n of those ou the ground who were acquainted with the work, this accounted for the fact that s:x out of the veven dogs in the local stakes failed; to pen their t heep. The bitch who succeeded was a black and tan named Handy, owned by Mr John Evacs, Griffin Inn. She was the last to compete in the local st j.kcs. In working the sheep she exceiieuced no difficulty worth mentioning, in consequence of her strict obcJience to the voice of her master. When she bad succeeded in bringing the sheep within a few yards of the pen, she laid down on her stomach with her eyes rigidly fixed on their move- ments. And after a brief pause drove them into the pen amid the vociferous cheers of the specta- t rs. There was nftt a shadoof doubt in the imeds of anyone as to which dog was the best, but great was the anxiety to know which would take the other prizes, and when the judges—Mr Wil- liam Leiithes, Lamplugh Hall, Cockermouth, and Mr John Jones, Mostyn-street, Llandudno, made known their decision, it was plain that it corresponded with the decision of the spectators. The prxes were awarded as follows :—1st prize, £ 3, Mr John Evm: Griffill Inn, black and tan bitch, Handy; 2iid, £ 4, Mr oha Jones, Dol Lechog. Gyffvl'bg, black and white dog, Clerk, two years and six months; 3rd, £ 2, Mr Edward Williams, Gloeaenog; 4th, £ 1, Mr Edward Thomas, Cae'r- lalleu, black, tan, and white dog, Toss, three years and four months. When the result was made knonn the spectators proceeded to the town to satisfy their hunger, and to await the commencement of the first. class competition open to all comers. By this time another train had arrived from Rhyl way, bringing in it hundreds of people. The streets were literally 'I crowded, and all seemed bent on eujoying them- selves. The good people of Ruthin wore never so busy, and it will be doubtless long before they forget the evei t of Easter Monday. Before the I competition of tho all-comers stakes began, about 1,500 people had arrived on the grounds. In the all-comers stakes It had entered, all being good dcgs.and many of them having taken lstprizes before. The first to compete was a black and tan dog named Toss, seven years, owned byr DE. Edwards, Ceryg-y-druidion. Having started the sheep he worked them well on, but at one point be failed to round the flag. But he brought the sheep back again and the second time rounded it successfully. His attempts to pen were good, and if more time had been allowed he would doubtless have succeeded, but as time was up before he could do so, he bad to retire. Driver, a àla.k and white dog, four years old, the property of G. Jones, Llaauwchilyn, started his sheep success- ftilly, but as be kept too close to them in working them round they continually went astray, and time wag called before an attempt at penning had been made. The next dog was Jury, owned by W. Williams, Conway. He worked well, but failed to pen. The same remark may apply to the dog of Mr John Roberts, Nannereh* The three and a half year deg Fanny, owned by Mr Rowlands, Llanuwchllyn, started well, and worked capitally. As he proceeded around the field his excellent command over the sheep called forth the applause of the crowd repeatedly and when he dexterously managed to pen them, the cheers were vociferous. But these cheert were turned into expressions of surprise when immediately afterwards a little lad of ab jut twelve years of age walked boldly on to the ground with a two year old black, white, and tan bitch, named Tan, owned by Mr J. L. Ro- berts, Minera. The majority of the spectators failed to conceive how such a small lad could ever hope to contend against men of years' experience, and his movements were watched with keen in- terest. His dog started the sheep well, and obeyed every command of his young maater. All the flags were succe,ehiUy:rotincled, and when the sheep neared the pen the excitement of the onlookers was intense. Having reached the pen, the sheep seemed as if thcv intended to make a run. but the dog and the Ind guessed their motive, end soon took means to check it. The command, "Lie down, Tan," was immediately obeyed aud whan the spectators least guessed it, the sheep turned, and were success fuily penned. The cheers were now deafening, handkerchiefs, hats, &c., were waved in the air on all sides, and the "iittle man" was carried on the back of some enthusiastic person all around the field. This enthusiasm having subsided, the trial was proceeded with Tutor, a 2 year old dog belonging to Moses Jones, Penmaenroawr, worked capitally, and successfully penned. This dog had taken many prizes before. The working of the dog Carlo, betongnig to Mr J. Freme, Wepre Hall, was capital, and he penned hie sheep in nine minutes alter the start. The three remaining dogs, belonging to Richard Owen, Llanfairfechan; J. Rutherford, Maes Maelor;| and W. William", Llanuwchllvn, also worked well, but failed to pen. This terminated the trials. The excitement of the spectators wis very greet, and the decision of the judges was predected by many. Some stood up for the little lad and his dog Tan, while other:! were confident that Mr Rowlands, Llanuwchllyn, 's bitch would take tho laurels. However, the bell raug and the crowd was informed that in consequence of their good woiking the dogs of Mr James Fremel and the "Htte lad" would have to repeat the trial for the first prize, and the dogs of Dr Edwards, Ceryg.y. druidion, and Mr D. Rowlands for the third. This was done, and the whole four worked their sheep aa well if not better than before and success- fully penned. The judges then met and awarded the prizes as follows:—1, £10, J. L. Roberts, Park farm, Menera (the "little lad"), 2, J65. Mr James Frome, Wcprc Hall; 3, J62, Dr Edwards, Ceryg-y-druid- ion. Major Cornwallis West said that before the I prizes were awarded he desired to congratulate the committee upon the success of this movement— the first sheep dog trial at Ruthin. These trials I were the means, not only of drawing farmers together to discuss different topics connected with agriculture, but also to stimulate farmers to train their dogs in such a way as to be useful to them. their dogs in such a way as to be useful to them. The success that had attended the trials that day was such that the committ e seriously c-jntem- pinked making it an annual occurrence (hear, hear). The sagacity of the dogo was something remarkable, and he hoped that all had eujoyed themselves that day as well as he had. He agidn congratulated the committee, aud called upoH Mrs West to award the prizes which had been so well won. I Mrs West then, amid much cheering, awarded the prizes to the successful ompetitora. Mr John Jones, butcher, Llandudno, one of the I judges, desired to explain how they came to decide in favour of the little boy. They had decided In his favour from the first (hear, hear); he had worked his sheep capitally. But somehow Or ether the sheep seemed to show more favour to his dog than to any other, and they, as judges, desired to see how the dog would work other sheep—or .:c'\me sheep as those worked of Mr Rowlands's bitch. This he did even better than I the first time, and now a¡"er having given all lair play (hear, hear), they conscientiously awarded the firat prize to him. But fcherr "was another dog J which had worked capitally—the ucg of Dr Edwards, Ceryg-y-druidion (cheers). They had I recommended the committee to award him a fourth prize, and he was glad to toil them that they had decided to do so. Eve« if they had j reeved to award one, they, as judges, would have given him a prfzc themselves (cneers). The crowd then disp -tsed, mid left the grounds, The trials throughout: were a perfect success, and we congratulate the comm.ttee on the fact. Mr Edward Humphreys, Castle-stie t, worked inde- fatigably throughout. «nd no doubt much of the success is to be attributed to him. The tria's were held under the patronage ot M^jor Cornwallis West, who is the president of the commitr.ee, Messrs W. Davies, Llystase, aud Mkhael Thomas, Caerfallen, being vise-presidents. At t-cven o clock a public dinner was held at the Castle Hotel, under the preside ucy of ajor West. I There was a good attendance, ,.nll a v.vy pleasant evening was tpent.

A WELSH MOUNTAIN ON FIRE.I

IJUMBO'S VOyAGE.

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EASTERTIDE..

RELEASE OF MR PARNELL.

HOLYWELL.

SCHOOL BOARD MONTHLY MEETING.

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