Shear determination as sheep showgirl sets sights on bleating the competition

IT’S an unusual ambition, even for a teenager who loves working with animals.

Farmer Ralph Alderson and Nicole Sandham with Ralphs Charollais ram

Nicole Sandham, 16, is about to realise her dream of showing sheep at the Great Yorkshire Show.

She is currently hard at work learning what is needed to impress the judges at next month’s event where she will show Charollais sheep for a North Yorkshire farmer.

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Her mother, Deena, of Yeadon, near Leeds, handed Nicole the opportunity to step into the ring by bidding at an auction run by Farming Community Network.

The auction lot was given by Bedale farmer Ralph Alderson to support the charity which helps the farming community. Mr Alderson has around 90 pedigree Charollais sheep at Carthorpe.

He said: “Nicole has been here a couple of times to see what showing’s all about, and she’s doing amazingly well. She’s confident, but not over confident, is quiet around the sheep and has really taken to it. There’s a lot to learn but she’s doing really well. The competition will be fierce as it’s the best show in the country, but she certainly deserves to be successful.”

Nicole said: “I love working with animals and in September I’m hoping to go to Askham Bryan College at York to study agriculture. To be competing at the Great Yorkshire Show will be amazing – I just can’t wait.