Our next show saw us in home territory enjoying the sunshine at The Cumberland County Show (Judged by Jeanie Scott). The classes were very well supported this year and hopefully next year we can have separate classes for Aged and Shearling Rams. Our lambs were the stars here as Hawthorns Tuilagi and Hawthorns Tara both won their classes with Hawthorns Tuilagi taking the Reserve Championship.
Next stop, Royal Three Counties Show at Malvern which held The National Ryeland Show, (Judged by Susan Bryden) again Tuilagi and Tara shone with Tuilagi winning the Ram Lamb Class and Tara second in the Ewe Lamb Class. They then went onto the win Best Pair of Lambs.
We have been chasing the Championship at The Great Yorkshire Show (Judged by Laura Howell) for many years having been Reserve on three occasions. This year was to be a dream come true! We achieved our best ever results at any show with wins in the Aged Ram Class (Hawthorns Phineas - P13), Shearling Ram Class (Hawthorns Shadrack - S15), Breeding Ewe Class (Hawthorns Phoebe - P3) Shearling Ewe (Hawthorns Saffron - S6) Ewe Lamb (Hawthorns Tara - T2). We had a 2nd place in the Ram Lamb Class (Hawthorns Tuilagi - T25) and third place in the Group of Three (Hawthorns Phineas, Phoebe and Saffron). We then went on to win Champion Female (Hawthorns Saffron), Reserve Champion Female (Hawthorns Tara), Champion Male (Hawthorns Phineas) and Reserve Champion Male (Hawthorns Shadrack). Hawthorns Phineas taking the Championship with Hawthorns Saffron Reserve.
Last year we went down to Builth Wells on a recky, with the Royal Welsh Show in our sights. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and decided that we would like to exhibit there. After such an amazing experience at GYS I thought that things could not get any better!!! How wrong - I cannot find the words to express how fantastic the Royal Welsh Show is. It is quite simply the best! We were so proud to be even exhibiting there and to come away with the Championship was unbelieveable!! (Judged by Brenda Wear)Hawthorns Phineas was 1st in the Aged Ram Class, going on to become Best Male Exhibit. We achieved a 4th place in the Shearling Ram Class, Ram Lamb Class and Breeding Ewe Class and a 1st place in the Shearling Ewe Class with Hawthorns Simone. The welsh air must suit her very well as she came away with her second Welsh Championship of the year. Our Group of Three consisting of H. Phineas, Simone and Tara won the Best Group of Three Bred by Exhibitor. We were then pulled into the second cut short list in the Interbreed Pairs and Interbreed Lowland Championship. Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted such a result, I am so proud.............and then we moved onto the Royal Welsh After Judging Party in the lines (maybe not so proud of myself - what happens in Builth stays in Builth!!!!) We Ryeland Breeders like to Party!!!
As the Show Season of 2013 draws to a close, I reflect on what has been an amazing year. What 2014 holds for the Hawthorns Flock I am still unsure but one thing I am 100% certain of is that we, the members of the Ryeland Flock Book Society have the very best breed of sheep and the very best breeders in the whole universe.