THE Swaledale Sheep Breeders’ Association is to mark its 100th year with a one-off celebration show at J36 Rural Centre on Sunday, June 7.
The event will feature sheep from each of the association’s five districts with each district having its own show classes, with the champion of each district going forward to the overall championship, explains association chair-man Will Cockbain.
“This will be a truly unique celebration of the Swaledale breed and its important role within the UK sheep sector as the mother of the famed North of England Mule,” explained Mr Cockbain.
Each district show will have its own judge, with Raymond Dixon, Barningham, judging District A, Alan Coates, Muker, District B, Alan Alderson, Kirkby Stephen, District C, Michael Lee, Weardale, District D, and Mark Graham, Goathland, District E.
In addition to these judges, Jimmy Bell, Lanarkshire, will
judge a brace of classes demonstrating the Swale-dale’s maternal abilities. The first of these two classes will be for a Swaledale ewe with twin Mule lambs, with the second being for a Swaledale ewe with twin lambs of any other breed.
Mr Cockbain added that the event would showcase the key attributes which have helped make the Swaledale the dominant hill sheep in the north of England.
“The Swaledale has evolved to suit the climate and topography of the hills and fells it occupies. The inherent hardiness and ability to thrive in such a harsh environment has ensured the breed’s unique place within the UK sheep industry and made it the envy of others.”
Alongside the show classes the day will also play host to stockjudging competitions, kindly organised by Newton Rigg Agricultural College and judged by John and Claire Mason, Oddacres, and a Celebrity Ready Steady Cook competition to be judged by the Scottish Farmer editor Ken Fletcher and Pamela Stephenson.
Further information and show schedules will be available in due course from the SSBA.