All the Saddleback pigs that won Saddleback breed championships at shows this season were invited to compete in the Saddleback Champions of Champions final at Hatfield. I had 3 pigs qualify as Coal Yeat Babble, my January gilt was champion Saddleback pig at Hatfield. Coal Yeat Octavia was champion Saddleback at Stafford and Coal Yeat Grand Duke, overall champion at Cheshire County Show.
I was unable to take the Octavia as she is suckling a litter.
Overnight on the Saturday the big guns arrived for the final on Sunday, with Andy Gready bringing a trailer load of champions from several shows.
Sam Samuels was the judge. Imogen, my 8 year old granddaughter, took the Babble gilt in first followed by myself and Spencer Fielding, bringing up the rear, with the Grand Duke boar. We had the ring to ourselves for about 5 minutes before the remaining finalists drifted in.
Clearly this was an excellent tactic as not only was Coal Yeat Grand Duke crowned Saddleback Champion of Champions but Imogen showed Babble into Reserve Champion place.
What a coup for the Coal Yeat Herd of pedigree Saddleback pigs, both first and second place in this national championship. Admittedly there were some absentees. No John Wreaks [the Victoria herd] and no Will and Amanda [the Pantysgawen herd] together with some other omissions but who turns up wins!
Clearly this 3-day show is too long for many exhibitors and could easily be reduced to a national 2-day show to enable more pig exhibitors to compete and reduce their costs.
Imogen was also a star winning the National BPA young handlers under 8’s showing one of Spencer and Kaisa Fielding’s January Saddleback gilts, fresh from their outdoor woods. [Yes, she had only been out of the woods for 3 days]
Not to be outdone Harry my ten year old grandson qualified for the 9/12 year old BPA young handlers final but ran out of enthusiasm in the final as his OSAB gilt took umbrage to having to be shown in the heat of the third days sun. Surely it would be better for the pigs and young handlers not to have the finals as the last event of a 3 day show, as everyone’s pigs and the young handlers are tired? Something to put right for next year?
However Harry did not come home empty handed as his OSAB gilt Coal Yeat Duchess won a beautiful OSAB society trophy for the best gilt at the show and he was awarded third prize in the BPA young members poster competition.
It was good to see pig keepers who attended our pig keeping showing weekend in March doing so well and winning first prizes at Hatfield .We are running a showing weekend course next year in late March so keep an eye open for full details.
See you there?
We arrived home after a five and a half hour drive with four trophies, two tired children, seven exhausted pigs and a jubilant driver!
The next Show is the Westmorland County on September the 8th.This is now one of the largest one day pig shows in the country. There will be 2 pig rings and two judges but as one is ‘professor’ Alan Rose be prepared for some long classes! If anyone wants to come and help I have 24 pigs entered in 4 breeds so a stockman’s ticket awaits all helpers.
Oh, nearly forgot……Imogen also won her poster competition for her age group[a poster all about our pig keeping courses] and the prize? A pink fluffy soft toy pig not what a Saddleback breeder needs on the passengers seat all the way home!