Sunday nights were never the same without One Man and His Dog. Marvelling at how well trained the collies were, wondering how the shepherd made those piercing whistling noises and trembling in anticipation at whether or not the sheep would finally enter the pen were a staple for many.
However, after a period away from our screens, sheepdog trials are due for a return to our screens, albeit with a few new twists.
The World Sheepdog Trials, due to air on More 4 this Thursday 15th September, will feature heartrate monitors attached to the sheep to indicate how nervous they are, and therefore how likely they will be to make a run for it, accelerometers on the dogs’ collars to record how fast they are running, super slow motion replays, landmines, GPS tracking and high definition cameras.
OK, maybe the landmines are just me getting carried away. Either way, Neil Duncanson, of TV production company North One Television, says that many of the cutting edge techniques used in more glamorous sports will be brought to bear to bring the excitement to living rooms across the UK. He should know – his company covered the high-adrenaline Formula 1 racing for over a decade for ITV.
Representing England will be Carol Mellin with Maisie who, at 9 years of age, is considered to be near the end of her sheep herding days. Carol commented:
“I just love it, it’s my passion.”
“We go to trials on a Sunday and Saturday – sometimes, if they’re close enough, you can do two or three in a day.”
Here’s hoping that the competition proves to be one last hurrah for Maisie, before she retires to her dog basket to watch it on TV like the rest of us.