AFTER an absence of 12 years the MacTaggart family from Castle Douglas made their return to competing at the show a winning one when claiming the inter-breed sheep title with a home-bred Texel shearling ewe from their Douganhill flock.
This was their third breed title at the event but a first supreme win. The champion, by Teiglum Young Gun out of a ewe by Cairnam Tavish, was a winner at Dumfries as a lamb but was on its first outing this year.
Standing reserve was the North Country Cheviot Park champion, Hownam Grange Victoria, a two-crop home-bred ewe from Willie and Jimmy Thomson, Kelso. By Wandylaw Scrumpy Jack, a stock ram bought at Lockerbie. It was champion at the Scottish national show at Border Union show in 2017, and female champion at the Great Yorkshire Show and champion of champions at Glendale Show in 2018.
Judge, Archie MacGregor, Kilsyth, said his final four were all exceptional examples of their breeds but his top two had a bit more breed character which set them apart. Of this champion he said: “She is a very well balanced gimmer which will make a fantastic ewe.”
It third place was the Suffolk champion, a two-crop ewe from Stewart Craft, Glenrothes, who was competing at the show for the first time. By Solwaybank Major, it was Northern Ireland champion last year is one of the 60 ewes bought by Mr Craft when he purchased Northern Ireland-based, Gary Beacom’s entire Lakeview flock last year.
Completing the final four was Milnmark Cara, a home-bred one-crop Blackface ewe by a Dyke ram from William Ramsay, Castle Douglas, which had been reserve female champion at the show last year.
Initially, Mr MacGregor pulled forward eight sheep including the Bluefaced Leicester Traditional champion, a three-shear ewe from Frank Johnson’s Ashes flock, Bishop Auckland, which had been bought at the Rossiebank dispersal in January.
Also there was the Scotch Mule champion, a shearling gimmer by K4 Midlock from Finlay Robertson, West Calder, which was a winner at Biggar and Peebles shows last year.
Completing this line up were the Rouge champion, Knighton Sugar Tits, a two-crop ewe by a home-bred ram from Percy Tait, Worcester, being shown for the first time, and the Blue Texel champion from Paul and Christine Tippetts’ Hackney flock, Shropshire. Their champion, a shearling ewe is by Joe’s Alvin, which was champion at the show in 2018 and also sired the couple’s 2018 breed champion, another shearling ewe.
With all the final eight being females Mr MacGregor chose as his best opposite sex to the champion, the Bluefaced Leicester crossing type champion, a shearling ram by K1 Highberries from John Wight and Sons’ Midlock flock, Biggar, which was male champion last year.
Janet and Brian Hill from the Isle of Bute achieved a lifetime’s ambition when taking the Hampshire Down championship with Isle of Bute Pi, a home-bred two-crop ewe by Whitehead Crusader.
For the fifth time in nine years the Border Leicester championship went to S. and A. Watson, this time with a home-bred five-crop ewe by Didcot Drambuie from their Instock flock, Fife.
Swaledale champion was a home-bred tup hogg by a Clive Dent ram from Mark and Fee Ewbank’s Intake flock, Harrogate, being shown for the first time.
The Geldard family from Kendal took the Lleyn championship for the fourth time in eight years with a 2017-born ram by a Will Williams sire from their Wraycastle flock.
First time exhibitor, James Robertson, Langholm, claimed the Cheviot championship with a three-shear ram which was bought from the Castle Crawford flock at Lockerbie.
Winning the North of England Mule championship for the third time was Neil Marston, Cockermouth, with a home-bred gimmer lamb by Highberries Highlander.
The Ryeland champion was a home-bred shearling gimmer from Andrew Hunter Blair, Castle Douglas, which had been reserve breed champion at Ayr Show.
Ewan Burgess, was British Berrichon champion with a shearling ewe.
Charollais champion was a shearling ewe from Eilidh and Erin Duncan's Braemuir flock, Peterhead
For the second year in succession the Jacob championship went to W. and E. Crowe, Angus, with an aged ram.
The North Country Cheviot Hill championship went to the Allen family, Alnwick, with a four-shear ram, Badanloch Tip Top Tup, which was bought for £11,000 at Lockerbie and was being shown for the first time.
The Bleu du Maine champion was Dunelm Pippa a one-crop ewe by Rumwell Jonas from Rachel and Callum Cruden, Aberdeenshire, which was bought from breeder, Jonathan Stables, at Carlisle last year.
A shearling ewe by Hackney Braveheart, from Jock and William McMillan’s Clary flock, Newton Stewart, claimed the Beltex championship.
The Shetland championship went to Joan and David Brunton, East Lothian, who have been showing at the Highland since 2000, with a home-bred gimmer, Fieldview Esmee.
