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Ryedale Rules 2023


Nursery trials

1. All competitors must be a member of the RSDS. Annual subscription is £5.00

2. The society or the organisers reserve the right to limit entries, but this must be declared in the advertising before the trial.

3. Handlers with more than one dog must enter the first by 12.00. All dogs must be booked in by 1.00.

4. 2 and 1 points will be awarded to the best and second best run booked in before 11.

5. Trials organisers can call off a trial if the weather makes  conditions impossible to  hold a trial. Competitors must check with the host before setting off in bad weather.

6. The host reserves the right to refuse any member entry to their trial.

7. The secretary is not responsible for informing members of cancelled trials.

8. The organisers can close a trial at any time if there are no dogs left to run.  Points will be awarded to those who did run.

9. If conditions or unforeseen events cause a trial to be abandoned while there are still competitors waiting to run, points will be given if fifteen or more dogs have run.

10.  Eligible Nursery dogs will not have won any prizes of any sort in any trial other than a Nursery except a Young Handler place. Two firsts in a Nursery season eliminate that dog from the next year’s Nurseries. The Nursery trial season runs from April of one year to the end of March the next, put points for places only given between October to March.

11. A Nursery dog can complete its Nursery season if it is placed in an Open trial after the 1st of the October Nurseries of that season.

12. Young Handlers (under 25 at the start of the season) and New Handlers (defined as some one just coming into the sport) may run an Open dog, but not be eligible for any prize.

13. Prizes £3, £2.50, £2.00, £1.50, £1 and £1. Cards also to 7th and 8th. Championships £3, £2, and £1.

14. The final qualifying trial  for the English Nursery finals will a fortnight before the entry closing date, from dogs who have run in at least 5 Nursery trials.

15. The team for the Inter – Club will be chosen the week before the set date, from dogs who have competed in at least 5 trials.

16. Final Ryedale Nursery A.M trial, 10.00 start, 1 man one dog, dogs must have run at least 5 times in Ryedale Nurseries that winter ( and if there is time when all have run their first dog, people may run a second dog ) 1.00 P.M Championships. The draw includes a number for the potential winner of the A.M. Nursery before the championship. If the aggregate at the final nursery trial results in two people on equal points, the positions will be decided by points gained at the Inter-club.

17. In the interests of reducing stress to the sheep, the judge can time up the trial when the competitor has lost all his pen points, without loss of the competitor’s trial points.

18. Any dog rough handling the sheep will be called off at the judge's discretion.

19. Be aware that running orders are flexible for various reasons. The ultimate responsibility for noting changes does rest with the handlers.


20. Any member who is guilty of conduct which, in the opinion of the officials of the Ryedale Society, breaches the rules of the Society, brings the Society into disrepute, commits any disciplinary offence of which the forgoing is a non-exhaustive list, shall, at the discretion of Officials of the RSDS, be reported officially to the ISDS for them to take any further action deemed necessary.

Open Trials 2023.

 The entry fee is £5.00

2. The prizes will be £25, £20, £15, £10, £8 and £5.

3. If less than 30 dogs are present, prize money will be adjusted to 20,15,12, 10,8 and 5 pounds

4. One dog only on second time over sheep.  See notes below for admin guidence.  

6. The winner will be expected to judge the following year, if required.

7. All open trials will incorporate a shed.

8. To qualify as the ‘Highest Pointed Member at the National’ for the Fred Jones trophy, a ‘member’ is defined as a ‘working committee member, some one who has put on trials, judged, helped turn out sheep and, if eligible for more than one inter-club team, chose Ryedale'.

5. Competitors with more than 2 dogs may book in as per Rule 4, only one dog may be run one second time over sheep. 

6. For discussion at the AGM... 2023

'You are not expected address perceived faults in the management of a trial by tackling fellow members in an aggressive manner likely to cause distress.'


At the AGM 8.10.2022, the rule 4 was replaced by 'Only one dog may be run on re– run sheep. There is no final booking in time, BUT the trial is over when there is no one left on the course to run'.

Advertising/Booking in

Nos. of sheep available divided by number in each pkt = number of runs you can provide, so the host can say at, approximately, what run the sheep will go back.

The sheep can go back when convenient, so long as not mixed with un- run sheep.

‘Leave No Spaces on the Booking in sheet’ was also proposed but is fiercely rejected by many competitors. Amend to ‘ … where reasonable’ on the understanding that, if you book in and the gaps are not filled in, you run.


Remember that  trials are run by volunteers. They are not you, the competitor's, employees. They are there before the start, setting up, sorting sheep, tracking trophies, and some have travelled a couple of hours to do this. They will still be there at the end, taking the course down, and sorting the prizes for those who have gone home.

Ryedale Sheepdog Society members have always given time and effort into helping show committees put on all the local shows around us. We, and the show committees involved, have a similar problem; a diminishing workforce.

The shows have responded well to the situation. as explained to them in 2022, by either allowing us to put trials on in our fields with our own sheep, increasing their input of staff and equipment, or ( in Thornton's case, where since Covid canceeled their show, we ran it at Pickering) taking it back into their own hands completely.

Putting on a sheepdog trial at a country show is not the same as putting on a Ryedale trial, and final responsibilty for a local show trial does remain with the Show trial committee.



Malton Agricultural Society

At our AGM 2222 the members discussed the country show trials as managed up till this year, with a view to finding an alternative venue on one or other of the members' fields and sheep. This letter was sent to Malton and to RydelaleShow committees by e mail 'Malton/Rydale show trial is a nice venue, with fine, strong sheep. But our team is getting older and we have little prospect,it seems, of attracting young workers to set up and turn out. So reluctant were the sheep to leave the pen that their size and speed represented something of a problem for the lads at the top.

Rather than give up entirely, if you like to support us with prizes in return for our entry fees, we can carry on at one of our own, as we have done for the last two years, very successfully, in the case of Thornton Dale show.

The present team have retired from the job, so if Malton/Ryedale Show society still wishes to have a trial on show day I am afraid we can no longer provide the manpower.'


Regretfully, Jackie Goulder, Sec Ryedale Sheepdog society



Anne Welham

Mon, Oct 24, 8:22 AM

to me

Hello Jackie


Thank you for your e mail.


We have a meeting in November the show AGM we will try and find alternatives and have a chat with you before hand see what we can come up with.


We as a show appreciate all the hard work you put in for our show.


Many thanks

Anne Welham


These issues,and any others arising, should be considered for discussion in the Open Trial meeting held towards the end of the Nursery season 2023



Notes for Secretary

Advertise Ryedale trials, with rules, start times and directions to venues. Make every effort to inform of changes, by phone, email and social media, acknowledging that the final responsibilty for keeping oneself informed does rest with you, the competior.

Record members

Book in, provide running order sheets, prize cards

Take care of entry money, work with Treasurer

Record trial results

Keep track of the trophies...on going engraving to be done, attention to detail with names and dates.

Prize cards, mending and engraving trophies from the Print and Trophy Shop in Malton 


First week in October,  enter the selected team when advised.


A quick request.

Please, please remember that the trials are run by volunteers. they are not you, the competitor's, employees. They are there before the start, setting up, sorting sheep, tracking trophies, and some have traveled a couple of hours to do this.They will still be there at the end, taking the course down, and sorting the prizes for those who have gone home.

Please do not address percieved faults in the management of trials by tackling fellow members in an agressive way likely to cause distress.

It's a day out, it's a sheepdog trial.  Just be kind, and enjoy the day.

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