Young shepherd of the year competition finals in Berwickshire later this year

Sheep eating turnips near St Boswells earlier this winter
Sheep eating turnips near St Boswells earlier this winter

The Young Shepherd of the Year competition, with its Scottish final in Berwickshire later this year, is open for entries.

The contest for post-school sheep enthusiasts aged under 26 is one of the events lined up for the National Sheep Association’s (NSA) Scotsheep at Quixwood, Grantshouse on Wednesday June 4 this year.

Sponsored by Rumenco, the competition tests practical skills and knowledge as well as a broader sheep industry knowledge.

Organiser Dave Turner, former head of agriculture at Oatridge College, said: “If you have competed before, we would love to see you again and first-time competitors are equally welcome.”

The winner and runner-up will represent Scotland in the national finals at the NSA National Sheep event at Malvern, Worcester, a qualifier for the World Young Shepherd of the Year competition which is being hosted by France this year.

The competition covers hoofcare, injection and drenching; sheep shearing and wool handling (minimum of BWMB Blue Seal); prime lamb selection; preparation and use of an ATV with trailer, transporting stock; a general question paper on sheep production and husbandries and a sheep breeds’ identification paper.

Regional finals for the expected entrants - working shepherds, farm workers, students or youngsters with an interest in sheep - will be held in early May, with the top 12 competing for the Scottish title at Quixwood. Entry forms from Euan Emslie (01430 441870/07718 908523). The closing date is March 31.