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Sheepdog Handlers

Timothy Longton

With outstanding views of the Morecambe Bay, southern tip of the Lake District and all over the Fylde coast, the farm is 800 acres, 350 acres of which is rough fell ground, which all the dogs are used to gather.

Timothy says about sheepdog trialling:
I was born into the sport, one fellow trialist said, “Longton babies don’t use dummies, they use a whistle”

From the beginning ……..

Tim Longton Snr

The first of the Longtons to farm at Rooten Brook was Tim Longton senior, in the late 1940’s when he took over the tenancy. Tim started trialling at the age of twelve, he won the English National at Morecambe with Dot (4844) in 1949, and was runner up at the Supreme in 1954, again with Dot. Tim Longton Jnr

Tim Longton was the next to farm here, after working as a county patrol shepherd in Cumbria based at Tebay, then managing a 3000 acre hill sheep farm for the water board at Dunsop Bridge.

He didn’t start trialling until 1947, when he was 29 years old, after serving in the Border Regiment, seeing action at Arnhem, as well as North Africa.

He won the English National for the first time in 1965 going on to win it 5 times in all and the Supreme once in 1966 with Ken.

He represented his country over 40 times at the International. When the BBC started with the idea of trialling on TV he was the obvious choice (due to his book A Sheepdog, Its Work and Training) to educate the producers and presenter Phil Drabble, and the first programme was filmed at Rooten Brook to show not only the trialling but also the training and working aspects of the sheepdogs.

Timothy Longton

The farm is currently run by father and son Timothy and Michael Longton who spend their time tending to the flock of 550 Swaledale sheep and 80 suckler cattle, finding enough time to train sheepdogs.

Timothy’s wife, Linda, also helps with the early training of the dogs taking them out to get socialised. Linda is also the current secretary of the Fylde Sheepdog Society, so she is also firmly into the dog scene.

Timothy, whilst always having good dogs he didn’t get serious about trialling until 1982/3 when he got Gel.

Gel was the starting point for all the successful dogs. At the present time she is in the pedigree of all the current trial dogs at Rooten Brook.

High points:

Gel and her kennel mate Liz both qualified for the International in 1987, since then Timothy has been a team member 17 times, including:

  • Farmers Champion in 1999
  • Reserve English National Champion in:
    • 1997 with Rob (200948)
    • 1999 and 2002 with Vic (213967)
  • English Brace Champion 4 times

In 1999 following many years of pain and decreasing mobility Timothy had a hip resurfacing operation, this was a great success and just two weeks after the operation Timothy came second with Vic and seventh with Rob at the English National at Exeter. Vic then went on to come fifth at the International at Aberystwyth.

Other involvements:

Timothy is a respected judge, judging the English National at Bolton Abbey in 2003, and runs training clinics.

Contact Timothy via his website at where there are many photos and details of the family’s current 12 Border Collies.

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Timothy Longton

From the famous Longton sheepdog trialling family has farmed at Rooten Brook Farm for over 50 years, taking in four generations.
(You are on this page).

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