Chris beats heart surgery to shepherd his way to glory
Last updated at 20:19, Thursday, 18 August 2011
A Loweswater shepherd has made it through to the International Sheep Dog finals months after undergoing heart surgery.
Chris Todd, 78, of Cornhow Cottage, was one of 15 shepherds to qualify at last week’s National Sheep Dog Trials in Surrey.
He was awarded the Challenge Cup in the best outrun, lift and fetch category.
Mr Todd will perform at the international event in Scotland between September 8 and 10 with his four-year-old Border Collie bitch Tess.
Mr Todd had heart operations in 2001 and earlier this year after he suffered a blockage. He had to be airlifted from his home to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
He has practised shepherding since he was in his 20s and has won many prizes over the years.
He said: “I was told my recovery period would be a few months but I started to feel better within a few weeks and was back out shepherding in preparation for the competition.
“Due to my health my performance has been a bit up and down over the years but I have no plans to give it up soon. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing.
“My father and grandfather were farmers and I still help out at Kirkgate Farm. There are four different fells around here so you have to be able to work a dog.”
Mr Todd was the only competitor not to use a traditional shepherd’s crook in the competition.
He said: “I think the other competitors think I’m a bit daft not using a stick but you get much better actions just using your hands, which my dogs have always responded well to.”
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 18 August 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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