Borders breeders set 
to collect Texel trophy

L-r, Gordon & son David Gray with Texel sheep. This particular animal is being shipped out to France.
L-r, Gordon & son David Gray with Texel sheep. This particular animal is being shipped out to France.

A Borders father and son team have won the Scottish Texel Breeders Club’s Jubilee Trophy for the second time in three years.

Selkirk farmers Gordon and David Gray of Sunnycroft, Lindean, will be presented with the trophy at the club’s AGM and dinner at the Lawrie and Symington mart in Lanark on Saturday.

The have been awarded the prize for the most points gained at five nominated shows.

“It’s been our best year so far, “ admitted Gordon. “We have a particularly good bunch of gimmers this year.”

Gordon said judging Texels at the Highland Show in June was the highlight of this year – and of his farming career so far.

The former Texel Sheep Society president (2009-11) has been in the breed since 1982.

He’s judged at the Royal Balmoral (2007) and at the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish national sales. In September he judged the French National Texel Show.

His prizes this year include the interbreed champion group; champion Texel and reserve interbreed ticket at the Northumberland County Show; the championship and reserve interbreed at Biggar; and another championship at the Border Union, Kelso, with a ewe by Mitchelhill Paparazzi.

A gimmer by Ettrick Sir Alan scooped the champion Texel, interbreed and then champion of champions titles at Dalkeith Show.

Another two Gray gimmers took the interbreed pairs championship.

Their gimmer by the 46,000gns Foyleview Superstar took the champion and interbreed champion trophies at Perth Show. Another Foyleview Superstar daughter was put up champion at Peebles Show. And another Ettrick Sir Alan daughter (different from the Dalkeith winner) scooped the Texel championship, interbreed champion and the show champion of champion’s prizes at Abington Show.

The year’s sales proved satisfactory too. The Grays topped the market at a breed sale at Lanark, and sold 52 lambs overall, and 24 shearling tups and 36 females at Kelso and Carlisle.

The Grays exported a ram to France last year. They followed that by sending more to France again this year, and, for the first time, to Germany.

Gordon is from a commercial beef and sheep farm near Biggar and the Grays moved to Overkirkhope, Ettrick, in 1989 before buying Sunnycroft at the end of 1999.

They have a Texel flock of 100 ewes and an Aberdeen Angus herd of 20 cows on Sunnycroft’s 150 acres and the further 180 acres they rent. David also does pregnancy scanning and runs a growing business in embryo transfer.

Gordon said: “Our goal is to keep going and, of course, we all want to win the Highland Show and get ‘x’ amount of money for our sheep. But if you can get a good consistent trade rather than one flash in the pan, that’s what we would look for.”