Am Bratach No. 240
October 2011

Around the shows

We begin with the photo on this page of a very special dog (and his pretty special owner, Catherine Macdonald).

Five-year-old “Jimmy” is a bearded collie dog owned by Catherine of Cnocbreac, Torrible, Lairg, whom we caught up with at the Lairg Crofters Show.

When we say Jimmy is special it is worth mentioning that he was covered in medals. “He’s got first prize two years in a row,” explained Catherine. “He got second this year as a sheepdog and he got reserve local champion, a first for “scruffiest” dog, first for work dog and second for “wagiest” tail, third for pedigree and the rest were just special prizes.”

Catherine is the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of crofters.

As well as showing Jimmy at the show, we also found her in charge of her granny, Marion Macdonald’s, calving Limousin heifer, “Nancy”. Nancy topped not just the cattle section but was also pronounced overall livestock champion.

As we write, 17-year-old Catherine has left home for Benbecula to study traditional music. One of her instruments is the bagpipes.

On the opposite page, the top photo is of four cyclists fresh from competing at the Invercharron Traditional Highland Games.

In the junior 800 metres race Ross Gollan from Edderton (right) and Alasdair Coupar from Rogart took first and second places respectively.

In the seniors, Scottish champion Tim Allen from Glenrothes (right) came in ahead of Wim Chalmers of Dornoch.

Note that Alasdair and Wim’s sports shirts display the initials “ESW”. This stands for East Sutherland Wheelers, a cyclists’ club which got underway last year.

“The club was founded in November 2010,” Wim told us, “and we currently have over seventy members.

“Whoever owns a bike and goes out with it is more than welcome to join us. There’s only a couple of racers, but there are also mountain bikers, there’s a touring group and there are spinning sessions next month.”

Contact them on their website at

Below the cyclists is a group photograph featuring important guests of the Invercharron Games committee.

Superstar athletes Jeremy Campbell (left) and Bryan Clay joined the boys and girls of Fèis a Chaolais for our photo after listening to the youngsters’ playing and Gaelic singing at a special performance earlier in the afternoon. The talented group were fresh from performing at Lochinver and Ardgay as part of the Blas Festival.

They may not have known, however, that although Bryan Clay is known as the world’s greatest athlete, the talent he’d most like to have is to sing or play an instrument.

Joining the reigning Olympic champion for the decathlon was fellow American athlete, Jeremy Campbell. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China, he won a gold medal and set a world record in the men’s pentathlon P44 event, won a gold medal in the men’s discuss throw F44 event and the men’s long jump in the F42/44 event.


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