Texel breeders and enthusiasts enjoyed a cracking day out for the breed's inaugural Textravaganza National Show, at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, which attracted an entry of just shy of 200 of the best quality sheep from throughout Scotland, England and Wales.

Society chief executive John Yates said the event had been a tremendous success, with a great show of sheep and a packed ringside crowd throughout the day.

"It has been an outstanding event and the best I have attending in my 13 years working for the society," said Mr Yates. "The show has been all about bringing people together without the pressure of a big sale, after such a difficult period and hopefully we have.

"It was an event that arose through demand as there were no shows last year and very few this year. The Textravaganza also has the potential to grow and could become an annual event."

Mr Yates added that with 189 entries from 55 exhibitors and huge support from Harrison and Hetherington and particularly Heather Pritchard, the Texel Sheep Society was delighted at how the event had gone.

Such were the entries that there were two judges on hand to select the top winners, but there was no doubt in the overall champions, with both the female and the male adjudicators unanimous on their choices – the first and second prize gimmers.

Supreme was the female champion, Daisy Duke from Robert Cockburn's Knap flock from Hill of Errol, Errol, Perth, with the reserve honours presented to the runner up, the second prize gimmer from Charlie Boden's Sportsmans flock from Stockport, Bury.


Judges Roger Strawbridge (males left) and John MacGregor (females) had a big day selecting the class winners

Judges Richard Henderson (males left) and John MacGregor (females) had a big day selecting the class winners

Female judge, John MacGregor, Allanfauld, was most impressed not only by his choice of winner but also the entire show.

"It has been an exceptional show of sheep. There was a tremendous depth and quality in all the classes which were great to judge. I was expecting a high quality of sheep forward and they certainly didn't disappoint."

Commenting on the overall champion, Mr MacGregor added: "She was an easy winner. As soon as she came in the ring I knew it would take something really exceptional to beat her. She's got great show ring presence, with the power, top line and tremendous breed character."

The male and joint overall judge, Richard Henderson was equally impressed by their top two winners.

"The champion has so much presence, character and she can show herself off. She just knows she's a good one. The reserve is also a really good gimmer and really takes the eye but she doesn't just quite have the power or stretch of the champion.

"It really has been a fantastic show of sheep and it has been great to see so many people from all over the UK here to see it," added Mr Henderson.

Taking centre stage was Daisy Duke, an ET gimmer by the shared 17,000gns Sportsmans Cannonball ram, bred from a dam by the 32,000gns Mullan Amigo. Her ET brother made 7000gns last year with gimmers bred from the same female line selling for 5000gns.


Rosie Boden exhibited the reserve female champion and reserve overall from the Sportsmans flock

Rosie Boden exhibited the reserve female champion and reserve overall from the Sportsmans flock

Just pipped at the post the second prize gimmer and reserve overall from the Boden family is by the 65,000gns Lanark champion Garngour Craftsman, which was also the sire of the record breaking 350,000gns Sportsmans Double Diamond sold last year. The dam, which was flushed as a ewe lamb, is by the 42,000gns Knockem Abracadabra.


Male champion was David McKerrow and sons David and James Nochnary tup lamb

Male champion was David McKerrow and sons David and James' Nochnary tup lamb

Tup lambs led the males, with the best from the open class taking supreme for David McKerrow and sons David and James' Nochnary flock now based at Uppermill, Tarves, Aberdeenshire. Their best, Nochnary Eusebio, brought out by James is by the Procters Cocktail son, Tamnamoney Dalrida which was bought last year for 3500gns. The dam, a home-bred ewe and one of 40 in the flock is by the 28,000gns Knock Banker.


Reserve male champion from David Dunlop

Reserve male champion from David Dunlop

Reserve male was the second prize ram lamb from David Dunlop's, Holtridge from Whitchurch, Shrewsbury. Holtridge El Primo is by the 12,000gns Mellor Vale Dakota, a Garngour Craftsman son and out of a dam by the 75,000gns Teiglum Younggun that goes back to Sportsmans Batman. One of a select few offered for sale after the show, he later topped the trade at 6000gns selling in a three-way split to Alan Clark, Garngour; John and Archie MacGregor, Allanfauld and Gordon and David Gray, Ettrick.

The aged tups were topped by the three-shear ram, Milnbank Bacardi from John and Craig Connell's Lauder flock. Second at the Royal Highland Show in 2019, he is by the Irish sire Greenstar Alfie and out of a Strathbogie Untouchable-sired dam.

