Show follows other sheep exhibitors in championship bid

Pat and Trevor Black, pictured with their Champion Jacob Tup Blackwolds Enzo, one of the Black's show team which won the Regional Sheep Exhibitors' Championship in 2014. (S)
Pat and Trevor Black, pictured with their Champion Jacob Tup Blackwolds Enzo, one of the Black's show team which won the Regional Sheep Exhibitors' Championship in 2014. (S)
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North Yorkshire County Show is joining the Regional Sheep Exhibitors’ Championship for the first time this year.

Already it has received a record number of entries for this year’s show to be held at Otterington Hall, between Northallerton and Thirsk on Sunday June 21.

Last year Malton Show launched the innovative new competition to award the best sheep breeders and exhibitors in the area.

This show season, competitors in sheep classes at five participating shows within North and East Yorkshire will be able to collect points they accrue to find the ultimate champions in an Exhibitors’ Championship.

North Yorkshire County Show has joined Malton, Driffield, Ryedale and Thornton le Dale to take part in the scheme, which was the brain child of Malton Show’s chief sheep steward Lizzie Jennings.

The idea is to benefit all five shows by providing a regional championship, one which is judged irrespective of breed.

Lizzie, 26, came up with the idea to recognise the best sheep breeders in the area and is encouraging all exhibitors to get involved.

“This awards the champion of champions for this region,” she said. “The competition is a level playing field for all exhibitors in the area, whether they exhibit hill, upland or lowland breeds.”

In the launch year, there was a significant increase in entries for some shows in comparison to 2013 numbers. Already, the North Yorkshire County Show are feeling the benefit.

Len Cragg, manager of the sheep section for the show, said: “In 2013 we had 487 sheep in the catalogue, 2014 we had 486, this year I have numbered to 591 despite several exhibitors taking stock to the Royal Highland Show.”

Exhibitors automatically qualify by attending any of the five shows this summer.

Those who support more than three of the shows will have their best results from three of the five shows taken in to account. The competitor with the highest number of points at the end will be named Exhibitors’ Champion for 2015.