The Royal Highland Show Mule Classes were in the very capable hands of Northumberland based breeder, James Herdman of Newtown Farm, Edlingham.
The Elliott family brought a two shear with her lambs at foot back to The Highland to retain her title as Champion North of England Mule for the consecutive year. She won in 2022 as a Geld Hogg, but now proved her worth on and off the show field by winning the Ewe and Lamb class and proudly showing off her Texel x twins. The ewe was originally bought from Hexham from The Reed Family in 2021 and was sired by a son of Highberries H2, West Biggins N10.
The Ewe and lamb class was well represented, David Buck followed Philip Elliot into 2nd with a four crop ewe with texel x lambs originally bought as a lamb from The Fawcett family, Skipton.
Philip Elliott stood third with 6 crop, Lands bred ‘Patch’ and Penrith Based exhibitor, Edward Watts took 4th with a 4 crop ewe originally bred by The Garth Family, Keasden.
Gemma Common stood fifth with a 2019 born ewe with two Texel lambs bred by The Parker Family, Spital Shield. Sixth place ewe was presented by FL Pedley who was one of the original exhibitors to the Highland Show NE Mule Class all those years ago.
James Robinson from Carnforth made the trip up The Highland for the first time and came away with the Reserve Champion Rosette.
The Hogg and lamb, the hogg still in it’s winter jacket held off a strong class of 14 to get into this enviable position. The hogg was bought from Kendal NWA Stars in your Eyes’ competition held at their Nemsa sale in September. The breeders were Jeff and Jean Burrow from Grayrigg which is a lamb sired by a Pye, Dunkenshaw Tup Lamb.
James Robinson followed with the 2nd prize hogg bred by Neil Marston. Third and Sixth were a duo of Hoggs from John Ackerley who sourced these lambs from the Hexham Tow Law Sale and breeder Stephen Collingwood, Amblingate.
Gemma Common, Low Ardley stood fourth with a another Hogg sourced from the Tow Law Sale and specifically from The Scotts of Low Leam. Philip Elliott was fifth with a Hogg from Chris Sharp, Horton in Ribblesdale.
Philip Elliot and family topped the line up once again in the Sheared Geld Hogg class. The Hogg was originally bought from the Reed family, Lands farm, as was the 3rd placed entry.
James Robinson took 2nd with a David Lawson, Gragareth bred hogg and 4th place originally came from the home of Neil Marston, and the Highberries flock.
David Buck received the 5th and 6th rosettes with two hoggs purchased at his local Barnard castle Mart. Namely from the Bainbridge family, Dousgill and Martin Walton. The Dousgill Hogg had already achieved the Otley Mule Championship under her belt.
The Ewe lamb class was as strongly fought over as always , and it was the Hexham crew which took the four top honours and Chloe James from Todhills happy to stand 5th and 6th in the this strong turnout. The first two lambs were both sired by a jointly owned tup , Midlock Magic R27, Martyn Archer pipping the Hunter family to the 1st but both families delighted with their Purchase from Hawes last year.
3rd prize went to The Ridley family from Shitlington Hall with a lamb sired by Sealhouses R4 out of a homebred NE Blackie ewe. It was back to The Steel to find the the 4th prize lamb which was sired by Asby Hall L1. James’ Todhills lambs were both sired by Gragareth P014 which they have a half share which was bought last backend in Bentham from The Lawson family.
The North of England Mules are the only breed at The Highland Show where the the sheep is judged by the offspring they are able to produce on the day. There are two classes which illustrate this , The Ewe and Lamb class and the Hogg and Lamb class. Both classes were well subscribed and it was quite fitting that, as a Commercial ewe, The Champion and Reserve was found in these departments. The Champion, perhaps took the glory on the day, but it was the Ewe that stood 3rd that perhaps steals the show. A previous Show Champion herself, she now proudly stood with her 6th crop of Texel x lambs. Not just a pretty face as this ewe has had a gross output of £1800 over her lifetime. The North of England Mule is proving itself time and time again that she is capable of fitting in most lowland systems to provide the most profit.
As ever, the Highland Show has proved to be an eventful weekend, some have returned year on year . Others have returned after a break away including The Hedley family from Northumberland and we are still getting first time exhibitors arriving every year. This year James Robinson and the Hodgson family from Low Borrans made their debut at this Scottish Showcase! Peter Lee and Geoff Carrick proudly stand beside the North of England Mules over the four days of the Show and many thanks for their time and dedication.