AN APPLEBY couple stole the limelight at the third ever Valais Blacknose Sheep Society show, which proved to be the biggest gathering of the breed in the UK to date.

Duiring the Borderway show in Carlisle, Tim Dunne and Susan Mullen’s Westmorland flock took home reserve champion for Westmorland Dilly, reserve female for Westmorland Frankie, and scooped 3,500gns for their ewe lamb Westmorland Follies Bergere.

The couple began their Westmorland flock of the native Swiss breed nearly three-and-a-half years ago, having been drawn to the breed by the docile temperament and are striving to grow their flock while improving genetics.

Apart from the biggest shows in Switzerland, this was one of the largest gathering of Valais Sheep ever seen by the judges.

The Valais Blacknose is the UK’s fastest growing sheep breed, and as such, the sale had attracted breeders from across the UK, judges from Switzerland and buyers from around the world. There were 195 Valais Blacknose Sheep entries in the show, some of which were the best of the breed ever seen in the UK.

Since being established as a society in 2015, by Jenni McAllister, Raymond Irvine and Jamie Wood, the breed has gone from strength to strength.

The sale following on from the show, saw 74 Blacknose Valais sheep go under the hammer.

Jenni McAllister, joint president of the UK Valais Blacknose Society, said: “Raymond and I are thrilled with the results, both for ourselves and the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society as a whole. We would like to say a huge thank you to the judges who came over from Switzerland and Sweden and doing such a fantastic job commentating.”