Gordon started working dogs when he was eleven years old, helping his father William to shepherd 1200 cross-bred ewes (Scottish Blackfaces x Border Leicester ram) on 500 acres of lowland in Omagh in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland .
Gordon demonstrated considerable talent with dogs and it wasn’t long before he was accompanying his father to sheepdog trials. William had started trialing a couple of years before Gordon. Both of them achieved substantial success.
Gordon competed in the Irish National Sheepdog Trials at Newton Stewart in Northern Ireland for the first time with a bitch called Chum 93897. The following year he became the youngest competitor to compete in an International at fifteen, after being second in the 1979 Irish National. His father competed in the International at the same time with a bitch called Moy 75295. Gordon got through to the Supreme that year but they didn’t get the single.
Gordon was invited to be on the B.B.C.’s ‘One Man and his Dog’ in 1980 to run as a young handler and won! He was the first Young Handler to win the Young Handler’s competition at the International in 1981. The annual contest was important encouragement for young handlers in sheepdog trialing. This meant that Gordon was something of a celebrity at his Agricultural Collage and he performed many demonstrations to his fellow students.
In 1982 Gordon continued to have trialing success, running in the Irish team at the International at Blair Atholl with Chum’s half-sister Rose 99231, also winning the Irish Driving Championship.
His third partaking in ‘One Man and his Dog’ in 1983 at Loch Lomond when he was nineteen, was not as a young handler, but competing against his father William the same year. Gordon was runner-up that year, with Chip 122248. Gordon has competed in the B.B.C.’s ‘One Man and his Dog’ another three times [1990(with Roy), 2000 (with York) & 2003 (with Buff & York)] and also judged it in 2004.
At the age of twenty-two in 1986, Gordon went to work for a farmer in County Fernanagh, shepherding 1500 Scottish Blackface ewes on a hill. Gordon learnt the lesson of never being without a good dog coming along when he lost Chip in 1990. The dog sadly fell over a cliff whilst gathering sheep.
In 1992 Gordon moved to the Isle of Man(I.O.M) lambing 2000 half bred-Texel mules on 450 acres of good but steep land. He continued to have good dogs; Roy 163176, Glen, King, Buff and York. Gordon became an integral part of I.O.M. sheepdog trialing, winning many trials and getting considerable coverage in the local newspapers.
Starting their accomplished trialing careers on the Isle of Man, with credits from nurseries through to opens, Buff and York continued to be consistent winners in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Gordon moved to Silsden in West Yorkshire in 2002, managing a large outfit of store lambs on 150 aces, before moving on to the village of High Bradfield near Sheffield in South Yorkshire in November 2003.
In 2005 Gordon and York became English National Champions. In the same year Gordon and York took the highest accolade as the winner of the World Sheep Dog Trials held in Tullamore , Co. Offaly , Ireland. Gordon and York were champions out of 240 dogs competing from 22 Nations that included the British Isles, most all of Continental Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Today Gordon resides in Wisconsin, U.S.A. with his wife Kerry and stepdaughter Sophie.
Kerry and Sophie are both keen trialists. Both competing in Open trials having been taught by Gordon. Kerry met Gordon in 2006 at a training Clinic, having no back ground in shepherding or sheepdogs. Gordon has taken Kerry from beginner level to Open National standard, competing in 3 English Nationals.
Sophie at just 14 years shows great potential of becoming a top class handler. Sophie started with Gordon at the age of 4 running in her first sheepdog trial at only 5 years old. Sophie trialed in Northumberland with her bitch Corrie, winning seven out of the nine beginner classes. She progressed into Opens taking a 5th and 2nd place in her first Open trial season. Gordon is passing on all his knowledge and experience to Sophie.