FATHER and son team Jim and William Thomson of Hownam Grange capped off an incredible season at the weekend's Border Union Show with their champion North Country Cheviot gimmer that has swept all before her on this summer's show circuit.
The Thomsons had won the sheep inter-breed championship with their North Country Cheviot ewes in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
This time it was their Royal Highland Show-winning North Country Cheviot gimmer that beat 1,000 other entries to take not only the inter-breed title but also the show's inaugural champion of champions title and trophy.
Judge Andrew Elliot, of Blackhaugh, Galashiels, did not have an easy job, but in the end one animal stood out above the rest.
"She was very clean, with good skin, good carcass and she stayed well on her legs, she was up on her legs," he told TheSouthern.
"She had colours in all the right places – she was white where she's meant to be and black where she's meant to be. When she walked, she showed a bit of glint. She had a lot of glint. She was just a very classy animal when they let them go."
Opting for a Blackface shearling ram from Jim Logan at Pirntaton, Galashiels, Mr Elliot, who was judging the Border Union inter-breed event for the first time, said it was a great sheep that showed well. "Very good animal, meat in all the right places. I would be happy to own either sheep," he added.
And overall he thought that the standard of competition was very high. "It was a very good standard as usual at the Border Union. Every animal in the inter-breed was a worthy champion for its breed."
The first-ever award of the Dan Buglass Memorial trophy for the best young sheep handler was contested by 26 competitors, with the eventual winner being Michael Walton.
The cattle competition also boasted the UK national Aberdeen Angus show, with more than 100 entries from all over the country.
Judge Bob Lane eventually went for an 18-month-old Aberdeen Angus bull from William and Karen McLaren, of Nertherton, Blackford in Perthshire, as his champion.
This was the McLarens' first show after an absence of eight years and, for good measure, their bull, named Netherton Focus, went on to take the show inter-breed title.
Mr McLaren was delighted with the win. "This was our first show for eight years and basically came because the kids wanted to come, so it was great for us to win," he told TheSouthern.
The reserve inter-breed was the Continental champion from Redpath Farms, Spylaw, Kelso, with a four-year-old Limousin cow, Redpaths Bronwyn.
Over in the equestrian events, the Don Challenge Cup for the hunter championship went to V McKie of Milfield, Wooler, with her bay gelding, Jona O'Shannon.
New this year was the inaugural award of the champion of champions title, with the Matthew Templeton Salver going to the Thomsons for their champion Cheviot.
Judging the championship, Jack Clark, managing director of John Swan Ltd, told the crowd why he had picked out the sheep as his overall show champion.
"She is a deserved champion. She is a true female, with great skin and good colour. The reserve went to the Aberdeen Angus bull as he was a great representative of the breed."
Mr Clark also praised the other class champions, which included the hunter, poultry, Clydesdale and alpaca winners.
"It is a great privilege to have been asked to judge this inaugural event at the Border Union," he said. "The exhibits all do great credit to stockmen, owners and breeders."
Ron Wilson, secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Society, says organisers are pleased with this year's show.
"We were extremely lucky with the weather. Provisional figures show that attendances on the Friday were up on last year with Saturday's crowd numbers about the same as last year," he told us.
"There was a great buzz around the showground and no major problems. There was fantastic quality on show in the sheep and cattle classes and on top of the high standards in all the livestock sections we had the added excitement of the champion of champions contest for the very first time.
"When you have something like that you need a top stockman as your judge and who better than Jack Clark to pick the best of the best?"
BEEF cattle INTER-BREED CHAMPIONSHIP
Centenary Challenge Cup for champion – W & D McLaren, Netherton Farm, Blackford, Auchterarder, Perthshire.
175th Anniversary Trophy for reserve champion – Redpath Farms, Spylaw, Kelso
Nisbet Hill Challenge Cup for best exhibit - W & D McLaren. Reserve - G R Brooke, Linton Wold Farm, Malton, N Yorks.
Colville Silver Challenge Cup for best group of one male and two female animals - G R Brooke.
T W Todd Silver Rose Bowl for winner of class 119 - Messrs J F Lascelles, Balmachie, Carnoustie, Angus.
NATIVE BEEF BREEDS
Bank of Scotland Tropy for best exhibit - H P & L S Whittaker Farms, c/o Stickle Heaton Farm, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland.
R & M McIntosh Challenge Trophy for best Galloway - K Drysdale, Old Cambus, Eastmains, Cockburnspath.
Kerfield Cup for best Hereford - H P & L S Whittaker Farms.
Bowmont Cup for best Hereford of opposite sex to champion - H P & L S Whittaker Farms.
Royal Bank of Scotland Salver for best group of three Herefords - J R B Wilson & Sons, Cowbog, Kelso.
