A BEAMING Pippa Murray had the time of her life at the Roman Wall Show on Saturday.

Despite being only three years old, she won the young handlers’ competition at the renowned sheep show, at Twice Brewed near Bardon Mill.

“Pippa has a nice way with the sheep,” said her proud father Jamie Murray, of Sewingshields near Haydon Bridge, who was also accompanied by his older daughters Josie (10) and Annabelle (8).

“They enjoy getting a hold of the sheep and getting involved with the show. It’s an exciting day out for them.”

The smiles on the children’s faces masked the heavy rain showers which poured down on the show throughout the day.

And that epitomised the spirit of the hundreds of people who turned out, either to compete, or to simply enjoy a day out.

“This is one of the best Blackface shows in the North of England,” said Jamie. “It means a lot to people and they support it regardless of the weather.”

It was a memorable day for the Murray family. They won the Blackface section, and also took the overall reserve sheep championship with an old Blackface tup.

“We bought him as a shearling last year from Toft House, Otterburn,” said Jamie. “He’s a solid tup with a good head and carcass, and he’s good on his legs.”

The overall sheep champion was a texel exhibited by brothers Stephen and Andrew Reed, of Lands Farm, Weardale.

Andrew said: “She’s a gimmer shearling of good breed character. We have shown here previously, but this is the first time we’ve had the overall champion.

“We’ve had a good day, we also won a group of three with with two gimmer shearlings and a ewe.”

Robin Archer, of Carry House Farm near Wark, won both champion mule and champion Crossing Leicester sections.

The champion Bluefaced Leicester went to Peter Forster, of Lowes Fell, Lowgate, while the Swaledale championship went to T. Nattrass of Garrigill.

The showfield was a hive activity, with children’s sports and Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling attracting quite a following.

Gun dogs, foxhounds, terriers and collies thought nothing of the rain as they enjoyed both exercising, and showcasing their skills, in the vast open space.

For those who sought it, shelter was provided in the tented village. As ever, the popular industrial section included a mouth-watering array of homemade sweets and savouries, as well as arts and crafts.

Jack Ridley (9) travelled to the show from Stocksfield, and won the U16 best miniature garden competition. His adventurous entry offered a mini plantation area using real soil, as well as paper and glue. Marion Sloan had most points in the industrial section, with Gail Stephenson second.

Show secretary Tabitha Allen said: “Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about the weather, but despite that, I think we’ve put on a great show.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the day, and for supporting the Roman Wall Show once again.”