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Stackyard News Sep 06

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Last Load for NSA Wales and Borders Ram Sale

Loading twenty pedigree Texel rams and heading south to the NSA Wales and Borders Ram Sale for the last time is Scottish Borders farmer and renowned sheep and horse judge, Charles Scott. Mr Scott, a former amateur jockey, and his wife, Betty, have been making the fourteen hour round trip since the early days of the ram sale at Builth Wells.

Renowned sheep and horse judge, Charles Scott

renowned sheep and horse judge, Charles Scott

But now the couple have decided to downsize and are selling off their East Middle flock which they built up over the last thirty years and which peaked at 460 breeding ewes. The thoroughbred horses are also going. Instead they will be keeping Zwartbles at the thirteen acres they'll be retaining around their home in Hawick, 44 miles east of Carlisle and 'in the heart of the Scottish Borders'.

"Our main sale is Kelso of course", says Charles, who is a well respected Texel judge. "But we do enjoy coming to Builth and we’ve been coming to the early sale since it started seventeen years ago. We were coming to the main sale years before that. We enjoy the atmosphere and the warm welcome on the Sunday after we make that long journey down.

"I'm past retirement age and keeping well, but I want to stay that way! So I'm cutting back, but keeping some sheep so that I have a reason to go out in the morning.

"I bought my first Zwartbles back in October 2002. I think they've got a job to do in this country. They're good crossing sheep as well as being very sociable. It's nice to see them walking around"

And Mr Scott is continuing with the Zwartbles the success he's enjoyed with the Texels. A former Texel judge at all the Royal shows and a consistent championship winner, he was delighted when his home bred gimmer won the first ever Zwartble shearling ewe class at the Royal this year.

He's also a great believer in recording. He says it's a lot of work but the benefits of the MLC and Signet recording over the last thirty years have been tremendous.

A man of many talents, he's particularly proud of his achievement in winning the Foxhunters Chase at Aintree in 1959. The horse Merryman 2nd, trained by Neville Crump, went on to win the Grand National the following year.

"My father used to train racehorses and I rode for him as an amateur jockey", he added. "We had some considerable success. And I did win the race on Merryman 2nd the first time he saw the fences at Aintree".

Mr Scott has judged many times on mainland Britain, including the champion of champions at the Royal Welsh in 2000 when he had 30 different breeds in front of him. He has also judged horses four times at the Royal Dublin Show and sheep once, and has judged at the Balmoral.

Charles Scott is grateful for the help and support he's had, not just from his wife Betty, but also from his right hand man, Bruce Elliot. Bruce was born on the farm and will stay in his farm cottage for as long as he wishes.

The NSA Wales and Borders Ram Sale will be held at the Royal Welsh Showground on Monday September 18.

link Record price for day of strong trading at Builth NSA Ram Sale
link Opening Skipton NEMSA mule gimmers show
link Beltex-cross ‘trialists’ prove champion material
link Ryeland Downs supreme at Skipton rare and native breeds event

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