Tregdragon wins best in show at Kelso

Border Union Show at Kelso.
Border Union Show at Kelso.

The weather gods smiled – albeit intermittently – on the crowd at the 186th Border Union Show, held at Springwood Park in Kelso, on Friday and Saturday.

Crowd numbers looked a little down on previous years – although they could all have been staying under cover from the several showers that hit the showfield – and cattle entries were limited as there was no national show.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Champion Hereford from Low Cornriggs Farm, Cowshill, Bishop Aukland handled by Harry Elliot with the Kerfield Cup.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Champion Hereford from Low Cornriggs Farm, Cowshill, Bishop Aukland handled by Harry Elliot with the Kerfield Cup.

It still proved to be the premier agricultural event in the region, and second only in the country to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, however.

The climax to the show is the choosing of the champion of champions, which takes place after the parade of livestock on the Saturday afternoon and gives the appointed judge the difficult job of deciding the best in show between the overall winners of the cattle, ridden horse, heavy horse, sheep and poultry sections.

This year, judge Ronnie Black seemed torn between a Limousin bull from Redpath Farms called Dinmore Jollygood and the ridden hunter Tredragon, ridden by Gilly McCowan and owned by Gilly and her husband Andrew, from Horncliffe Mains, near Berwick – and he plumped for the latter.

Mr Black, of Cupar in Fife, said: “It was a very difficult decision, and it could have gone either way.

Gillian McCowan with the 'Overall Hunter Championship', The Don Challenge Cup presented by Gerald Maitland-Carew.

Gillian McCowan with the 'Overall Hunter Championship', The Don Challenge Cup presented by Gerald Maitland-Carew.

“The limousin is a remarkable animal, and the ridden hunter did very well. It takes many hours to train a horse to do what he can do.

“Either would have made a good supreme champion, but this time I’ve gone for the horse.”

It’s not the first time the Berwick couple have come up trumps at the show as they won a few years back with a horse called Fusilier.

Gilly said: “We weren’t here last year, but the year before we had a riding horse champion.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Grand parade of livestock.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Grand parade of livestock.

“You never know how well you will do on the day, but on this occasion, of course, I’m delighted.”

This year’s show marks the end of an era for Border Union Agricultural Society in that it was the last one for secretary Ron Wilson, who steps down after the ram sales in September.

Known as Mr Border Union Show, Ron is usually seen running the event, ironing out any issues along the way, and this year was no different.

His remit does not end with classifying livestock and liaising with farmers. For instance, not many would have noticed the borehole pump in the ladies’ toilet went down on Saturday because Ron had arranged for it to be switched to the mains within 20 minutes.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Redpath Farms win the Age Bull Class with Hazel McNee presenting the cup.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Redpath Farms win the Age Bull Class with Hazel McNee presenting the cup.

His shoes will certainly be tough to fill, but retirement is pretty far from his mind right now, with organisation for the ram sales in full flow.

Asked how it felt to have overseen his last Border Union Show, he said: “I haven’t really had time to think about it like that, to be honest.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m delighted that this year’s show appears to have been a success.

“We may have been down a little in numbers from last year, but that was a record-breaking show and would have been tough to beat, given the weather.”

There was a very strong sheep entry, with the Cheviots having their national show.

Watching was the new North Country Cheviot Sheep Society secretary Corinne Cowin, who watched chairman Willie Thomson and his father Jimmy win the breed’s national show, coming first in the Lairg and the park-type, which in turn went on to lift the supreme and reserve interbreed sheep honours respectively, from their Hownam Grange flock.

Border Union Show at Kelso.

Border Union Show at Kelso.

As this year is the 50th anniversary of the Donkey Society, it increased its entry from 24 to 31, with the introduction of miniature donkey classes.

And it was one of these which won the class – Lorraine Rae’s Frontier Legends Diplomat, of Bamburgh, a brown stallion who looked like he enjoyed his lap of honour in the champion of champions show, led by Berwick’s Claire Scott.

Thrilling the crowd on the Saturday was a team of young motorcyclists from London, the Honda Imps.

A regular favourite at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the youngsters, some as young as five, performed some marvellous tricks on their machines, including pyramids, backwards riding, inch-perfect crossovers and a spectacular jump over some of the smaller riders.

Other highlights in the main ring on the Saturday included lurcher racing, heavy horse turnouts, a carriage-driving championship and a celebration of Fordson – a unique parade of tractors with one from each decade, from a 1917 Fordson F, which cost $600, to the biggest 2017 Ford/New Holland with a retail price of £200,000.

