The Champion of the Decade in the Blackfaces was the 2014 champion from Archie and John MacGregor, from Allanfauld, Kilsyth with their appropriately named shearling ‘The Hulk’.

On his only career outing, this big lad is by a £60,000 Dalchirla and out of a £14,000 Dyke ewe. This champion was then sold as a shearling in November of 2014, at the Lanark sale for £24,000 to Blackhouse and Williamhope.

Judge’s comments:

The shearling ram from Archie and John MacGregor, Allanfauld, was chosen as the Blackface champion by current president, Alex Telfer.

“It was a great honour to have been asked to judge the Champions of the Decade and it was not the easiest task as they were three great sheep. However, after much thought and forensic study of the photographs I have finally come to my decision and my choice is the 2014 shearling tup from Allanfauld.

“This is a good lengthy, square bodied tup, with a great fore end on good legs with an excellent coat and hair. His head has a good muzzle, great cast of horn and a nice dark eye. Those quality attributes give this sheep a terrific presence and display wonderful breed character. A worthy champion for the breed.”


A top class gimmer that stood champion in 2016 from the Clark family’s Teiglum flock from Lesmahagow has been crowned Champion of the Decade.

The stylish supreme was by the 38,000gns Castlecairn Vavavoom – which had been purchased in September, 2014, from Bruce Renwick – and out of a home-bred ewe by Strathbogie Smokey Blue.

No stranger to the show ring, after claiming the tri-colour, she went on to stand second reserve in the inter-breed sheep competition at Ingliston and supreme sheep at both the Great Yorkshire and Lesmahagow that same year.

Championship genetics seem to flow through this bloodline, with the gimmer’s full ET sister standing first in her class at both the Royal Highland and the Great Yorkshire, in 2015.

Not only has this gimmer been successful in the show circuit, but she has also bred some noteworthy progeny, including Teiglum Young Gun, selling in August, 2016, for the top price of 70,000gns at the Scottish National show and sale, at Lanark, to the Sportsmans and Procters flocks. This tup went on to breed two six-figure priced sons, which topped the Lanark sale the next two years running.

Judge’s comments:

Taking care of the Texel judging was the breed chairman, Roy Campbell, who said: “This sheep had excellent conformation, with very good legs to set the shape off…and what a head! She is full of breed character and with a great outlook.”


The two-shear grey katmoget ram, Rosebank Neptune, came out on top in the 2015 Shetland sheep championship for John, Carolyn, Rebecca and Rowena Steven of the Rosebank flock from Currie, Edinburgh – and is now the breed’s Champion of the Decade.

This son of Field View Teddy, out of Cragfast Arcturus, on his third show outing secured the family their first Royal Highland champion rosette. Neptune also claimed the breed championship title at Drymen and Stirling shows, a few months previous.

However, with a successful show season under his belt, the Steven family retired Neptune from the show ring after his Highland win and sold him later that year to Dumfries-based Shetland breeder, Jo Kemp.

“I would say this was my biggest show win ever. I have won many local show breed championships and two national show and sale breed championships since, with his half-sister and in 2014 and with another animal in 2018.

“The last two years, 2018 and 2019, at the Royal Highland Show, we have claimed the title for the best group of three with younger relatives of Neptune, so his champion genetics are still shining through in his progeny,” John commented.

Judge’s comments:

Chairman of the Shetland Sheep Society, Andy Harwood, from Sussex, chose Rosebank Neptune as his breed Champion of the Decade. He commented:

“It was very close, with all three animals worthy Highland Show champions, but my overall champion would be the 2015 grey katmoget ram. I liked his presence and style which exemplified the breed characteristics, showing great colour and wool quality. He is a well-balanced animal with good conformation and structure.”


A year not to be forgotten for Stuart Wood and Stasa Moyes, Woolhillock, Aberdeenshire, was 2018 when they claimed the Beltex championship and inter-breed honours – the first time a Beltex had secured the overall title at the Royal Highland.

