AN 11-year-old from Hexham finished second overall in the North of England Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association Stock Judging Competition.

David Carr of Highwood Farm, Hexham went on to win the U16 Stock Judging shield, in what was a successful weekend for the young farmer.

The annual competition, held at Hexham and Northern Marts on February 19, celebrated its 25th birthday, attracting a record number of participants.

David finished with 419 points, narrowly missing out to winner, Will Storey, by just two points. He was also ahead of Kevin Ridley in the open class competition.

David, who only celebrated his eleventh birthday at the beginning of February, was victorious in the U16 competition, beating 215 other hopeful young farmers to take home the coveted prize of the Stock Judging shield.

David’s father, also David, known for regularly winning prizes for stock at Hexham Mart, said : “I could not believe it, I only scored 361 points on the night.”

David Snr admitted he even had to consult master judge, Annabelle Morshead, to verify the result.

He added: “He received no help and did a fantastic job.”

Young David puts his win down to the advice he regularly receives from other farmers, whilst out with his grandad David.

A renowned stockman himself, David Jnr’s grandad David has farmed at Highwood for over 50 years, and was well known for his stock judging skills in his young farmer days.

Robert Smith, David Jnr’s uncle, said: “It is such a brilliant achievement, he is only just 11 and received no help from anyone.

“Everyone there was looking around and just couldn’t believe that he had done it.”

David is now looking forward to further opportunities to compete and is hopeful he will be able to carry on his family’s farming successes.