CUMBRIAN livestock farmers returned victorious from the Great Yorkshire Show amid fierce competition.

In the hotly-contested North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) classes reserve championship honours went to the first prize single gimmer lamb from Neil and Mary Marston, of Millstone Moor, Cockermouth, who have themselves been North of England Mule champions on two occasions at the Royal Highland Show, with the Great Yorkshire overall reserve a daughter of their own Highberries N10 ‘Golden Boy,’ himself a G34 Midlock son.

This lamb was also one of the first prize-winning gimmer lamb pairs for the Marstons, its partner sired by a ‘Golden Boy’ son, Highberries P5, with the family tasting yet more success when winning the single ewe lamb show class with one of similar breeding.

In what was possibly the strongest show of North of England Mule shearlings seen at the Great Yorkshire for some time, the defending breed champion, Cumbrian farmer James Robinson of Strickley Farm, Kendal was again among the prizes, with two red rosettes in his haul.

He first clinched the sucked gimmer shearlings pairs class, one of the duo having also stood reserve champion at this year’s Royal Highland after being purchased as an individual from Jeff and Jean Burrow, of Grayrigg, at the Kendal Auction Mart ‘Stars in Your Eyes’ highlight. It was paired with a Marston-bred shearling. James also took the red rosette in the geld shearlings pairs class with a duo bred by David Lawson, of Masongill, Ingleton, and the Marstons yet again.

North Craven’s Graeme Jackson was crowned breed champion in the NEMSA show classes and overall commercial champion at last week’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.

Graeme, who farms with his partner Amy and daughter Ellie at Mount Pleasant, High Bentham, clinched the title with his first prize single geld shearling ewe, which was among a ten-strong gimmer lamb pen purchased at Bentham Auction Mart last year from John Hutchinson, of Hebblethwaite Hall Farm, Cautley, near Sedbergh.

Just two weeks earlier, the Hutchinsons had taken the Swaledale breed championship at the Royal Highland Show with a 2-crop ewe from their Hebblethwaite flock by a Shepherds Lodge tup bred by the Hird family in Arkengarthdale.