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Royal Highland Show: New breeds add extra interest in strong sheep section

WINNER: Raymond Irvine with his champion Valais Blacknose, Highland Hero.

The sheep section was this year boosted by two new breeds making their debut at Ingliston, and taking the champion rosette in one of those, the Valais Blacknose, were Tomintoul’s Raymond Irvine and Jennie McAllister.

Firm supporters of the breed, they triumphed with a home-bred two-shear ram, Highland Hero, which they plan to keep for use in their Highland flock of 40 breeding ewes.

The Irvine team had also exhibited Charolais cattle from their Inverlochy herd, the previous day, picking up a few tickets, including a first prize.

The Texel judging attracted a huge crown and the large entry numbers ensured a tough job for judge, Turriff’s Robbie Wilson.

“It’s the best-quality show of Texels I’ve seen here for many years,” he said.

The champion Texel from Alan Clark.

“The females were especially strong, with the standard in the gimmers and ewe lambs particularly high. It was quite daunting, with the numbers in the classes, but I found exactly what I was looking for in a champion.

“As soon as she walked into the ring, I knew she had to win; she has amazing character and a great top and end too,” he added.

Mr Wilson’s choice of champion was a gimmer from Alan Clark’s Garngour flock at Lesmahagow. A daughter of the 15,000gns Procters Chumba Wumba, she stood interbreed sheep champion at Lesmahagow Show last month.

It was the reserve overall sheep from Lesmahagow Show that led the Beltex section, another with huge entry numbers. That was Richard Wood’s Kingledores Guinevere, a homebred gimmer by Ryders Dick Turpin.

Others enjoying success included Doune’s Ally Bain, who secured the reserve overall champion award in the Zwartbles classes with the home-bred ewe, Greystone Hella. She’s no stranger to success, having won the interbreed title at West Fife and reserve at Drymen.

Meanwhile, in the Hampshire Downs, Roy and Jane McFarlane and Lorna Rennie, of Bridge of Allan, won the reserve title with a Yarcombe-bred shearling which was bought at Shrewsbury. He had been champion at Stirling Show.

#The new Dutch Spotted section was well supported, with Ali Jackson, of Cummertrees, Annan, enjoying double success there, lifting the championship with a ewe and the reserve title with a shearling ram.

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