Newly crowned the Champion of the Decade, his winner came in the form of Woodies City Girl, a gimmer by Bob Lee Swagger, bred from an imported ewe from Belgium.

Although she provided a highly successful Highland Show, Stuart then reluctantly sold her for £20,000 privately to Yorkshire-based breeder, Robert Jones, but not before retaining some embryos from her.

“We have two City Girl sons that will be for sale later in the year, but we have retained two daughters. Both carry the same great breed characteristics and traits as their dam and I was hoping to be using one as my 2020 show ewe this year – however it was not to be,” Stuart added.

Judge’s comments:

The final decision to crown the Beltex champion was in the hands of breed chairman, Jim Kennedy, who selected Stuart Wood’s 2018 champion as his Champion of the Decade. He stated:

“This gimmer commands presence. She’s got a great head with a good cocky lug, a good top-line and tremendous gigot; she’s the all-round package.”

North Country Cheviot hill-type

Michael Elliot’s 2015 winner, a gimmer from Woodside Farm, in the Bowmont Valley, Kelso, has been chosen as the breed’s Champion of the Decade.

Previously unshown, this gimmer was by the £1000 Attonburn LSD and out of a home-bred dam by Woodside Looker and has since bred further show champions for the Elliot family.

After her successful debut at the Royal Highland, she had a year out and was back on parade at the National Show at Kelso in 2017 where she won the ewe class and the reserve female honours.

Now retired from the show circuit, she resides at Woodside and continues to breed top quality progeny to include Woodside Wahoo, a tup that sold for the flock’s top price of £7000 at Lairg, in 2019, to Bowmont Farming, at Attonburn.

Judge’s comments:

Following a recent honorary membership to the society following his 60-year-long dedication to the breed as shepherd at Achentoul, judge Stewart Henderson, said: “I was really impressed with the gimmer from 2015. She is a very good example of a hill-type North Country Cheviot.

“She is a very sweet type with very clean white hair and stands exceptionally well on her legs and has a really good tight skin. She is a real credit to the breed.”

North Country Cheviot park-type

Hownam Grange Fantastic certainly lived up to her name for the Thomson family, from Kelso, when she bagged the breed title, supreme sheep and the Queen’s Cup, and made up part of the winning inter-breed pair at the Highland in 2010.

And now, this classy gimmer – a daughter of Gilston The Midden – out of a home-bred ewe by Hownam Grange Monarch, has been crowned Champion of the Decade.

Although a newcomer to the show ring that year, Hownam Grange Fantastic also made her mark at the Great Yorkshire three weeks later when she was crowned breed champion again.

“I have four animals that come to mind when I think of ‘the best’ that I’ve bred over the years and she is certainly one of them,” commented Willie. “Although an eye-catcher in the ring, Fantastic had also been a quality breeder and although she has since passed away, her genetics live on through her progeny.”

One such is Hownam Grange Royal Blend – a son sold privately as a tup lamb to the Pengrose flock, based in Wales, in 2014 where he has fathered many champions, including the 2016 Anglesey Show breed champion and reserve supreme, Pengrose The Lady and the 2016 Countryside Live supreme sheep, Pengrose Vixen.

Judge’s comments:

The North Country Cheviot Park-type judge was the current society president, George Cormack, Wester, Caithness, who said this of his choice of champion: “I have chosen the 2010 champion from W and J Thomson as to me she stands out as a clear winner, with great breed character.

“This gimmer has everything a North Country Cheviot should have, starting with a black broad nose end, ears that are erect, and clean white silky hair.

“Her head is carried well and she has great length and depth to her body, a level top and bottom lines with a leg in every corner. She also has a good tight skin.

“Finally, she had what every champion needs and deserves, being presented to perfection.”

South Country Cheviot

The 2014 champion from Norman and David Douglas, Catslackburn, at Selkirk, has been crowned Champion of the Decade amongst the South Country Cheviots, winning on her sole show outing .

