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MoD says sorry to Bala triallist

The Ministry of Defence has apologised after a low flying military aircraft interrupted events at the first day of the first ever World Sheepdog Trials in Bala, Gwynedd.

A jet circled above the trial site contrary to previous assurances from the MOD that a temporary avoidance was in operation.

A member of the French contingent was midway through her qualifying routine when the jet flew over head, but was granted a re-run. "I was very disappointed when I was interrupted by the jet," said 42-year old Annie Le Roux from the Roscoff area of Brittany.

"It was enough to make Ladji the dog disorientated and he failed to perform to form on the second attempt," she added

Organisers of the four-day trails were told the Ministry of Defence were investigating the breach of the no-flying request, and were hopeful there would be no further similar incidents.

The event was visited by more than 2000 people on the first day of the qualifying rounds.

"We're delighted with the numbers who came through the gate today," said event organiser, Ruth Frazer.

"With the week-end coming up we're well on course to make the first world sheepdog trials a resounding success," she added.
A five-year-old collie, which spends its winter months frightening birds away from one of Europe's busiest airports, led the pack in the semi-finals of the first ever World Sheepdog Trials in Bala, Gwynedd.

Roy, with the help of handler, Serge Van der Sweep from Arnhem in the Netherlands, managed 404 points out of a possible 440.

Further news from the World Sheepdog Trials at Bala will feature in a forthcoming OUR DOGS.