The Zwartbles championship went to Neil Millar, Lockerbie, with Joyfield Emperor, a home-bred two-shear ram.
Inter-breed (A. MacGregor, Kilsyth). Sup., Douganhill Texels (Texel); res., W. and J. Thomson (North Country Cheviot – Park)
Suffolk (J. Young, Alford) Sup. and fem., S. Craft; res. and res. fem. and male, B. and J. Nicholson; res. male, W. and C. Ingram.
North Country Cheviot (A. Smith, Orkney) Sup. and fem., W. and J. Thomson; res. and male, J. Runciman and Sons; res. fem., J.S. Mackay; res. male, D.N. Campbell and Sons.
Blackface (S. McClymont, Selkirk) Sup. and fem. and res. and res. fem., W. Ramsay; male, F. Robertson; res. male, D.C. and J.J. Marshall.
Lleyn (J. Dugdale, Settle) Sup. and male, J.A. and R. Geldard; res. and fem. and res. male, D. and B. Henderson; res. fem., D. Steen.
Ryeland (B. Wear, Bristol) Sup. and fem., A. Hunter Blair; res. and male and res. fem., E. and J. Henderson; res. fem., P. Gray.
Commercial (B. MacTaggart, Castle Douglas) Sup., I. Wilson; res., Sibmister and Stainland Farms.
Border Leicester (D. Mawhinney, Newtonards) Sup. and fem. and res. male, S. and A. Watson; res., and male, D. Whyte; res. fem., J. Barrowman.
British Berrichon (C. Gwynne, Brecon) Sup. and fem., E. Burgess; res. and res. fem. and male, I.D. Johnson; res. male, F. Barbour.
Jacob (L. McKendrick, Cupar) Sup. and male, W. Crowe; res. and fem., A. Christie; res. male, G. Connor and S. Dalrymple.
North Country Cheviot – Hill (N. Montgomery, Struan) Sup. and male, W.D. Allen; res. and fem., J.M. Elliot; res. male and res. fem., Badanloch Estate.
Cheviot (C. Weir, Kelso) Sup. and male, J. Robertson; res. and fem., W.N. Douglas; res. male, J.F. Irving and Son; res. fem., J. Common and Son.
Texel (R. Strawbridge, Coleraine) Sup. and fem., Douganhill Farms; res. and res. fem. and male, M.J. Alford; res. male, W.J. Knox.
Hampshire Down (J. Fletcher, Newtownards) Sup. and fem., B. and J. Hill; res. and res. fem. and res. male, S. Manson; male, J. and R. McFarlane.
Swaledale (M. Graham, Whitby) Sup. and male, M.R. Ewbank; res. and fem., Messrs Brogan; res. male, J.R. and C.M. Dalton; res. fem., S. Bell and Sons.
Bluefaced Leicester – traditional (I. Smith, Alnwick) Sup. and fem., F. Johnson; res. and male, F.M. Strang; res. fem., M. and N. Gray; res. male, R.A. McClymont.
Bluefaced Leicester – crossing (J. Lord, Kirkby Stephen) Sup. and male and res. and fem., J. Wight and Son; res. male and res. fem., A. McQuistin.
Charollais (R. Paterson, jnr., Dunblane) Sup. and fem., E. and E. Duncan; res. and res. fem., J. Aiken; male and res. male, H.W. Sloan.
Hebridean (R. Peace, Codicote) Sup. and fem., C.G. and K.E. Heeley; res. and res. fem., J. Cuthbert; male, J. Mosley; res. male, V. Mason.
North of England Mules (R. Ellis, Ilkley) Sup., N. Marston; res., P. Elliott.
British Rouge (M. Graham, Muckamore) Sup. and fem. and male, P. Tait; res. and res. fem. and res. male, I. McConnell.
Beltex (A. Baillie, Lanark) Sup. and fem., J. and W. McMillan; res. and male, A. Copland; res. fem., A. MacLean; res. male, Proctors Farm.
Zwartbles (R.J. Heigh, Lancaster) Sup. and male, N. Millar; res. and fem., P. and S. Addison; res. male, N. Henderson; res. fem., S.A. Craig.
Scotch Mule (A. Rogerson, Lauder) Sup., F. Robertson; res., J. Wight and Son.
Bleu du Maine (I. Davies, Newcastle) Sup. and fem., R. and C. Cruden; res. and res. fem., N. Millar; male, J. and W. Baillie; res. male, L. Daff.
Shetland (M. McEwen-King, Lanark) Sup. and fem., J. Brunton; res. and male, A. Bain; res. fem., Kaimknowe flock; res. male, R. Douglas.
Blue Texel (S. Chambers, Totnes) Sup. and fem., P. and C. Tippetts; res. and res. fem. and male, K. Watret; res. male, D. Atkinson.