The show has a proud past of showing people how their food gets from field to plate, and this year there were 20 plots showing all manner of environmental crops grown in the countryside.

And in the main exhibition hall, there were 45 stands in the ever-popular food fair showing off the best produce from both sides of the border, and the craft and gift hall was also fully booked, and proved a main attraction.

Outdoors, there were 200 very varied trade stands from local suppliers to political parties and a fairground for kids big and small.

Speaking after the show, at which the Scottish Conservatives had a stall, John Lamont, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said: “This was once again a hugely successful Border Union Show which truly had something for everyone.

“It was great to speak to so many constituents and to take the time to visit some of the trade stands and organisations who attended.

“My thanks go to the Border Union Agricultural Society, who hosted a visit from the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, and for all the hard work everyone put in to make sure the show ran so smoothly and was such a success.”

Trophy winners

Champion of champions

Champion: Ridden hunter, Tredragon, Andrew and Gilly McCowan, Horncliffe Mains. Reserve: Limousin bull, Redpath Farms.

Horses and Ponies

Lauderdale Challenge Cup for champion mountain/moorland ridden pony: G. Rossall & N. J. Wright – Treworgan Top Notch.

Waldie Griffiths Challenge Cup for champion nountain and moorland ridden pony: H. G. Whetter – Trenewydd Danny Boy.

Riding ponies

Mrs A Hogg’s Challenge Cup (Champ) – J. Scales, Rotherwood Melody Maker.

Brood mares

The Edale Trophy (Champ) Charlie Cousens, Rhos Emilia. The Craiglea Challenge Trophy (Champ Foal) – Charlie Cousens, Foal.

Highland ponies in-hand

Strathleven Challenge Trophy/Highland Pony Society Rosette (Champ) – C. W. Grant, Dunedin Rhiona.

Highland ponies ridden

Ednam House Trophy / Highland Pony Society Rosette (Champ) – C. W. Grant – Dunedin Rhiona.

M&M ridden

Champion rosetter – Mellissa Swinley – Liddesdale Sovereign.

Welsh ponies

Torquhan Cup (Champ Sec A) – C Crawford, Blackhill Quanita. Douthwaite Cup (Champ Sec B) – Gordon Appleby, Telynau Helena (overall champion).

Veteran horses

The Gonzo Salver – Fiona Hutcheson, Fairsunrise.

Native ponies in hand

Transy Trophy – J. Watson, Kerloch Rupert. The Haig Douglas Perpetual Challenge Trophy – G Reilly, Nisbet. Sydserff Challenge Trophy – R. Williams,Glenwood Stud Strike a Note. Leithenwater Challenge Trophy – A. Chaffe, La Ventura Independence.

Hunter pony breeding

Macharg Bowl – M. Wardropper, Woodend Balamory.

Native ridden & part-bred ponies

Border Union Challenge Cup – Brian M. Hyslop, Newoak Classic Edition. Dene Rejoice Salver – Louise Younger, Wellbrow Norman.

Working hunter ponies

South Laws Cup – Debbie Robertson, Clydes Dream Boy. R. Hunter Murray Challenge Salver – Dawn Edgar, Bobby Eoin.

M&M working hunter ponies

Duchess of Sutherland Challenge Cup Champion – H. G. Whetter, Trenewydd Danny Boy. Major T. H. C. Cox Silver Cup Reserve Champion – Mr & Mrs I Somervail, Bellindene Rhuaridh.

Show hunter ponies

Rosepark Trophy – Lynn Gregg – Jeanfield Regal Prince.

Pony club team jumping

Ponies of Britain Salver (Junior) – Duke of Buccleuch Pony Club. Ponies of Britain Challenge Cup (Senior) Duke of Buccleuch Pony Club.

Hunter Championship

Don Challenge Cup – Mr & Mrs Andrew McCowan, Tredragon.

Hunters in hand

Wm Murray Silver Challenge Salver and the Ellesmere Silver Challenge Cup – Joanne & William Moran, Dewsberry Park. Alan Innes Memorial Challenge Cup – Joanne & William Moran, Wallace Town. Kelso Town Challenge Trophy – Gillian Clark, Rose Quartz.

Ridden hunters

Jedforest Challenge Cup – Mr & Mrs Andrew McCowan, Tredragon. Tweeddale Press Cup – Clive Storey, Coco. Axminster Rose Bowl – Nesta & Grant Todd, Roscoe. Ian MacKenzie Gray Memorial Cup – Clive Storey, Coco. Belling Burn Cup – Hilary Mactaggart, Harley Street.

