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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Cheviot cheer for nurse

A SHEEP enthusiast from Hightae triumphed at the Royal Highland Show with her North Country Cheviot ewes – despite the demands of being a full-time nurse.

Jennifer Cowan is still smiling after winning first prize in the ewe lamb category and second in the shearling ewe or gimmer category with stock born and bred on her smallholding.

Jennifer has a flock of 25 pure North Country Cheviot Park type sheep which she took on when her father passed away.

Originally, the family had been full-time farmers but tragically lost their stock during in the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001, so Jennifer decided to go into a career in nursing.

However, her love of farming has always remained and despite the demands of her career, she gladly took the sheep on and has gone on to show glory.

Jennifer said with the pressures of her job recently, tending to the sheep has been a challenge but her husband and 16-year old daughter, Abbie, had been there to help.

And Abbie has inherited her mother’s love of farming and is hoping to follow in the family tradition by attending agricultural college.

Jennifer said: “My lamb and gimmer ewe did really well at the show, so we had a good day. I received a lot of lovely comments about my sheep which was fantastic.

“It was great to have a live stream of the judging to involve those unable to attend in this difficult time, which created a positive from a negative.

“I miss being at shows because they have a strong social side, and there is a strong North Country Sheep group which have always been very friendly, so it is a great breed to be in.”

Melfyn Williams, president of the North Country Cheviot Sheep Society (NCCSS), said it had been fantastic to see so many fine examples of the breed being exhibited at the Royal Highland Show this year.

Mr Williams said: “Topping off what was a fantastic event was seeing the North Country Cheviot being awarded the reserve interbreed single and the champion pairs title. Hopefully, it gave people the opportunity to see the great carcass shown by the Northie, and the character this versatile breed offers.”

The traditional sheep sales will kick off in August with North Country Cheviot lambs, followed by the main September and October ram sales across the UK.

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