A record entry of 80 single Mule gimmer lambs battled it out in the Swaledale cross and Blackface cross classes at Gilsland Show on Sunday, which took place in glorious sunshine, having been washed out last year.
Elsewhere on the field, a homebred Texel gimmer shearling from Nicholas Woodmass of Harene, Linstock, Carlisle, had a great day.
After securing the Champion title in the Texel section, she went on to win the Overall Championship in the sheep section then took the Champion of Champions.
Judge Frank Forster of Sorbie Nook, Lilliesleaf, Melrose, placed a Galloway cow from Hunter Smith of Wiley Sike, Gilsland as Reserve Champion.
Mr Woodmass’s gimmer is sired by Farmhill Superstar and out of a ewe by Annan Original.
The Reserve Champion in the sheep section came from John Skidmore, of North Hanging Wells, Weardale. This bright-coloured ewe is by Mr Skidmore’s stock tup Aygill Commander and out of a ewe by a Bull and Cave tup.
A homebred North of England type Blackface shearling gimmer from Willie Woodman, of Great Chesters, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, gained the top honours in a very strong section.
This big-framed female is by a Redesmouth sire and is out of a ewe by the old Whiteside stock tup.
The Mule ewe lambs bred from North of England type Blackfaces was the largest class on the field with more than 40 entries of outstanding lambs.
This was won by John Nicholson of Old Police House, Roadhead, north Cumbria.
His near-neighbour, Ken James, of Midtodhills, Roadhead, won the Blueface Leicester Section with a Shearling gimmer. This crossing type female with plenty of colour was by Mr James’s Hewgill stock tup and out of a homebred ewe.
Having been pipped to the post for the overall championship title, Hunter Smith – who also farms at The Spittal of Glenshee, as well as Gilsland – won the Scotch Blackface section with a tup lamb out of a homebred ewe by a Connachan sire.
John and Mandy Smith-Jackson, of Hightown, Melkridge, Northumberland, were eventual winners of the Champion Mule Ewe Lamb bred from the Swaledale ewe.
The Smith-Jacksons had a great day, also winning the pen of six Mules and champion group of three.
The winning Mule ewe lamb at Gilsland was also Champion Mule at Penrith out of a class of 52 lambs, going on to win Reserve interbreed sheep.
The ewe lamb is out of a Swaledale ewe from Reserve Champion winner John Skidmore of Hanging Wells and sired by a homebred C2 Bluefaced Leicester tup which won Penrith progeny for the third year in succession.
The Smith-Jacksons were delighted to win at Gilsland, crediting the dedication and hard work of show secretary Rachael Marston and the committee members for Gilsland now being recognised as one of the top shows in the area for Mule gimmer lambs.
Rachael said: “It was very well attended, a fantastic show of sheep and great to see after having to cancel last year because of the poor weather.
“Overall there was a very good atmosphere on the show field and we had lots of lovely comments throughout the day.”