Such was the quality of this two-crop-ewe that she also went on to stand third in the inter-breed competition on the Saturday at Ingliston.

She is a daughter of an £8000 Stirkfield tup and out of a home-bred ewe. Although she left the show ring on a high, she has since made her presence felt breeding top-quality offspring for the Douglas family, including one of their most successful stock tups, Catslack Cavalier.

“This ewe is definitely one of the best South Country Cheviot ewes we have bred here at Catslackburn and she has bred well for us following her success at the Royal Highland Show,” David said.

Judge’s comments:

The South Country Cheviot Champion of the Decade competition was selected from the short-leet by its breed president, Tom Tennant, Gilmanscleuch, Ettrick, Selkirk.

He said: “She’s an outstanding hill ewe with size and stretch on good legs. She excels in the breed characteristics of the South Country Cheviot having a big black nose-end, bold eye, cocky ears and silky hair and had a commanding presence in the ring when shown, oozing femininity.”

Border Leicester

Champion of the Decade amongst the Borders was the 2018 breed leader – a one-crop-ewe from Stranraer-based breeder, John Barrowman, North Knockglass.

A daughter of Eildon Epic, she is out of a home-bred ewe by Holburn Limited and certainly knows her way about a show ring.

After a successful show season as a gimmer, in 2017 – when she stood first in her class at the Royal Highland Show and also winner of the National Show, held in Stranraer – she was later crowned the 2019 champion of the ‘Four Nations’ competition, held in Carlisle.

As well as dominating the show ring, she now resides at Knockglass and has proved a quality breeder for John, being the dam of the top priced ram lamb at last year’s breed sale at Lanark, which sold for £2700 to Tom Nelson, at Kilphin.

Judge’s comments:

The Border Leicester Champion of the Decade was chosen by Roddy Jones, of the Highfield flock.

The judge said of his choice: “The 2018 champion is very stylish, with a nice sweep to her face and a good deep jaw. She has a very good body and skin and all standing on excellent powerful legs.”


The Ingram family, from Inverurie, bagged the Royal Highland Show Charollais championship in 2016 with their entry, Rhaeadr Orlando – and it’s been chosen as the Champion of the Decade.

Born in 2014, this two-shear ram was purchased at the Worcester Premier Sale, in 2015, for 5000gns from Myfyr Evans. “We purchased Orlando because of his unbelievable width and carcase, and he has proved a great terminal sire,” said Bruce Ingram.

Since heading home with the Ingrams, Orlando has bred well, producing sons selling up to 3000gns. He has also sired many champions, including the Royal Welsh breed champion in 2019 which is still going strong.

The team at Logie Durno have picked up several championship rosettes over the years. They are also the first breeders to win all three major sheep titles at the Royal Welsh Show, in 2012, including the ‘individual’, ‘pair’ and ‘group of three’ and then became the first to retain the supreme title after winning it again, in 2013.

Judge’s comments:

The 2016 Charollais champion has been selected by David and Helen Sloan.

They said: “All finalists are exceptional examples of the Charollais breed and worthy champions. For us, the 2016 champion was our overall choice for champion of the decade.

“Rhaeadr Orlando has some serious power and a tremendous clean masculine head, plus good skin to go with it. As well as standing on four strong legs, he also had the ability to carry himself well around the ring and is a credit to the Ingram family.

“We are all looking forwards to getting back to the RHS in 2021 and enjoying a catch up with everyone.”

Bluefaced Leicester

Standing supreme within the Bluefaced Leicester breed was the 2018 traditional-type ram, Burndale G1 from Alan McClymont, based at Kirkstead, Yarrow.

This breed’s championship of the decade was a bit more unusual in that, from 2016 it had been spit into ‘traditional’ and ‘crossing’ sections, so there were 14 animals forward for the Champion of the Decade judge to decide.

