A RESPECTED sheep breeder who enjoyed a lifelong passion for animals made her final journey in a wool coffin towed by a tractor.

Anne Moss, 65, of Ewebank Farm, Rokeby, near Barnard Castle, who was a well known for her prize-winning sheep and as a show judge, died after an illness.

On Friday, a cortege wound its way through the countryside to St Mary’s Church in Brignall, where her coffin bedecked in flowers was carried into the service to Sting’s song Field of Gold.

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Speaking earlier, daughter Clare Moss-Clennell said: “My mum was a very caring person, specially where animals were concerned.

“She was hard working, but really fun and was the life and the soul of the party.

“We thought a wool coffin was so fitting. I can hear her say ‘at least they are using wool for something’, because it’s not used for anything any more. It costs a farmer to get rid of it.”

Anne grew up in Yearby, near Redcar, where she persuaded her parents to buy her a pony.

She left school and went to qualify as a groom with the Straker family, whose daughter Karen Dixon was a showjumping Olympic medalist. It was there that Anne met husband Peter.

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Paying a moving tribute at the service, which was livestreamed, he said recalled: “Anne worked with the horses and I worked on the arable side.

“I noticed Anne sweeping the yards and when she came for bales of straw she swept every bit up - there was never one bit left in the yard and I thought ‘that’s the sort of girl I need’.”

The couple got married and moved into a little house at Wycliffe, later going to Brignall and 20 years ago to Ewebank Farm.

Peter said: “We started up an agricultural contractors at Brignall and Anne ran around picking up spares. She was just a rock.”

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He recalled Anne’s joy at her ‘”dream come true” when they were offered the tenancy of Ewebank Farm.

“She just loved it. She had masses of places to sweep. She had lawns . . she kept getting more lawns. The garden was so colourful.

“She loved cutting the grass and had three lawnmowers. She had brushes for everything.

"And if it was ever her birthday whenever I asked her what she wanted she would say ‘well I would like a new brush, but I would also like but I would also like a pair of Fairfax and Favor boots', which she loved and she looked fantastic in them.”

He said Anne would would always dress for the occasion, whether it be a sheep show or ball - and would sometimes even get changed to cut the lawn so she did not appear ‘scruffy’ if anyone happened to pull up.

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Clare said: “My mum just loved working with animals. More than 30 years ago she started breeding Texel sheep, later moving across to Beltex sheep. A few years ago she got invited to judge at shows as well.

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“She was a regular at the Bowes Show, Eggleston Show and Great Yorkshire Show. She was was also a familiar face at the big sales in Carlisle and Kendal.

“Mum so proud if she won something. Everything she did she built up herself. She was just so chuffed with the achievement.”

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