CONTINENTAL BEEF BREEDS
Nutrivet Cup for best Limousin - Redpath Farms. Reserve - R Crocket, Conker Cottage, Deanfoot Farm, Denholm
OPEN YOUNG HANDLER
15 and under winner - Kate McCormick. Reserve - Connor MacDonald.
SHEEP INTER-BREED CHAMPIONSHIP
Joe Walton Challenge Trophy for champion - W & J Thomson, Hownam Grange, Kelso.
Gowanbrae Cup for reserve champion - J & E Logan, Pirntaton Farm, Fountainhill, Galashiels.
Centenary Challenge Cup for best exhibit - Miss J Brown, Eildon Cottage, Mindrum Mill. Reserve - J Harrison, Brunt Court, Dunbar.
James Mauchlen Memorial Trophy for exhibitor gaining most points - Miss J Brown. Reserve - James Brown, Eildon Cottage, Mindrum Mill.
Bosomworth Silver Cup for best exhibit - Rosebrough Farm, J H C Campbell & Sons (Thrunton), Chathill, Alnwick. Reserve - Roseden & Lilburn Flock, North Middleton House, Wooler.
Hugh Fraser Silver Salver - Roseden & Lilburn Flock.
Lawrie & Symington Challenge Trophy - Clark Farms, North Garngour, Lesmahagow, Lanark. Reserve - S Renwick, Craig Douglas, Yarrow, Selkirk.
Championship rosette - B Walling, Farmstock Genetics, OverWhitlaw, Selkirk. Reserve - B Walling.
Charles Scott Perpetual Challenge Trophy for champion - C Scott, Viewfields, East Middle, Hawick. Reserve - M Campbell, Easter Cleuchhead Cottage, Blacklee Brae, Bonchester Bridge.
Centenary Challenge Cup for best exhibit - W J Douglas & Son, Upper Hindhope, Jedburgh. Reserve - W N Douglas, Catslackburn, Yarrow.
Tom Rogerson Trophy for best exhibit of opposite sex to champion - W N Douglas.
J Bibby Perpetual Challenge Cup for best group of ram, ewe, gimmer and ewe lamb - W. D. Douglas. Reserve - W N Douglas.
NORTH COUNTRY CHEVIOT
Centenary Challenge Cup and Andrew Oliver Silver Salver for best exhibit - W & J Thomson. Reserve - J Runciman & Sons, Allanshaws, Galashiels.
Clackmae Cup for best group of ram, ewe, gimmer and ewe lamb - W & J Thomson. Reserve - J Runciman & Sons.
W & J Thomson Cup for champion - J M Elliot, & Partners, Woodside, Yetholm. Reserve - C J & J M Symons, Attonburn, Yetholm.
Arnott Silver Cup for best exhibit - J & E logan, Pirntaton Farm, Fountainhall, Galashiels. Reserve - Burncastle Farming Co., Burncastle, Lauder.
McTurk Silver Cup for best exhibit of opposite sex to champion - Burncastle Farming Co. Reserve - J P Campbell & Sons, Easter Happrew, Peebles.
Centenary Challenge Cup for best exhibit - W Pate & Partners, Marvingston, Gifford. Reserve - G D Pate & Sons, Stobshiels Mains, Humbie, East Lothian.
Short Silver Cup for best pen of ewe lambs - G D Pate & Sons.
Scots Gap Cup for best exhibit - R H Bell & Co, Roxburgh Mill, Kelso. Reserve - Miss H Brown, Leadburnlea, Toxside Farm, Temple, Gorebridge.
Cessford Motors Challenge Cup for champion - S Shaw, Smailholm Mains, Kelso. Reserve - N Pate, Toxside Farm, Temple, Gorebridge.
Redpath Trophy for best exhibit - M W Harper, Woodside Cottage, Cavers. Reserve - E Stevenson, Linden Park, Hawick.
A C Burn Shield for champion - J Brunton, Fieldview, Letham Mains Holdings, Haddington. Reserve - J Steven, Rosebank Farm, Currie.
Frances Fish Cup for best coloured exhibit - J Steven. Reserve - Mrs F Fish, Eckford House, Eckford.
Frances Fish Cup for best white exhibit - J Brunton. Reserve - G E & J Meikle, St Baldreds, Tyninghame, Dunbar.
BEST YOUNG SHEEP HANDLER
Dan Buglass Memorial Trophy for best young sheep handler - M Walton. Reserve - J Logan.
McAlpine Silver Cup for best pen of prime lambs - R Rennie, Sydenham, Kelso. Reserve - F Mellor, Annstead Farm, Beadnell, Chathill, Northumberland.
