posted on September 6th, 2018

Royal Visitor At Sheepdog Trial


Thousands of local, national and international visitors descended on Dromore’s Gill Hall Estate when the International Sheepdog Trial 2018 got under way this week.

More than 600 dogs and 300 top handlers from the UK and Ireland went through their paces to secure a place for the competitive three-day event. Vying for the title of ‘International Supreme Champion’ among a range of top titles, the trial kicked off on Thursday 6th September and runs until Saturday 8th September at the stunning country estate.

John McCullough (President of the International Sheep Dog Society) looks on as Tom Huddleston (Chairman of the International Sheep Dog Society) welcomes Princess Anne to the Sheepdog Trial at Gill Hall Estate, Dromore on Thursday 6th September.
Julie Flaherty (Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council) pictured with Ellie and Katie McCullough.

Supported by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, this key international event is expected to attract more than 12,000 visitors to the area who will enjoy the grandstand, family-friendly spectacle.

International Sheepdog Society National president and organiser, John McCullough, said: “This is a major event in the international sheep dog trialling calendar and I’m delighted that Northern Ireland, and particularly Dromore, has the opportunity to host what is a thrilling event which everyone will enjoy.”

Princess Anne was the special visitor on Thursday 6th September; also present was Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Julie Flaherty who said: “Renowned for its natural beauty and intriguing history, Dromore’s Gill Hall Estate provides an exceptional and unique backdrop for this exciting international event and we look forward to welcoming the thousands of participants and visitors to this wonderful part of Northern Ireland. This important event provides us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate the warmth of our welcome, our award-winning food and drink and our exceptional hospitality offer.”

Established in 1906, the annual event was last held in Co Down, Northern Ireland in 2002 when it took place at Seaforde Estate.

Walter Ferris (Chairperson of Donaghcloney Community Garden Group), Alderman Ian Burns, Julie Flaherty (Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council), Robbie Butler (Lagan Valley MLA), Kyle Savage (TADA Rural Support Network) and Alderman Arnold Hatch.
Julie Flaherty (Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council) looks on as Ellie and Katie McCullough present flowers to Princess Anne.