PAUL Hallam’s annual pilgrimage to compete at the famous Tan Hill Swaledale Sheep Show has finally paid off.

Every year since at least 1987, he has travelled from his farm in Derbyshire in the hope of taking the coveted supreme championship title.

And on Thursday of last week, he finally did it with a home-bred gimmer hogg, bred by a home-bred tup.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said, “I’ve been trying to do this for a long time – at least 27 years – and it’s great.

“I come here because I love Swaledale sheep and because the folk here are just grand.”

The gimmer’s father was the son of a ram, which Mr Hallam paid 52,000gns for some years ago.

Before taking the supreme title, she was judged best gimmer hogg and best female.

The reserve supreme title went to a 40,000gns four-shear ram bought at Hawes and jointly owned by Arthur Slack, of Stoneriggs, and John Richardson, of Gyll House, Dufton.

The ram, which was also best male, had three of his gimmers at the show and all were placed.

The reserve best female was also the best gimmer hogg. She was bred by Joe Nattrass, of Garrigill, Cumbria, while the reserve best male was a tup hogg from MW Skidmore.

The title for the best male and best female went to a couple of home-bred hoggs from B Acton, of Hawes.

A biting wind and occasional showers failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the breeders and spectators.

The show itself attracted a higher number of entries than last year when numbers were affected by the appalling wet weather and heavy snow in the preceding months.

Raymond Calvert, show secretary, said the quality and number of entries had been particularly good this year.

“The standard has been very high and the gimmer classes were particularly well supported,” he said.

“Spring has been a better this year so there has been a bit more time to prepare for the show.”