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New Texel Trophy Honours Raine Family

A new trophy for the Texel Champion has been donated to the Northumberland County Show by Jackie and Robert Raine, organisers of the youngsRPS Sheep Section.

The Raine family, of Townfoot Farm, East Woodburn, have served on the committee of Tynedale Agricultural Society since the current organisation was established in 1982. Now three generations have held the prestigious position of Chief Steward of the Sheep Section. John Raine, Robert’s father, was one of the seven founder members of the society, supported by his son Robert. Robert’s wife Jackie joined the committee in 1991 as Sheep Secretary, and their daughter Rachel, is currently Chief Steward. “It’s a family affair, and we’re all involved in the Show,” explained Robert, who is currently Vice Chairman.

Robert and Jackie have been inspired to donate a new cup honouring their long family connection to the Show: The Townfoot Champion Texel Trophy will be awarded for the first time this year to the top non-MV accredited Texel. Robert said, “This is a way to remember our family’s commitment to the Sheep Section, from the past to present, and into the future.”

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Jackie told us, “There hasn’t been a section for non-MV accredited Texels before, which has excluded many would-be competitors. At other regional shows we have seen a rise in popularity of these classes. At Townfoot we have a prize winning flock of non-MV Texels so we know how popular the breed is in Northumberland. The class should attract lots of new exhibitors.”

The Raine family understand the success of the youngsRPS Sheep Section relies on being adaptable and they have changed classes over time to reflect the interests of the general public the changing market forces within the farming community. Robert said, “In recent years we have introduced classes for Rare Breeds and Native Sheep, which the public love to see, and reduced the traditional hill sheep breeds which now attract fewer competitors. We showcase the best of the commercial breeds that are so important to the UK food chain.

“Our aim is to educate people in the vital importance of sustainable food and farming and focus on the excellent animal welfare associated with British lamb production. The public may not consider the food miles and carbon footprint when buying meat, nor the environmental benefits for soil health that ruminants create, but this is why events like the Northumberland County Show bring people together to appreciate the countryside, learn about agriculture and rural life.”

The Show takes place on Saturday 25th May 2024, at Bywell near Stocksfield. Competitors can enter now; schedules for all livestock sections are downloadable on www.northcountyshow.co.uk or call the Show Office on 01434 604216 for a postal copy.

Sue Thompson

Sue Thompson

Sue co-ordinates the Show’s annual marketing budget; planning media, liaising with press, and writing articles for both the show’s own literature, digital marketing and for other local publications.