One of the biggest agricultural shows in the Peak District is set to host a prestigious pedigree sheep breed championship.
Organisers of Hope Show have announced that they have once again secured the honour of staging the England National Championship Class for pedigree North Country Cheviots.
Competition is expected to be fierce with the best examples of the breed from across the country set to take part and a large number of farmers from South and West Yorkshire due to join their Derbyshire counterparts for the show at Marsh Farm on August Bank Holiday Monday.
The North Country Cheviot - or the ‘Northie’ as it is known in the sheep world - is renowned as a hardy and versatile native breed which thrives across the UK and is particularly suited to grassy hills and uplands.
Such are their qualities that the North Country Cheviot Society reports that both male and female lambs are in constant demand; ewe lambs for breeding and castrated male lambs for carcasses which retain leanness from late summer to early spring.
The breed championship in Derbyshire’s Hope Valley will be judged by the Society’s president, William Thompson from Kelso in the Scottish Borders.
Peak District farmer James Metcalfe, who has recently built up his own pedigree flock of 120 ewes and has helped bring the championship class to Hope Show, said: “The championship class will enable people to see the best of the breed.
“This year we have had a lot of interest from breeders and they are coming from all parts of England.
“The president of the breed society has been very impressed by the quality of the sheep shown at Hope and this year we are very privileged that he is our judge.”
The England National Championship Class is open to all members of the North Country Cheviot Society nationally and the winner will receive a perpetual trophy, The President’s Cup, donated by former show society president Rod McKenzie.