Three Ryeland sheep breeders travelled a huge 350 miles from Tenbury and Herefordshire to compete in the Royal Highland Show.

And the long journey to Edinburgh was definitely worth the trip for the three Ryeland Flock Book Society members.

Travelling up on June 18 in a convoy bound for Scotland, Katie Macdonald from Haw Hill Ryelands, Jack Williams and Dom Dickson of Bachebrook Ryelands and Sue Quigley from Michealchurch Ryelands all walked away from the show – taking place on Thursday, June 20 - with top prizes for their stunning sheep.

For Bachebrook Ryelands, this was their third year of entering the Royal Highland Show.

Jack and Dom with their prize-winning RyelandsBachebrook farm (R) are seasoned winners, having success in many shows (Image: Ruthven Photography)

Bachebrook Farm started with Ryelands and coloured Ryelands in 2012. “We both came from a non-farming background so have really had to learn everything for ourselves with the help of some lovely friends in the Palliser family, but it really does show for those who want to get into farming that you can!” said Mr Williams and Mr Dickson.

“We have had a couple of successes at the show over the three years.”

 The duo won the Reivesley salver for best lamb in the first year they entered, before this year winning overall male and reserve overall champion with shearling ram, Llanyfrwys Dark Lord, who they purchased as a lamb privately from Donna Morris.

Mr Williams and Mr Dickson were “delighted” to see their “outstanding ram with great character and size” win such a great prize.

“We are looking forward to what he produces for us next spring,” said the farmers.

Michealchurch Ryelands' Sue Quigley also did tremendously well, coming second to Bachebrook with shearling ram, Michealchurch Dougie. Ms Quigley also won third prize with her aged ewe and fifth with both her ram lamb and her shearling ewe.

Ms Quigley said she “loved the show,” with a particular highlight of hers being the beautiful Clydesdale horses, which were “quite a sight to be seen!” she said.

Sue Quigley showing her stunning Ryelands in the ring.Sue Quigley showing her stunning Ryelands in the ring. (Image: Ruthven Photography)

Haws Hill is a relatively new flock and the show saw Katie Macdonald win Haws Hill’s first red rosette, making her “very proud to have recognition of our quality pedigree livestock breeding”.

Based in Tenbury Wells, Haws Hill also hosts a holiday let on the farm called Ryeland Lodge, and the farm’s latest addition, The Hide at Haws Hill, launched very recently.

Ryelands are native to the Herefordshire market town of Leominster. According to Dolwyn Ryelands’ website, the ancient rare breed is a dual-purpose sheep, producing high quality wool and tasty meat. Ryelands also lend themselves to organic farming as a sheep that does well on good grass alone, alongside its placid temperament and easy to manage characteristics.

Katie Macdonald with her beloved Ryelands sheep and red rosetteKatie Macdonald with her beloved Ryelands sheep and red rosette. (Image: Ruthven Photography)

The Ryeland society was founded in 1903 and the first flock book was published in 1909, but various authorities identify the Ryeland back to the 12th century and the breed has a fairly clear history of some 800 years.