Hat-trick for Brand family
The Brand family's 45 ewe Eastfortune flock of Hampshire Downs has scored a hat-trick having secured the top Scottish accolade for the third consecutive year in the breed association's annual awards and for first time ever in its 126 year history.
The East Lothian flock, which was judged on breed type and overall conformation took the top spot in three sections – for medium flock, breeding and shearling ewes - before being awarded the best Scottish flock and also pipped in to reserve position for the overall championship.
Judge Kevin McCarthy commented: “Eastfortune was established just five years ago, however the fact it has successfully developed so quickly and achieved such uniformity is testament to the stockmanship of Richard, Janey, their son, Grant and daughter-in-law, Jane. The breeding ewes are all of a type, strong bodied with good length and size, while the flock’s stock ram, Eastfortune Angus is exceptional with great length, size and muscling, and is one of the best rams I saw whilst judging the award which took in 42 UK flocks.”
Grant Brand said: “We are delighted Eastfortune is the first ever flock to win the top Scottish award and reserve overall UK champion flock for the third year in succession, a feat which has never before been achieved by any other breeder.
“We select only the best lengthy strong standing sheep true to type with good colour and only after that, the performance recording and CT scan data collected is used to help the final selection process. This process allows us to produce a great all round Hampshire fit for all roles.”
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He added: “The Hampshire breed works well for us; the ewes lamb easily, make great mothers and produce very lively lambs which require little attention after birth and fit within a low input system.”