Dromore announced as first ever NI venue for World Sheepdog Trials

Expected to attract 50,000 spectators from across the world, Gill Hall Estate, Dromore, has just been announced as the venue for the 2023 World Sheepdog Trials, marking the first-time the global event has been held in Northern Ireland.

John McCullough, Chairman of the local organising committee; current Irish National Champion sheepdog handler, Peter Morgan with his dog, Mosse; Isabel Branch, CEO of the International Sheep Dog Society and venue host, James Porter, co-owner of Gill Hall Estate. Photo by Stephen Hamilton // Press Eye
John McCullough, Chairman of the local organising committee; current Irish National Champion sheepdog handler, Peter Morgan with his dog, Mosse; Isabel Branch, CEO of the International Sheep Dog Society and venue host, James Porter, co-owner of Gill Hall Estate. Photo by Stephen Hamilton // Press Eye

Taking place from September 13 – 16 2023, 240 competitors from over 30 countries will descend on the 500-acre Gill Hall Estate, all hoping to be named as ‘top dog’ with a World Champion announced at the end of the four-day event.

Organised by the International Sheep Dog Society, the World Sheepdog Trials is the Olympics of the sheepdog world, taking place every three years. In 2020, the World Trials were postponed due to the pandemic, therefore the reigning World Champions from the 2017 event, which took place in Hoogwoud, the Netherlands, are Norwegian team, handler, Jaran Knive, and his sheepdog, Gin.

Isabel Branch, CEO of the International Sheep Dog Society said: “Gill Hall Farm an incredible venue, with rolling hills and expansive fields that offer the perfect conditions for world-class trials and spectator viewing.”

The 240 global competitors who will take part in the 2023 World Sheepdog Trials will be at the top of their game. Over the next 14 months, competing nations will select their competitors and teams to go forward to represent the Nation.

With 50,000 visitors anticipated, it’s predicted that the World Sheepdog Trials 2023 will deliver a significant economic benefit to businesses across Northern Ireland, with many visitors within the sheepdog community already booking extended trips.

Venue host, James Porter, co-owner of Gill Hall Estate said: “It’s a true privilege to have Gill Hall Estate named as the venue for the World Sheepdog Trials 2023. My father and I are honoured to be hosting such a prestigious event at our Estate and we’re hopeful that the ripple effect of the four-day event will extend well beyond the World Sheepdog Trials.”