Pyes on a high with Mule championship coup as Great Yorks Show makes welcome return
AC&K Pye, who farm in the Forest of Bowland at Dunkenshaw Farm, Abbeystead, were crowned North of England Mule champions with their first prize single gimmer lamb as the Great Yorkshire Show made a welcome return to live action this year.
The Pyes – mum and dad, Alan and Kim, and their two sons, Chris and Phil - whose singles stood both first and second in class, saw their red rosette winner go on the clinch the title courtesy of Cumbrian show judge and North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) stalwart, Will Sedgley, of Kirkby Lonsdale.
Shown by Chris Pye, the victor was sired by Steele N3, a Carry House Flash son bought out of Lanark last back end. The breed champion received the Jack White Memorial Trophy, a Yorkshire Agricultural Society champion’s rosette and NEMSA merchandise.
The family achieved further success when also presenting the first prize pair of ewe lambs, adding to their silverware when awarded the Alan and Katherine Barnes Perpetual Trophy. This duo comprised their show champion, the other by a home-bred tup M37, himself a son of Barley L7.
The Pyes run the Emmetts pedigree Bluefaced Leicester flock, annually putting some 1,200 Swaledale ewes to the tup to produce the all-purpose North of England Mule, which they have been successfully breeding for 50 years.
Taking the reserve championship were Barnard Castle’s David and Michelle Buck with their first prize single shearling ewe, acquired from fellow NEMSA breeder Steve Fawcett, who farms in the Yorkshire Dales at Barden, near Skipton. Among other successes, the Bucks also finished runners-up in the single shearling ewe show class.
More detailed results, along with live video action f
rom the show classes, can be accessed via NEMSA’s Facebook page.
Picture: Chris Pye with the family’s Great Yorkshire Show North of England Mule breed champion. PIcture by Wayne Hutchinson www.farm-images.co.uk