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Champion of Champions judges at Bunessan Show on Mull were faced with the dilemma of a draw for the first remembered time in the event’s history.
Points for the best horse, sheep and cow equalised so independent judge Hugh Boa, from Dervaig, had to be brought in at the last minute to decide who got the sash.
The eventual winner was Jamie Maclean’s Blackface sheep from Knock Farm. It pipped champion horse Duke and 16-year-old rider Olivia Sexton from Salen to the post and the best in show cow belonging to Iona’s John MacInnes.
Show president Gordon Rutherford said: ‘It was a tough decision to make. It’s never happened to us before as far as we can remember and the show’s been going for the best part of 100 years or more. We’ve had a busy turnout of entries and crowds, and been lucky with the weather so it’s been a good day.’
It was also a good day for 10-year-old Lily Dench from Salen who won the top tack and turnout trophy riding 17-year-old Connemara cross Mr Tibbs. Kelsie Prentice, also aged 10, came over to Mull from Iona to win reserve champion in the cattle native breed category with Jet. Holidaymaker Julie Brown from County Durham is going home with more than just memories of her first time on Mull after Duke won best gun dog.
Robbie MacDougall from Tobermory got best non-Blackface sheep with his Cheviot tup. Keeping success in the family, his daughter Emma MacDougall was presented with the Theresa Wade Challenge Trophy, dedicated to the popular island vet who tragically died in a car crash in 2015, for most points in sections 1-8 achieved by those aged 20 or under. It was the second year running that Emma won the poignant award, the first year it was presented, it was won by her brother Calum.
Special attractions on the day included breathtaking motorbike and cycle trial stunts from Robert Lafferty, demonstrations by Scottish chainsaw carving champion, Mull and Iona Pipe Band, vintage cars, Dog Flyball, Charlie Hogg’s craft tent, cross country races and tossing the sheaf.
The popular show has become ‘an annual pilgrimage’ for many islanders and visitors, including the Rossi family from Middlesbrough. Dad David Rossi said: ‘It’s our summer pilgrimage. We time our holidays specially so we can come to it.’