Donkeys

The Newall Challenge Cup – Lorraine Rae, Frontier Legends Diplomat. Perpetual Cup – Best Turned-Out

Donkey – G. A. D. Burton, Todridge Walnut.

Retraining racehorses

Eric Gillie Trophy – Caroline Pennycook, Blue Thor.

Clydesdales

Hendersyde Cup – J. Tennant – Solo. William Rennie Perpetual Trophy (opposite sex to champion – T. Tennant, Mollinhillhead Lady Claire.

Shires

Roger Buglass Challenge Cup – J Fairbairn, Marshall Meadows Spotlight.

Decorated harness

Winner: S. W. Graham, Dan.

Heavy horse turnouts

Harp Lager Trophy – Gawin I. Holmes, Jake.

Cattle

Beef interbreed

Centenary Challenge Cup (champion) Redpath Farms, Dinmore Jollygood. Anniversary Trophy (reserve) – Gordon Brooke Estate, Linton Gilbertines President S021.

Aberdeen Angus

The Nisbethill Challenge

Cup/tartan sash – Gordon Brooke Estate, Linton Gilbertines President S021. T. W. Todd Silver Rose Bowl – Firm of Thomas Hodge, Rulesmains Karen L239.

Hereford

Champion / Kerfield Cup / special rosette –Harry Elliot, Cornriggs 1 Julia 4th . Royal Bank of Scotland Salver, best group of three –B. G. Hutchinson.

Native beef breeds

Champion / Bank of Scotland Trophy – Gordon Brooke Estate, Balgay Jerusalem Song (Shorthorn).

Limousin

Champion / Nutrivet Cup – Redpath Farms, Dinmore Jollygood.

Open young handler

16-21 years – Isla Campbell. 15 and under – Kirien Campbell.

Sheep

Sheep interbreed

Joe Walton Challenge Trophy – W & J Thomson, Hownam Grange. The Gowanbrae Cup (reserve) – W & J Thomson, Hownam Grange.

Border Leicester

Centenary Challenge Cup/ championship rosette – Mr & Mrs K. Irving.

Lleyn

Championship rosette – J. Kingan.

Suffolk

Wm Bosomworth Silver Cup Champion – Mr & Mrs B Nicolson. Hugh Fraser Silver Salver (best opposite sex to champion) – S & G Sutherland.

Texel

Championship rosettes – Mr & Mrs B Nicolson. The Bell Salver (best opposite sex to champion) –Ian Murray.

Zwartbles

Charles Scott Trophy/championship rosette – Colin Rae. Eildon Hill Salver – Caroline Anderson.

Any other breed

Championship rosette –Robert Rennie (Beltex).

Prime lambs

McAlpine Silver Cup/championship rosette – Messrs Green (Texel).

Blackface

Arnott Silver Cup/championship rosettes – S McClymont. McTurk Silver Cup (best opposite sex to champion – Tollishill Farming.

Bluefaced Leicester

Scots Gap Cup/BFL Society Plaque/championship rosette – S. McClymont.

Cheviot

Centenary Challenge Cup/championship rosette – C. M. Ker. Tom Rogerson Trophy (opposite sex to champion) – C. M. Ker. J. Bibby Perpetual Challenge Cup (best group) – C.M. Ker.

Hebridean

Hebridean Sheep Society Rose Bowl/Ronasvoe Cup/champion – Nick & Ann Fecitt. Sycamore Trophy (reserve champion) – John Mosley. Carcross Trophy (best multi horned sheep) – J. & M. Cuthbert. Windyhall Trophy (best pen of three) – J. &M. Cuthbert

Jacob

Redpath Trophy/Carochy Bowl and sash/championship rosette – G. Connor & S. Dalrymple. Harbell Trophy (best pair) – G. Connor & S. Dalrymple.

Kerry hill

Championship rosettes – Jack Graham.

Lairg type Cheviot

W & J Thomson Cup/Davidson Brother’s (Shotts) Ltd Trophy – W & J Thomson.

North Country Cheviot

Centenary Challenge Cup /Silver Salver/Jack Dun Trophy (best exhibit) – W. & J. Thomson. The Clackmae Cup (best group) – J. Runciman and sons.

Scotch halfbred

The Centenary Challenge Cup/championship rosettes – G. D. Pate & Sons. Short Silver Cup (class 259) – G. D. Pate & Sons.