The family’s four-shear tup is a son of Bonveilston C1, out of a Burndale ewe. A previous champion at the Royal Highland in 2016, this Burndale tup also went on to make up part of the winning inter-breed pairs at the Ingliston event in 2018 and later that year stood breed champion at Peebles Show.

As well as a successful show career, Burndale G1 is a proven breeder, having sired the champion traditional shearling at Kelso, in 2019, that sold for 5800gns and other sons to 6000gns.

“This tup has been a great asset to the flock and has bred many successful offspring, either in the show or sale ring. We have used him in a flushing programme and his four sons averaged £4000, which was fantastic,” said Mr McClymont.

Judge’s comments:

Making the difficult decision to crown the Bluefaced Leicester Champion of the Decade was the breed chairman, Melvin Ridley, who said:

“This particular sheep has tremendous conformation a good outlook, good skin and very good on his legs. He is a very well-deserved champion of the decade.”


Fife-based breeder, Barbara Webster bagged her first breed win at the Royal Highland Show, in 2015, with her two-shear ram, Blackbrook Fireballs – and now the Champion of the Decade.

This eye-catching ram is a son of Overdale Ben The Bully and was bred by Mr and Mrs Ben Stanley, located in Derbyshire, who then sold him to Bolton-based breeder, Kevin Gaskell.

Fireballs was shown as a shearling by Kevin at the Great Yorkshire Show, in 2014, and was crowned champion and it was there that Barbara took a shine to him and bought him for her flock.

The following year he claimed the Royal Highland Show title for her, and also went on to stand champion at the Scottish National Jacob Show.

Five years down the line, Blackbrook Fireballs is still being used as a breeding ram shared with fellow Fife breeders Linda McKendrick and Mike Munro.

“I secured the reserve champion ticket at the Royal Highland Show in my first year of showing, which would be in 1977 and it’s taken me the best part of 40 years to bag the champion rosette, so Blackbrook Fireballs is certainly a very special ram,” Barbara said.

Judge’s comments:

Taking control of judging the Jacob Champion of the Decade was Robert Locker, of Greenlaw, in the Borders, who commented on his choice of champion:

“I had the pleasure to judge all three sheep in the short-leet of the Champions of the Decade. All were exceptional examples of the Jacob breed, but I chose Blackbrook Fireballs as my champion as it has great power, length and conformation.

“It has a stylish, clean and masculine head with a great skin and a good dark colour, which drew me to it.”


In the Swaledale section the winner that stood out for the Champion of the Decade title was the 2014 winner from Stuart Bell, Gillgate, in North York – a then three-crop-ewe.

Sired by a tup bred by Richard Harker, Grayrigg Hall, and out of a home-bred ewe, she first secured the female championship at the Royal Highland Show as a gimmer in 2011, before returning in 2014 to land the breed championship.

From the Highland, she then moved down to the Great Yorkshire Show, to lift the female championship in 2014.

Still going strong six years later, she is fit and healthy and continuing to work as a quality breeding ewe for Stuart. “She is probably one of the best breeding ewes I’ve had on the farm,” he said.

“I’ve competed in small local shows over the years but winning the breed championship at the Highland Show would have to be my biggest showing achievement,” said Stuart.

Judge’s comments:

This class was judged by Will Cockbain, chairman of the society, and this is what he had to say on the champion: “My choice as winner of the three pictures is the ewe from Stuart Bell. A well made good bodied sheep, she has a good head with strong features whilst still retaining her female qualities. She wears her head nicely up in the air and has a stylish presence.

“She has good colour both on her head and legs and is good on all four feet. Overall a correct upstanding quality sheep.”

Commercial sheep

A strong class of contenders ultimately saw the Sutherland family – Kenneth and sons Stephen and Kenneth – from Sibmister, in Caithness, come out on top with a ewe and her well-matched pair of lambs.

Leading the way was a home-bred one-crop Texel cross Half-bred ewe that stood overall sheep champion at Latheron as a gimmer. She is by a home-bred tup and was shown with March-born twin ewe lambs at foot by a different home-bred Texel sire.

