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One boy and his dog fly the flag for Scotland; TV SPOT.

Byline: Sharon Liptrott

A Dumfriesshire youngster has become a TV star representing Scotland in the One Man and His Dog competition on BBC's Countryfile.

Murray Common, who attends St Mungo's Primary at Kettleholm, and his sheep dog, Queen, featured on Sunday's programme with presenter Adam Henson.

Murray and the six-and-a-half year-old dog are taking part in the young handlers' section - which is for up to 21-year-olds - taking on representatives from England, Wales and Ireland.

Scotland's other contender is a seasoned veteran, Bobby Henderson, who will be running a brace of dogs in the competition.

Murray's dad, Billy, said: "We are really proud of him. Sunday's Countryfile showed the Scotland and Ireland competitors and they will introduce the English and Welsh entrants this Sunday. Then, they will show the trial and announce the champions on September 23.

"They actually filmed the trial two weeks ago in Pembrokeshire and his mum, Kirsty, brother Innes and I all went along to cheer him on.

" We have to keep tight-lipped about it all until it is broadcast.

"Murray really enjoyed himself and it was good to meet the Countryfile presenters. A great experience for him."

Murray and his nine-year-old brother are the eighth generation of the family to live at Crossdykes Farm, Tundergarth, Lockerbie, which is renowned for its South Country Cheviots and its pedigree and crossbred Limousin cows.

The 1,600 acres hill farm is now run by Billy and his dad, Alan, and it is from them that Murray has picked up his love of running a sheep dog with vocal commands and a whistle.

Billy said: "Ever since he was little he has followed us about the farm and learnt how to handle the sheep dogs and take part in trials. We have 10 sheep dogs working on the farm - some in training - and we enter a number of them in trials.

"I started when I was 10 or 11 myself some 30 years ago doing trials and Murray is carrying that on.

"He takes part in the novice and new handler sections and he's doing well in the competition.

"He has won the novice section in the Pink Ribbon Trial in Northumberland for three years in a row.

"It was the Scottish Sheep Dog Society which nominated him for the Countryfile One Man and His Dog competition."

| Tune into BBC Countryfile on Sunday, September 23, to see if young Murray can top the Young Handler category and be crowned a One Man and His Dog champion.

Partners Murray Common and Queen are featuring on BBC's Countryfile One Man and His Dog competition.

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Young shepherd Eleven-year-old Murray is also an expert in the show-ring, pictured here with the cheviot champion at this year's Dumfries show

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Publication:Dumfries and Galloway Standard (Dumfriesshire, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 14, 2018
Words:456
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