Gordon and David Gray, led the shearling ram class with a home-bred son of Ettrick Cockney Rebel, that also won his class at the Royal Highland Showcase in June. He is out of a ewe by Clinterty Yuga Khan.

Cowal Excalibur, from Keith, Allan and Roy Campbell, Lochgoilhead, won the Texelplus ram lamb class. He is by Hexel Django and out of a dam by Knap Alligator.

Leading a strong entry of aged ewes was the best from William, Graeme and Andrew Knox' Haddo flock from Fyvie. Their one-crop ewe is by Hexel Born To Be Wild and is bred from a ewe by Garngour Vintage, which is a maternal sister to the 50,000gns Haddo Ringleader.

Red ticket holder amongst the ewe lambs was Jack and Tom Arnott's best from the Haymount flock from Kelso. She is a daughter of the Plasucha Boss son, Haymount Crackerjack and out of a ewe by Garngour Ambassador.

Following on in the YDP gimmer class was Thomas Ayrton with a Sportsmans Cannonball daughter out of a Craig Douglas ewe by Mullan Amigo.

And in the YDP ram lambs the winner was Moorsley Edge from the Brennan family. He's by Moorsley Bertie and out of a dam by Milnbank Alejandro.

A trio from Procters Farm, Slaidburn, Lancs, won the group of three class.

Champion in the young handlers section, judged by Rachel Wilson, Turriff, was 16-year-old Fletcher Renwick, Kelso, with the reserve presented to Robbie Aiken, and honourary reserve awarded to Thomas Goldie.

LEADING awards

Aged ram – 1, J and C Connell (LYM1803073); 2, W and C Ingram (IGM1927579); 3 and 4, J and S Priestley (IGB1822914 and IGM1927576).

Aged ewe – 1, WJ Knox (KWJ1901849); 2, Messrs Boden and Davies (BYZ1922968); 3, J Aiken (AXC1900113); 4, R Wilson (LYM1903470); 5, G Gray (GGH1909028)

Shearling ram – 1, G Gray (GGH2010045); 2, D and T Bradley Farmer (FDT2002684); 3, W Duthie (MZH2000624); 4, G Gray (GGH2010021); 5, D and T Bradley Farmer (FDT2002634).

Gimmer – 1, female champion and supreme overall, R Cockburn (CKP2004684); 2, reserve female and reserve overall, Messrs Boden and Davies (BGS2004570); 3, J and H Clark (CJN2006926); 4, WJ Knox (KWJ2002083); 5, R Cockburn (CKP2004691).

Texelplus ram lamb – 1, K, A and R Campbell (CKC2113582); 2, D McKerrow (DMN2100377); 3, Procters Farm (PFD2104673); 4 and 5, G Gray (GGH2111105 and GCT2112383).

YDP gimmer – 1, T Ayrton (AYR2007454); 2, E MacTaggart (MTR2001287).

Open ram lamb – 1 and male champion, D McKerrow (DMN2100375); 2 and reserve male, D Dunlop (DJJ2100174); 3, R Wilson (LYM2104271); 4, Procters Farm (PFD2104674); 5, B Lowe (LWE2100290).

Ewe lamb – 1, J Arnott (AWJ2102481); 2, J and H Clark (CJN2107503); 2, C and J Nicholson (NIC2117010); 4, R Cockburn (CKP2105697); 5, Procters Farm (PFD2104654).

YDP ram lamb – 1 and 2, TM and R Brannen (QBT2100535 and QBT2100542).

Group of three – 1, Procters Farm; 2, G Gray; 3, K, A and R Campbell; 4, TM and R Brennan

Texel breeders attending the event raised more than £2000 in a raffle for the Farming Community Network (FCN).

Society events and sales cataloguing manager Ailish Ross said members had supported the raffle tremendously well and had dug deep in aid of an important and well recognised charity.

“We all know farming can be a difficult and at times isolated life with many of those within the farming community suffering both financial and emotional hardship as a result.

“The last 18 months has shown how the social aspect of the rural community is a vital to ensuring everyone in the farming community remains fit and well.

“The society is delighted to have been able to support the vital work that FCN does across rural communities to have raised such a good amount to help those less fortunate within the farming industry and support the work of more than 400 volunteers that play a part in FCN’s work in providing free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help.”