Feystown teen wins national sheepdog competition

Jake Hamilton pictured with his dog Jim at the North of Ireland Sheepdog Society Nursery Final in 2011. INLT 43-061-PSB-Trials
Jake Hamilton pictured with his dog Jim at the North of Ireland Sheepdog Society Nursery Final in 2011. INLT 43-061-PSB-Trials
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Glenarm teenager Jake Hamilton is celebrating double success in the national “One Man and His Dog” sheepdog competition final.

As well as helping secure a win for Ireland, Jake was also delighted to bring home the “Outstanding Handler” award with the help of his four-year-old collie Jim.

The sheepdog managed to pen sheep 12 minutes ahead of his closest rival.

Their skills combined togive Ireland the overall win seeing off competition from England, Scotland and Wales.

The trial took place in the Cotswolds and was screened as part of the popular BBC “Countryfile” show.

Previously, Jake represented Ireland at international level as a young handler when his ability was spotted by the BBC at a competition in Wales .

Proud mum Jackie said: “We are very delighted for him. Everything has come together for him.

“It was lovely to see him on TV and hear all the reviews and to hear the commentary. It was so positive.”

She indicated that 18-year-old Jake, a past pupil, of Slemish College in Ballymena got his first dog at the age of 14.

“Jake then progressed to working with and training dogs. He was always an outdoors child and was interested in working with sheep and all that goes with it and he has a flair for working with dogs.

“There has to be a connection with the sheepdog and Jake just hit it off with Jim from the start.

“He will just keep perfecting his craft as a lot can depend on the weather and the sheep.

“We are delighted. It is a great achievement for the two of them and a real honour to be picked for such a well-established programme.”

The episode included an interview with “Countryfile” presenter Adam Henson who visited Jake at his Feystown home.

Jackie continued: “Adam Henson spent a day with him. He saw Jake working the sheep and watched him training other dogs.”

Adam praised Jake’s “powerful whistle” and said that Jim was so responsive, he was “like a robot”.

The family celebrated Jake’s success with a party.