Shetland

A C Burn Shield/Shetland Society special rosettes/championship rosettes – Mr & Mrs A. Bain. Frances Fish Cup (coloured) – Susan Tyson & Rachel Willan. Frances Fish Cup (white) – Mr & Mrs A. Bain. Champion of Champions qualifier – Mr & Mrs A. Bain.

Unregistered Suffolks

Cessford Motors Challenge Cup/championship rosette – N & G Sandilands.

Prime lambs (non MV)

McAlpine Silver Cup/championship rosettes – Andrew Rennie (Beltex X).

Open young handler

MV – winner, James Nicholson; reserve Hannah Francis.Non MV – winner, Angus Weir; reserve, Adam Anderson. Dan Buglass Memorial Trophy – winner, James Nicholson; reserve, Angus Weir.

Fleece competition

The Border Union Trophy/championship rosette – Joan Brunton. British Wool Sheep Breeders Book – Joan Brunton.

Industrial section

The Industrial Cup – Jan Little. Templeton Rose Bowl – Joan Duncan. Margaret Forrest Rose Bowl – Sarah Purves. Shaw Salver – Marion Hamilton. The Mary Rogerson Trophy – Sarah Purves. Kelso Pea Growers Ltd Cup – Jan Little. The Turnbull Salver – Elizabeth Kowbel. The Lees Cup – Rachel Young. The Margaret College Shield – Ross Dagg & Carys Jones. Pat Sloan Trophy –Sofiya Kowbel.

Pet show

Champion – Coco, with Freya Graham. Reserve – Swift, with James Clarke.

Poultry

R. W. Brown Challenge Cup (champion) – A. & J. Robertson. Roxburgh House Salver (reserve champion) – H. Wallace. T. F. Carrs Shield (best hard feather – J. Rodgers. J. Halley Shield (best soft feather or true bantam – A. & J. Roberston. The M. Crawford Cup (best exhibit bred in the current year) – D. A. Taylor. R & L Ramsay Trophy (best waterfowl) – A. & J. Robertson. Tankard (best exhibit in egg section) – D. C. S. Tweedie. Tankard (best junior) – Bayley Chloe Holliday.

Dairy Goats

Jedburgh Goat Group Cup / A. Carr Trophy / BU Championship rosettes/Fionn Mist Perpetual Challenge Rose Bowl (best Toggenburg or British Toggenburg) – Rebecca E. Campbell, Linnavon Edelweiss. The Richmond Cup (best Anglo Nubian) – Beth Fairley, Braynusen Kalamity. Tweedside Sissy Rosebowl (best British Saanen) – V. Wood, Treval Zinnia;. Whitehouse Silver Salver/ JGG Rose Bowl – V. Wood, Treval Aliola;. Highland Confectionery Cup/ The Galloway Cup V. Wood, Treval Zinnia. St Micheal Trophy (best AOV milker) – Rebekah Fleming, Ladeside Ladyrue. BGS Rosette (best goat in show – Rebecca E. Campbell, Linnavon Edelweiss. The Breeders Challenge Cup – Val Wood.

Horse shoeing

Countess of Lauderdale Cup – Ian Gajczak. George Fairley Memorial Cup – Jack Clayton.

Shepherds’ crooks

The Border Stick Dressers’ Association Challenge Cup – D. E. Gardner. Best Exhibit Novices Classes – Murray James Playfair.

Young farmers

Silver Challenge Cup/T. H. Brewis Silver Quaich – Ewan Pate & Jim Pate.

Trade stalls

Champion – Hand Made by Judith. Reserve – Countryside Kitchens.

Border Union Show at Kelso. John and Isla Campbell witih the Shorthorn Champion from Gordon Brooke Estate in Earlston.

Border Union Show at Kelso. John and Isla Campbell witih the Shorthorn Champion from Gordon Brooke Estate in Earlston.

Border Union Show at Kelso. The Aberdeen Angus Male champion held by Kirsty and Ian Campbell for Gordon Brooke Estate in Earlston.

Border Union Show at Kelso. The Aberdeen Angus Male champion held by Kirsty and Ian Campbell for Gordon Brooke Estate in Earlston.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Carriage driving in the Main Ring at Springwood Park.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Carriage driving in the Main Ring at Springwood Park.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Carriage driving in the Main Ring at Springwood Park.

Border Union Show at Kelso. Carriage driving in the Main Ring at Springwood Park.

Gillian McCowan with the 'Champion of Champions' winner.

Gillian McCowan with the 'Champion of Champions' winner.