31st Masham Sheep Fair hailed a winner

Two-year-old Luke Percy from Masham gets his Texel sheep ready to show at last weekend's Masham Sheep Fair.  Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Two-year-old Luke Percy from Masham gets his Texel sheep ready to show at last weekend's Masham Sheep Fair. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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A street invasion of sheep helped see off a successful 31st Masham Sheep Fair in the North Yorkshire market town last weekend.

In a throwback to how sheep used to be traded, hundreds of animals occupied pens in the centre of town for an event that organisers said they hoped will have raised around £12,000 for local charities, including Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Sheep racing at Masham Sheep Fair.  Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sheep racing at Masham Sheep Fair. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Over the two days, visitors to the fair were treated to a variety of sheep-related entertainment such as sheep racing and sheepdog demonstrations, as well as a fleece sale, a flower display, a craft market, a wool craft contest and an art exhibition.

Top billing however went to the annual sheep show in the market square which saw farmers compete in around 30 classes.

It was a successful day in the pens for Lester Peel, among others. Mr Peel, of Greystone Farm, Over Silton, Thirsk won the supreme championship, while Clive Richardson from Swarthmoor, Ulverston, Cumbria was named as the reserve supreme champion.

Across the many breed classes, the Masham section was always sure to attract attention, and it was M & B Allen of Borrowby Grange Farm, Staithes who showed the champion.

Judging at the Masham Sheep Fair.  Picture: Adrian Murray.(1609251AM10)

Judging at the Masham Sheep Fair. Picture: Adrian Murray.(1609251AM10)

Susan Briggs, one of the fair’s organising team, said this year’s event had all the hallmarks of another successful two days.

She said: “It’s hard to tell about how much we raised yet as the money is still being counted but last year we raised just over £12,000 in total and we would expect to usually raise between £10,000 and £12,000.

“Our usual early yardsticks are how full the car park was, how many programmes and tea towels we sell and from those, it seems to have been a really great year.

“We had some really good entries in some classes, which seemed to be up on previous years, such as the Jacobs.

“We had two new cups this year, in memory of people who made a major contribution to the sheep fair in previous years - Mike Keeble and Brian Maw.

“A really big thank you to all the volunteers and committee - many of them are in their 70s and keep making a massive contribution, in particular Dick Anderson and David Neson.”

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