Matthew Hamilton, Woolfords, is this year’s recipient of the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association’s Connachan Salver, following decades of dedication and work with the breed.

The prestigious award which is presented annually to someone who has contributed to the breed during their lifetime, is the result of Matthew taking over Woolfords at just 17 years of age and continuing to improve and develop the stock following the untimely death of his father.

He had big boots to fill too as the Hamilton family has been producing top quality Blackface sheep since they arrived at Woolfords in 1864.

Matthew’s grandfather won the championship at the Royal Highland Show on no fewer than 14 occasions with his father and him both breeding high priced rams at the breed sales.

At present, Matthew and his son also Matthew run 800 north-type Blackface ewes at Woolfords and 400 south-type at South Cobbinshaw. They have successfully sold Perth-type shearlings to £24,000 and lambs to £41,000. Always innovative and creative, pursuing exports of semen into Europe, keeping a high health and scrapie free flock to achieve this.