Richard Fawcett

Sheep dog demonstrations

Richard Fawcett…
Sheep Dog Demonstrations & International Trialist.

Working Sheep Dogs
as seen on TV...

Demonstrations

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Demonstration Times & Prices

The demonstrations in 2021 will take place regardless of weather conditions every Thursday starting May 6th.

Demonstration times:
May, June, July, and August. Start time: 6.30pm.
September & October . 2.30pm;
Duration approx. 1hour 15minutes.

We do start promptly at the above times, so please arrive early.

Demonstration Prices
Admission charge: £5.00 adult, children up to age 5 are free,
aged 5 to 15 are £1.00.
NO prebooking. Pay ONLY at the gate.
Social distancing and strict hygene observed.


The show is geared for all the family with lots to keep both old and young entertained. Richard gives an introductory talk on local farming history, the area, the sheep, and his dogs.
The action is interspersed with more interesting information and anecdotes, and concludes with an opportunity to ask questions.

There will be an opportunity to watch Richard and his dogs in a working environment showing:

  • flock work
  • a typical sheepdog trial
  • young dogs at various stages of training and ability
  • two dogs working together

About Richard

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Sheepdog handler & demonstrator

Richard Fawcett, a local farmer and sheepdog handler, has been demonstrating his working sheepdogs on a regular basis for over 30 years at his farm in beautiful Upper Wensleydale, near Hawes. During all that time, he has also been involved in sheepdog trialling and has featured in several TV programmes.
“Learn about the trials and tribulations of hill farming at weekly sheepdog demos run in the summer by farmer Richard Fawcett...” as featured in The Guardian and the Yorkshire Post.

In 1987, Richard did a sheepdog demonstration on the farm for the local church. It was so popular that he decided to do a few more that summer. Since then, from May to October, every Thursday, " rain or shine ", on the Old Golf Links, half way between Hawes and Hardraw, there's been a demo.

Since 1918, The Croft, Hardraw has been farmed by 5 generations of the Fawcett family. Richard, being the 4th family member, has lived in the village all but 4 years of his life. Until 1992, it was a sheep and dairy cow enterprise. More recently, it has become a predominantly sheep farm with an accompanying small herd of Simmental and Limousin beef cattle....


An introduction to sheep dogs by Richard...




Working...

Without the dogs, it would be impossible to run a farm like this. They are referred to as Sheepdogs, but, in fact, their proper name is Border Collie. Their work instinct is second to none. At a very early age, they will begin " eyeing ", or stalking the sheep, and wanting to herd them. But not only sheep; they are keen to work cattle, horses, pigs, and all manner of poultry too. Throughout much of the year, they are working most days. At lambing time, in the Spring, they are exceptionally busy. Gathering the flocks, during Summer, for dosing, for shearing, footbathing, and general care, requires them to be really fit. The Autumn sales preparation keep man and dog occupied on a day to day basis. Only in winter are the demands on the dog not so onerous, but even then, the increasingly pregnant ewes must be checked for husbandry needs.




The Dogs...

2021 dogs are Lola, Keef, Rafa, Cap, and Croft.
Lola is now 8 years old, home bred, daughter of my daughter's Maddie, is my main stay. Very talented, courageous, endless stamina and pluck. Sheer class and beautiful with it.
Keef is 4, has a lovely temperament and the brains of a much older dog.
He has already won several Open sheepdog trials and is one of my best ever all round dogs.
He, and his mother, Lola, are my brace team, both on the farm, and for demonstrations. They're very compatible and that is so important.

Rafa, now 2, picked up many prizes at last winter’s nursery trials, and is an excellent, highly enthusiastic workmate.
Croft, the 3rd of Lola’s offspring, born on Valentines Day 2020, I am thoroughly enjoying training; quick as lightening, extremely enthusiastic, and, very importantly, keen to please. Cap is a new addition. A year old last December, I bought him in autumn, a real trooper with, maybe not the class of the others, but a workaholic with a great nature.


Dog Trials...

Richard began competing at sheepdog trials way back in 1975 with his first registered dog, a bitch named Nell. A few years on, the pair went on to represent England at the International trials at York. 2 years previously, with his 2nd dog, Zeus, he competed for England at the Blair Atholl ( Scotland ) International.
Subsequently, having done much trial judging in England, he was invited to judge in Florida, USA. This led to 16 visits to the States and Canada, over a period of 10 years, judging over 60 trials, and giving numerous sheepdog training clinics. Three times, he has judged in South Africa, including their Nationals on 2 occasions.
For many years, other commitments restricted the number of trials he could attend. But now, with Lola and Keef, he is frequently competing all over the North of England.




Latest news...


For the past 4 years Lola has had a litter of pups each winter. 26 in all.
I decided, this year, not to breed, and let her concentrate on work, demos, and trials. Very few Open trials were held in 2020, but, from late August, Lola and Keef competed at 6 trials, gaining 2 firsts, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, and 2 fourths.


What some of our visitors have said...

"I really enjoyed watching Richard demonstrate the dogs’ abilities. He and the dogs are very highly skilled. A pleasure to see..."
Pete. 2018

"Totally enthralling to watch. I couldn’t believe the skills of the dogs and Richard. Not to be missed as part of your Dales visit..."
Jan. 2018

"Great to see the dogs being put through their paces by Richard. Totally unique.
Probably not see this in many places..."
Eric 2018 v


See real working sheep dogs...