Currently residing at Sibmister, her daughters were retained in the flock for breeding and have since been shown themselves, being placed first in their classes at various events.

With the Sutherland family successfully managing 1600 cross ewes, 80 pure Suffolks and 60 pure Texels alongside 400 suckler cows, it’s no surprise that they have won the commercial championship several times over the years and have also been reserve on numerous occasions, including last year’s event.

“We have been showing at the Royal Highland Show for nearly 50 years and since the commercial section was introduced, so we have had the opportunity to win a few titles over the years,” Stephen said.

Judge’s comments:

UA’ pedigree specialist and director, David Leggat, was the judge for the commercial sheep classes and he commented: “Thanks to The Scottish Farmer for staging this very welcome Royal Highland Championship of the Decade. Congratulations to all those who qualified. The final three in my competition were truly outstanding and tough to separate.

“My champion is the ewe with her twin lambs – they are simply stunning. The team has star quality, they display wonderful conformation, bloom, health and are beautifully presented.

“They show the commercial attributes of a maternal milky ewe with two well grown lambs. This outfit is a great advert for Scotch quality lamb and the Royal Highland Show.”


Robbie Wilson, of North Dorlaithers, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, secured the Suffolk Champion of the Decade title with his 2012-winning entry.

His stylish two-crop-ewe – as she was then – was a Strathisla Speed daughter out of a dam sired by the 10,000gns Strathisla Kingsway. She is also the full ET sister to both Strathisla Leader that made 15,000gns and Strathisla Thunderstruck, which sold for 8000gns.

She is also a proven breeder with her top priced son, Strathisla Speilberg, selling for 12,000gns and also breeding daughters to 5500gns.

After her success at the Royal Highland Show, Robbie sold her at his Suffolk dispersal sale, in 2013, for 4200gns to the Limestone flock, in Northern Ireland.

With the inclusion of Robbie’s 2012 champion ewe, he had secured the Suffolk championship at the Royal Highland Show five times, as well as claiming the commercial cattle honours once and more recently the Texel championship, in 2017.

Judge’s comments:

Judged by Ron Greig, of the Tillydesk flock and chair of Suffolk Sheep Society, he commented: “Top place goes to the 2012 champion. My reasons are that this ewe has great style with body depth, nice silky head, well placed ears and stands well on her legs. Also, she has a nice fleece and excellent colours.”


John Geldard and his sons, Charles and Richard, Kendal, Cumbria took the Lleyn championship with their 2012 home-bred shearling ewe entry.

Sired by Lionel Organ’s 30650005 ram and out of a home-bred ewe born in 2006, she had previously stood reserve champion at the Royal Welsh as a ewe lamb.

Following her retirement from the show circuit, she was retained by the Geldard family and has been a very successful breeding ewe, producing top-quality lambs for both pedigree and commercial flocks.

Judge’s comments:

The Lleyn champion was selected by the society chairman, John Dugdale, Borrins, North Yorkshire and this is what he had to say:

“First place goes to a ewe which stands out as an eye-catching, smart feminine female with true white legs and face with a tidy tight skinned fleece. A sound top line and plenty of length in the body.”

Hampshire Down

In the Hampshire Down class, it was a ewe from EB and SA Jones, of the Maes Glas, Haverfordwest, in South Wales that secured the overall title of Champion of the Decade.

Judge’s comments:

Hampshire Down president, Judith Galbraith, from the Graylen flock, in Cumbria, picked out the 2011 winner for the breed’s Champion of the Decade. She said:

“This was a very difficult decision, with three outstanding sheep to select from. My Champion of the Decade is the 2011 winner. She is an eye-catching ewe with great length, which looks to have good width and power whilst still looking feminine.

“She also appears to have correct feet and legs and is nice and upright on her pasterns. She has lovely dark ears which are well placed.”