Malton Agricultural Society is launching an innovative regional competition to award the best of the sheep breeding exhibitors in the area.
The organisers of Malton Show have worked with neighbouring Driffield, Ryedale and Thornton-le-Dale shows to start the Regional Sheep Exhibitors championship.
This summer, sheep exhibitors will be able to collect points from the four shows to find the area’s supreme champion, competing for a specially commissioned shepherd’s crook trophy made by craftsman Iain Blinkworth and sponsored by Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors.
The winner will also get vouchers and products donated by sponsors, Carrs Billington.
The prizes are to be awarded at the last of the four shows, Thornton Le Dale Show, on Wednesday, August 6.
Malton’s chief sheep steward Lizzie Jennings, 25, came up with the idea to recognise the best of the best across all sheep breed classes in the region, and encourage farmers and breeders to support local shows.
She approached the sheep stewards at the other three shows, who were only too keen to join in.
Lizze said: “The competition is a level playing field for all the exhibitors in the area, whether they exhibit hill, upland or lowland breeds. This awards the champion of champions for this region.”
Malton Show chairman Michael Cleary said: “When Lizzie came to the committee with the idea for the Exhibitors’ Championship we knew it would be a great addition to the show, and we are thrilled it can be launched this year.
“We have always known there are superb sheep breeders and exhibitors around Malton and we hope this is just another way of recognising their achievements.
“Hopefully this will provoke some healthy competition among farmers in the area.
“Our thanks go to Lizzie for the hard work she has put in to organising this, to the generous sponsors of the Championship and to stewards at Ryedale, Driffield and Thornton-le-Dale for supporting the idea.”
Exhibitors automatically qualify by attending any of the four shows this summer. Those who support all four shows will have their best results from three of the four events taken in to account.
The competitor with the highest number of points at the end will be named Regional Sheep Exhibitors’ Champion for 2014.