Lauderdale Challenge Cup for champion Mountain & Moorland in-hand pony - G Appleby, Stanley, Co. Durham. Reserve - G Reilly, Currie, Midlothian.
Waldie Griffiths Challenge Cup for champion Mountain & Moorland ridden pony - Mrs J Grant, East Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland. Reserve - Mrs J Tindall, Shortlaw Farm, Felton, Morpeth.
Mrs A Hogg's Challenge Cup for the champion in the Riding Pony Youngstock section - Mr & Mrs C Duke, Stable Cottage, Little Hutton, Caldwell, Richmond. Reserve - Mr & Mrs D Robertson, Gateside Farm, Craigie, Kilmarnock.
Edale Trophy for the champion brood mare -
Mrs M Wardropper, South Shields. Reserve -
Mrs L McGowan, Glenholly House, Greenlaw.
Craiglea Challenge Trophy for champion foal - Mrs M Wardropper. Reserve - Miss L Henderson, Hill View Farm, Longhorsley, Morpeth.
Strathleven Challenge Trophy for the champion Highland in-hand pony - Mrs G McMurray, Bellstown, Eaglesfield, Lockerbie. Reserve - Mrs J Grant.
Claggersnich Salver for champion Welsh pony in sections C & D - Miss L Kennedy, Whitehill Cottage, Middlebee, Lockerbie.
Torquhan Cup for champion Welsh pony in section A - Mrs S Athey, Stonedge Farm, Bonchester Bridge. Reserve - Mr & Mrs D Rowland, Syke Farm Cottage, Bogend, Symington, Ayrshire.
Douthwaite Cup for champion Welsh pony in section B - G Appleby. Reserve - Ms A Walker, Badger Meadows, Broxburn.
Dene Rejoice Salver for the highest placed registered Fell pony - Mrs N J McClung, Stichill Eastfield, Kelso.
Waxwing Challenge Trophy for best part-bred pony - Mr & Mrs C Duke.
Tansy Trophy for best Shetland pony - Mrs A Roberts, The Secret House, Duns. Reserve - Mrs M Marshall, Whitehaugh Moor, Hawick.
Haig Douglas Perpetual Challenge Trophy for best Exmoor in-hand pony - Mrs G Whetter, Bamburgh. Reserve - Miss L Kennedy.
Toffee Cup for best Dartmoor pony in classes 46 and 47 - Mr & Mrs C Anderson, Rushfield Ponies, Nether Stenries, Carrutherstown, Dumfries. Reserve - Mrs N Shuttleworth, Wilmar House, Osmotherley, Northallerton.
Sydserff Challenge Trophy for champion Connemara pony - Mrs A Escritt, The Old Post Office, Slaley, Northumberland.
Leithenwater Challenge Trophy for best Fell pony - G Reilly. Reserve - M Hall, Towford Farm, Jedburgh.
McHarg Bowl for champion in hunter pony breeding classes - Mr & Mrs D Robertson. Reserve - Miss A Stonehouse, Brookside Farm, Little Ayton, Middlesborough.
Rosette for champion coloured horse K. Woodley-Hinds, Great Lumley. Reserve - C Anderson, Bolton Woodhall, Bolton, Alnwick.
Duchess of Sutherland Challenge Cup for champion Mountain & Moorland working hunter pony - Mrs J Somervail, Bellindene Connemara Stud, Oxnam Neuk, Jedburgh. Reserve (for Major T H C Cox Silver Cup) - Mrs C MacMillan, Newbridge, Edinburgh.
South Laws Cup for best working pony - Mrs J Dun, Gilston, Heriot. Reserve - Mrs L de Wesselow, Swanstead, Belsay, Northumberland.
R Hunter Murray Challenge Salver for best working hunter pony (15hh and under), owned and exhibited by a Borders resident - Mrs J Dun.
Don Challenge Cup for hunter champion - V McKie, Milfield, Wooler. Reserve - P Richmond, Gatebridge Farm, Galphay, Ripon..
Wm Murray Silver Challenge Salver for best exhibit in the in-hand hunter classes - P Richmond. Reserve - J & W Moran.
Ellesmere Silver Challenge Cup for best brood mare - J & W Moran. Reserve - Bordergrove Stud, Yard Cottage, Mindrum.
Kelso Town Council Challenge Trophy for best exhibit in classes 83 to 85 - P Richmond. Reserve - J & W Moran.
Alan Innes Memorial Challenge Cup for best in-hand hunter bred in former Border counties of Berwick, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Northumberland - B Mitchellhill, Firbank, Birkenside, Earlston.
Jedforest Challenge Cup for best exhibit in ridden hunter classes - V McKie, Lanton House, Milfield, Wooler. Reserve - Mr & Mrs A McCowan, Horncliffe Mains, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Tweeddale Press Cup for the best ridden hunter bred in former Border counties of Berwick, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Northumberland - V McKie. Reserve - H Scott-Watson, New Softlaw House, Easter Softlaw, Kelso.
