This year's Welsh National Sheepdog Trials, organised by the International Sheepdog Society, is being held at the 2,500 acre Penbedw Estate in Nannerch.

In order to succeed the dogs have to drive five sheep towards the handler from 400m away.

Video and images by Geoff Abbott

They have to guide the sheep through three gates before shedding one of two sheep that are wearing red collars in the shedding ring.

The competitors gain marks for driving the sheep through three gates, then shedding and penning the sheep within a time limit.

Points can be lost if the sheep stop to graze or the handler loses control of the flock.

The trial is timed over fifteen minutes and ends when all the sheep have been penned then brought back to the shedding ring for the single shed.

The secretary of the society Janine Rees-Denman from Babell said this will be the first year the trials have been live streamed and will be seen by fans all around the world.

The top 15 competitors win £125 each and will go on to compete in the international sheepdog trials later this year in Ireland.

“The trials don’t come to North Wales every year because it alternates between here and South Wales,” said Mrs Rees-Denman.

“There are 150 competitors this year and there’s a real interest in dog trials now.

“People are viewing it a quite a trendy sport and we get an awful lot of spectators.

“We’re expecting 300 visitors for the first two days and 500 for the last day depending on the weather.

“The Penbedw estate has 2,500 acres and the sheepdog trials are doing very well in Flintshire,” she said.

Pennant Williams from Treuddyn was the third competitor with his three- year- old collie Preseli Bob.

Mr Williams, 78, said he started sheepdog trials 20 years ago and has competed in Europe in the international trials.

Mr Williams said he struggled to control Bob after a superb drive towards the shedding ring

“Bob went out alright and brought them down as well but after that he lost his head a bit.

“I will be competing again on Saturday but I will use my other dog Meg whose the same age.

“I did qualify for the internationals one year with my old dog Sweep but we didn’t win,” he said.

Kerstin Schwarze from Prion, near Denbigh, said she also struggled with her seven-year-old dog Brenig Taran and ran out of time in the shedding ring.

“Taran didn’t take my stop commands and that’s why we were missing the gates,” said Mrs Schwarze.

“The sheep went by and I couldn’t stop them in the shedding ring and that’s very hard for the dog.

“The sheep are difficult if you don’t push them because they start eating and you lose points.”

Gwyn Lightfoot and Mari from Llandegla were competing for the last time as ten-year-old Mari retires after this year.

Gwyn said: “She got round the course but they are five very strong, fit sheep that were difficult.

“The trouble with a dog Mari’s age is they think they know better than you and that’s how her mother Meg was.

“Mari is a good dog and has the right temperament with the sheep and she makes friends with them.”

“But if you push them too hard they start running and it’s very difficult to control the,” she said.