Sun shines on Salen for this year’s show

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The sun was shining last Thursday as hundreds of people enjoyed this year’s Salen Show on the Isle of Mull.

This traditional agricultural show, which was established in 1831, has something for everyone.

The livestock competition boasts classes of Highland cattle, Blackface, Cheviot, cross and primitive sheep breeds, horse riding and dog competitions.

The 2019 Salen Show will go down as a win for the sheep, with Emma MacDougall’s Cheviot being crowned the champion of champions.

The 17-year-old, from Wood Cottage Croft, was delighted when her Cheviot won the overall sheep champion, seeing off a successful Blackface sheep from Torr Na Faire.

This was Emma’s first time getting her hands on the trophy for her own breed. In previous years, she had finished as reserve champion, with her dad taking home the title. However, this time it was the opposite. Emma pipped dad Robert at the post.

‘Everyone wants to win the Salen Show,’ she said. ‘I am so glad to do it and I am still young enough to win it again.’

She did not have to wait long before winning her next piece of silverware though. Her one-crop ewe was then crowned the champion of champions later in the day,  beating a heifer, horse, chicken and a spaniel.

Emma, who also won the young farmers’ championship, said: ‘It is amazing. This is the first time I have won the overall champion of champions. When you put a sheep against a cow and a horse, it is hard to see her winning.

‘This is my own sheep and I would like to thank my dad and my sister, Robert and Laura, for putting up with me and checking my sheep.’

Emma works on a farm elsewhere on the island. She said: ‘When I am not doing that [tending to sheep] at work, I am doing it in my own in my spare time.’

It is not just about the animals though. The show also features a very impressive produce tent, which is auctioned off at the end of the day.

Show secretary Jo Weston said: ‘It was a brilliant show. The weather was lovely – that makes a big difference as people stay and enjoy themselves. All the stall holders seemed to do well. Lots of food stalls sold out. I was very pleased as this is my last one and you always want your last one to be a success.’

Jo thanked the show’s sponsors, AGL Architect, Gleaner, Anna Bhan and CalMac.

She added: ‘Thanks to all the committee members who work so hard to set the show up and help. Thank you to Colum Scott who is standing down as president.’

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