Axminster Rosebowl for winner of class 87 - Mrs Anderson, Ravensheugh, Selkirk.
Ian Mackenzie Gray Memorial Cup for best ridden four-year-old hunter in class 88 - V McKie.
Belling Burn Cup for best ridden hunter in class 90 - Miss L Turner, Dunbar, East Lothian.
Riding Horses championship rosette - Mrs J Rutherford, Vicarsford, Ayton. Reserve - E HaighKyloe House, Fenwick, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Retraining of racehorses Hickstead qualifier winner - S Clark, Ponteland. Reserve - Miss S McVittie, Davidson Place, Newtown St Boswells. Retraining of racehorses highest-place veteran - Miss S McVittie.
Hendersyde Cup for best exhibit - C Christian c/o Gilmanscleucch, Ettrick.
William Rennie Perpetual Trophy for best exhibit of opposite sex to champion - C Alexander, Haddington.
Roger Buglass Challenge Cup for best exhibit - G I Holmes, Park Nook Farm, Beamish, Co Durham.
National Horse Brass Society winner - S Graham, Moor Park, Foulden. Reserve - G I Holmes.
HEAVY HORSE TURNOUTS
Harp Lager Trophy for champion turnout - G I Holmes. Reserve - P Tennant, c/o Gilmanscleuch, Ettrick.
champION OF CHAMPIONS
Matthew Templeton Salver for champion of champions - W & J Thomson, Hownam Grange, Kelso, with North Country Cheviot ewe.
Reserve - W & D McLaren, Netherton Farm, Blackford, Auchterarder, Perthshire, with Aberdeen Angus bull.
Jedburgh Goat Group Cup for champion - C Newton, Spennymoor, Co Durham. Reserve - Mrs N Brodie, Canonbie.
Fionn Mist Perpetual Challenge Rose Bowl for best Toggenburg or British Toggenburg - Mrs N Brodie.
Richmond Cup for best Anglo Nubian - B Fairley, Avonbridge, Falkirk.
Tweedside Sissy Rosebowl for best British Saanen - P Mounter, Spennymoor, Co Durham.
Whitehouse Silver Salver for best goatling - C Newton.
Jedburgh Goat Group Rose Bowl for reserve best goatling - F Fairley.
Highland Confectionery Cup for best kid - P Mounter.
Galloway Cup for reserve best kid - Miss D Oliver, Middlesknowes, Jedburgh.
St Michael Trophy for best milker - C Newton.
Southern Scotland Goat Society Shield for highest yielding goat in the milking competition - Mrs N Brodie.
Border Stick Dressers' Association Challenge Cup for best exhibit - D Gardner, Northallerton, N Yorks. Reserve - D Gardner.
Countess of Lauderdale Cup - D Varini. Reserve - J Atkinson.
George Fairley Memorial Cup for best pair of shoes - Aaron Mulholland.
YOUNG FARMERS' CLUBS
Silver Challenge Cup for team with highest number of points - Ettrick & Lauderdale A. Reserve - Reston A.
T H Brewis Silver Quaich for team with highest number of points and which is a member of the Border Federation of Junior Agricultural Clubs - Ettrick & Lauderdale A. Reserve - Reston A.
R W Brown Challenge Cup & Roxburgh House Salver for champion and reserve - D Fontana.
T F Carrs Shield for best hard feather - A & J Cummings.
J Halley Shield for best soft feather or true bantam - H Wallace.
M. Crawford Cup for best exhibit bred in current year - D Fontana.
R & L Ramsay Trophy for best exhibit in waterfowl section - L Ronnie.
Tankard for best exhibit in egg section - W McLaughlan.
Tankard for best junior - D Nixon.
Industrial Cup - J Duncan, Woodside Cottage, Makerstoun.
Kelso Town Challenge Cup - Elizabeth Kowbel.
Templeton Rose Bowl - Elizabeth Kowbel. Reserve - J D & S Morrison.
Margaret Forrest Rose Bowl - J Fish.
Mary Rogerson Trophy - J Cater.
Kelso Pea Growers Ltd Cup - J Brydon. Reserve - E Damarell.
Turnbull Salver - K Telford. Reserve - A Baxter & J Duncan.
Lees Cup - K Petty. Reserve - J Little.
Margaret College Shield - D Robb. Reserve - J Damarell, R Paton & M Pitman.
Pat Sloan Trophy - J Damarell. Reserve - C Peters.
Champion - Keera Thackery with Jude (Large Dog). Reserve - M Lawson with Roo (Medium Dog).