Elliott family triumph as RHS makes welcome return
The welcome return of this year’s Royal Highland Show – celebrating a milestone 200 years of showcasing the best of the country’s food, farming and rural life – saw the Elliott family, of Bank House, Mungrisdale, stand NEMSA Show champions with their first prize North of England Mule gimmer hogg, receiving the coveted J Lee & Son Perpetual Challenge Cup, presented by NEMSA’s national vice-chairman Jonathan Hodgson at the Swaledale barbeque that evening.
The Elliotts – husband and wife, Philip and Denise, who run the farm in partnership with Philip’s parents, David and Mary, and daughters Charlotte and Grace – took top billing with a gimmer hogg by West Biggins N10 from John Reed, himself a son of Highberries H2.
RHS reserve champions in 2017, 2018 and 2019, when the iconic show was last staged, the Elliotts had another excellent day at the 2022 renewal, also finishing runners-up in the geld hogg show class, as well as taking first and second in the ewe/shearling with two lambs at foot class, plus runner-up in the hogg and lamb class.
The family are long-serving NEMSA members, buying in up to 150 Mule gimmer lambs annually at official Association sales across their region, putting them to Texel-x tups and retaining all the ewe lambs in their 850-strong Texel-x-Mule flock, while selling all their Mules as shearlings the following year.
Julie Brough, Langrigg, was again among the prizes, both winning and also finishing third in the hogg with lamb show class – the red rosette-winning duo also tapped out as RHS reserve champions, while Neil Marston’s Millstone Moor flock, Cockermouth, RHS supreme champion in both 2018 and 2019, secured the red rosette in the ewe lamb show class, also standing fifth.
The 2022 RHS attracted another solid and high quality entry across the four show classes, which were judged by Geoffrey Porter, Riddings. Worthy of special mention are the Geary family, first-time exhibitors all the way from Milton Keynes. A delighted Andrew Geary said afterwards: “I fulfilled a 20 year aspiration to show at the Highland. Best show I've ever been to by a long way! Hopefully we'll go again one day.”
A mention, too, for past exhibitor Robert Marrs, who was showing for the first time in the ewe lamb class. He expressed himself “delighted” with his debut 4th placing.
Full results were: Geld Mule Hogg - 1st and 2nd Elliott family, 3rd D&M Buck, 4th Amy Rebecca Wilson 5th and 6th The Geary Family; Ewe/Shearling with two lambs at foot- 1st and 2nd Elliott family, 3rd and 4th The Geary Family, 5th Messrs Marrs, 6th T Common & Son.
Hogg and Lamb Results – 1st and 3rd JJ&A Brough, 2nd Elliott family, 4th Amy Rebecca Wilson, 5th D&M Buck, 6th T Common & Son; Ewe Lamb – 1st and 5th Neil Marston, Millstone Moor, 2nd and 3rd MW & CM Ridley, 4th Messrs Marrs, 6th MP Burnop.
Attention now turns to the high profile North of England Mule classes at another prestigious county show, the Great Yorkshire in Harrogate. Watch this space!
Pictured: The Elliott family with their 2022 Royal Highland Show North of England Mule gimmer hogg. Picture by Wayne Hutchinson, Farm Images.