The Richmond sheep farming community has won a raft of accolades at the Great Yorkshire Show.

The Stones family, farming at Nun Cote Nook in Marrick, near Richmond, took the reserve breed champion for their gimmer shearling North Country Cheviot.

Mary Stones, daughter of fifth-generation farmer Keith Stones, said the gimmer shearling was shown as a lamb at the Great Yorkshire Show last year and has performed well for them again.

“We’ve had a good day with our North Country Cheviots. At home, we have a flock of 500 that are run commercially. We have some Texels too, but 200 to 300 are our home-bred Cheviots.

“We come to the show every year. Last year was really strong, so we’re hoping to do just as well. On Friday we have the group of three, and we hope to do well.

“Doing well at the Great Yorkshire Show is massively important for our business. We don’t come here to make money, it’s all about getting our name known from farmers all across the country who could be potential customers for our future bloodlines.”

(Image: Ashley Barnard)

Father Keith Stones added: “There has been a very high standard among the Cheviots this year. It is good to see – it is good that we are all taking away rosettes. The judging has been good, it is encouraging for everyone.

“To come away with anything from this show is a real achievement. There’s so much competition. We farm as a family and decide what stock to show as a family – there is some healthy debate but it makes me very proud to see my children do more of the work now. We’re a family farm and that’s why it works.”

In the Swaledale ring, John Dixon, of Stainton Manor Farm, at Downholme, Richmond, picked up male champion and overall champion for his four-year-old Swaledale tup – its second win in two years.

(Image: Ashley Barnard)

Mr Dixon said: “We waited 20 years for a win and now we’ve had two in a row. It’s a lot of hard work to prepare for the show, but it has paid off.”

At home, Mr Dixon has a flock of 1,000 pure Swaledales, and brought five with him to the show, which have picked up other first and second places.

He added: “Winning at the Great Yorkshire Show helps promote your flock and the breed. Swaledales are a hardy breed and are easy to farm. I’ve farmed them all my life.”

Andrew and Amanda Bainbridge, from Owlands Farm, in Hurst, near Richmond, were awarded reserve breed champion and female champion for their Swaledale ewe shearling.

Mr Bainbridge, who farms 700 acres and keeps 400 ewes, also picked up two first place rosettes and two second places among the Swaledale and Dalesbred sheep he brought to the show.

He said: “I’m pleased with the results so far – and we still have the group of three for both the Swaledale and Dalesbred.”