A VETERAN shepherd said he felt on top of the world after he and his son bagged five trophies and eight first place rosettes at the 145th show of Weardale’s Agricultural Society.
Tony Collinson, of Eastgate, has been showing sheep at the show in St John’s Chapel for 66 years. He started working as a shepherd when he was 15, and stayed with the same farmer for 50 years.
Mr Collinson's son, Ian is following in his father’s footsteps and has also been a regular Swaledale sheep shower at Weardale’s annual show for thirty years.
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Together they were crowned overall champion and ranked in the top three in 13 out of 14 classes, eight of which were first place.
Tony Collinson, 81, said: “It has been magic, I am on top of the world. The sheep that have won are the same sheep we brought last year, they are my life, and now my son is carrying it on.”
Section judge Wilf Buckle added: “This year, it has been a very good show, with some excellent classes.
“Each class has had between eight and ten entries, which is very good for a local show. A highlight for me is the sheep brought by the Collinson’s. His sheep are fit to go to any show and win.”
Ian Collinson, of Billing Shield Farm, Eastgate, said: “We’ve had a good day, we bring the sheep here every year, and it’s a nice day out for the family.
“My daughter Rebecca and my son Matthew both help out with the sheep. They are both very keen.
“St John’s Chapel is our local show and the highlight of our summer. This is the one we look forward to most, it’s a great day and a good opportunity to meet up with people that you haven’t seen for a while.”
The agricultural show included several sections, including photography, which saw an increase in entries.
Section leader John Jackson said: “The quality of the entries this year has been fantastic. We has 38 entries in the advanced section this year, we try and encourage new exhibitors each year, this year it has been marvellous.”
Show Secretary Joan Warriner added: “This year it’s gone very well. We are very lucky to have had the sunshine
“Everything has been good, the kids stuff has been really brilliant, I would say it has been a great success.
“I’ve been show secretary for 12 years and it’s absolutely wonderful, I enjoy the challenge.”