Racehorse trainer is Peebles champion

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A YETHOLM racehorse trainer won the champion of champions with a coloured hunter at Peebles Show on Saturday.

Halterburn Head’s Clive Storey took the top ticket with his horse, Masquerade, after winning the light horse championship.

He said: “I was very pleased and a bit surprised because I thought it was a very good Simmental cow [the reserve champion of champions].”

The five-year-old gelding was ridden champion at the Berwickshire Show earlier this month, reserve ridden champion at the Border Union and ridden coloured champion at the Cumberland Show earlier this year.

“It’s all been a bit of a fairytale; he’s exceeded all my expectations,” said Clive.

The small horse came from Ireland two years ago and Clive bought him as an unbroken three-year-old, breaking him as a four-year-old last spring.

He said: “I used to have a coloured pony and when I retired from point-to-point race riding, I thought I would have a coloured horse. I bought him just to play away with, nothing serious, and he’s just turned out a little superstar.”

Sunshine blessed the event in the town’s Hay Lodge Park when traditionally visitors see one of the largest shows of Blackface sheep in the country.

Show secretary Jacqui Campbell said: “We are delighted that the show went ahead, for a start, and that we were able to have all the classes we would like to have. We are thrilled the park held up as well as it did because it is a really special venue. Many people say what character the park gives our show, it’s part of the personality of the show. We’re grateful to Scottish Borders Council for their support, they couldn’t have been nicer to us or more helpful.

“The entries in the horse section were as strong as ever and certainly the poultry show is talking about a bumper year.

“Among the sheep and cattle, numbers were a bit back, but it’s only what we expected given how hard farmers are having to fight the weather this year. We are delighted that so many of them did manage to come and put on such a fantastic display of stock.

“We also really appreciated the support from the general public and local population. We are still finalising figures from the gates and don’t have an exact number, but the show field certainly felt busy and we were really pleased so many people came along. Overall, we were very fortunate and we are delighted the show went ahead so successfully.”

Several exhibiting farmers stayed away to use one of the few dry days this summer to get on with silaging and harvesting. But there was keen competition along the sheep lines, with the Blackface ring as popular as ever.

The traditional breed’s judge for the day was Billy Renwick of Craigdouglas, Yarrow, who said: “They were huge classes and very strong. The ewe class was as strong as I’ve seen for a long time and it’s one of the biggest Blackface shows in the country.

“I have shown here for quite a long time and it’s a great honour to be asked to judge,” he said.

He gave the top two tickets to Alan White of Midlock Farm, Crawford, the champion’s ticket to one of the farmer’s Blackface ewes and the reserve to one of his shearling tups.

Of the ewe, he said: “She was very correct in what was easily the best class in the show with many other ewes that had won classes at other shows.”

The poultry tent attracted record entries with Eve Gardiner’s Sebright chicken taking the championship. Local winners included organisers Peebles Poultry Club members Jimmy Hope securing best trio with his Polish bantams, D and P Fontana winning best large hard feather with an Asian game bird and C. and J. Driver taking best rare breed with their Sultan 

Club secretary Hazel Dickson said: “The show was a great success and we were delighted to receive record entries.”

Elsewhere, crowds stood four deep watching entertainment which included the Inch Perfect Trials motorbike display, Lauderdale Hunt, children’s mounted sports and show jumping, fancy dress, judging of the champions of champions by United Auctions executive chairman David Leggat and tractor challenge. The industrial tent sported excellence as usual and the craft marquee had a busy day, as did the many and varied trade stands.

Other top prize winners were David Lowry of Newsteadings Farmer, Cartland, Lanark, taking the reserve champion of champions with his Simmental cow which also won the beef interbreed. Reserve beef interbreed was a Limousin yeld heifer from Ian Nimmo, Bogside Farm, New Mains, Wishaw. The sheep interbreed winner was Alan Wight with his winning Blackface ewe – he also took the reserve interbreed ticket with his Scotch mule ewe lamb.