AN Austwick youngster is likely to be a big name in the sheep world after a successful first year on the show circuit.

Brogan Barker, eight, of Orcaber Farm, took a North Country Cheviot ewe and gimmer lamb to Saturday's Hodder Valley Show, at Slaidburn, where he got a first with his lamb, Nun Cote Nook Batty Nora and a first with his ewe, Nun Cote Nook Bindy.

He also took home any other pure breed champion female, any other pure breed champion, hill breed champion, inter-breed champion and supreme sheep in show.

This followed a successful show at Todmorden Agricultural Show where he was named champion young handler and had a first in the any other pure breed ewe section which went on to be crowned pure breed champion.

He was young handler champion under 10 at Great Harwood Show and came second with his tup lamb and at Kilnsey Show took second with his gimmer lamb and third with his ewe.

At Gisburn Auction Mart's prime lamb show and sale he received a first place and highest priced sheep of the day.

His father, Chris Barker, who came from a sheep farming family in Bacup, said: "Brogan was over the moon when he did so well, particularly at the Hodder Valley Show in really wet, awful weather.

"It was so bad we had to put a tarpaulin sheet over the pen for us all to take shelter. But it was a good day with a great atmosphere and everyone just gets on with it, whatever the weather."

Mr Barker said it was Brogan's choice to start a flock of his own and chose a breed which is less well-known in the district.

"When he said he wanted some sheep we let him chose what he wanted to look after and he literally picked North Country Cheviots from a poster of sheep breeds we had because he liked the look of them.

"We have a flock of 12 now including five ewes, five gimmer lambs, a tup lamb and a tup and he looks after them himself, getting up early and seeing to them before going to Austwick Primary School and then again after he comes home.

"I do sheep shearing and Brogan helped shear his own flock this year.

"It was his first year at showing and has proved he is a natural. He takes his showing very seriously.

"At Great Harwood there were representatives from Myerscough College showing Dutch Spotted Texels. They watched Brogan and were so impressed they asked him to show some of theirs," said Mr Barker.

"It's been a great start to showing for him and he is keen to keep entering them. The next one is the Nidderdale Show, at Pateley Bridge which takes place on Monday, September 24, which he is really looking forward to and he hopes to be successful there too.

"He will be a fourth generation sheep farmer, although on a lot smaller scale than his predecessors. To say this is his first year actually showing sheep he has done fantastically, and many judges have complimented him on his handling and professionalism.

"He has developed a huge interest in sheep whereas his older brother and younger sister are more interested in horses."