Cheviot sheep return to the fold at Yetholm

CHEVIOT sheep are back at Yetholm Borders Shepherds Show after an absence of two years.

And entries across the breed classes at the Haugh are good following the end of this year’s breed sales, said show secretary Sarah Little this week

Judging the North Country Cheviots will be Heriot’s Michael Dun of Gilston Farm, and Jan McKenzie of Badanlock, Kinbrace, in Sutherland will be casting her eye over the North Country Cheviot Lairg type.

The Scottish Champion of Champions shepherd’s crook and walking stick competition takes place on Saturday, too, and entries are again strong, say organisers.

And the industrial section –with a couple of new classes this year – is again popular, featuring eggs and preserves, knitting, needlework and handicraft and, of course, baking.

Gardeners have been hit by the bad summer and Mrs Little said numbers in the vegetable classes are average. Organisers, not too concerned about the showground because of it being quick draining, say the show will go ahead, unlike many this summer which were cancelled because of the weather and ground conditions

“We’re hoping for good weather on the day, as always, “ said Mrs Little.

The overall show champion will be judged by well-known farmer John Campbell of Roseburgh, Alnwick.

Other entertainment will include music from a steel band, dog agility – with even more obstacles for the keen canines this year – and the College Valley North Northumberland Hunt huntsmen and hounds.

Children’s classes are free to enter on the day and include a picture of Yetholm Show, a miniature allotment on a plate, cheese scones, a monster made from junk materials, a photograph of an animal, and an A4 page of handwriting.

Mrs Little said: “We hope as many children as possible join in – it’s great to see the children enjoying themselves.”

Also for youngsters are the children’s sports starting at 12.30pm and, for keen runners under-16 years old, the Youth Brae House Race.

The photographic section is “huge” this year, said Mrs Little and there are classes in flower and floral art, as well as the dog show for terriers, collies and other varieties, and the sheepdog trial.

In a new move pharmacists hope will go Borders-wide, Community Pharmacy Scotland, in collaboration with Yetholm, Linton, Morebattle and Hownam parish churches, are offering free blood pressure checks and lifestyle advice.

Community Pharmacy Scotland’s chief executive Harry McQuillan said: “This initiative will see a community pharmacist offer advice and signpost attendees of the Yetholm show who want to make changes to their lifestyle, such as to quit smoking or check on their drinking levels in a way that is fun and engaging.

In particular, we will be looking to reach some of that notoriously difficult to reach group when it comes to healthcare – men.”

Local pharmacist Hilary Evans-Turner will also be handing out scratchcards which help individuals check their alcohol consumption.