Biggar teenager wins at RHS showcase
You could say that farming is well and truly in the genes for Biggar teenager Joanna Dale.
Her dad George and his family run the agricultural solicitor’s firm, Dales LLP, and she has been going to agricultural shows since she was a tot.
That grounding has paid dividends as she has since turned into a confident young sheep handler.
Last Tuesday at the Royal Highland Showcase, Joanna (13) won the nine to 14-year-old section and the overall champion title.
Her proud parents Shona and George sadly couldn’t attend – instead watching a live link nervously from home. They were delighted when she secured the glass rosebowl and rosettes; she will also receive a monetary prize.
Shona said: “She couldn’t believe she’d won – she was over the moon. It was nerve-wracking watching it from a distance but we were ecstatic when the results were announced!”
Joanna has been supported by Willie Craig at Blendewing Farm in Biggar who has taught her all she needs to know about showing blackface gimmers and lambing in the last few years.
His wife Shirley is also a major influence in the Biggar High S1 pupil’s life – developing her other major talent, baton twirling.
Sharon said: “We’re very grateful to Willie and Shirley for all they have done for Joanna. She loves showing and twirling and they have really encouraged her over the years.
"She competed in the World Baton Championships in Florida in 2019 with the Biggar Baton Twirlers and that year she also won the overall champion at Peebles Agricultural Show. She’s still got the trophy for that – she must be the longest holder of it due to the pandemic!”
Thanks to this year’s RHS being a showcase, Joanna will also get to keep the Rosebowl she received from Jimmy Warnock, from Sandilands Farm in Rigside, who was sponsoring this year’s event.
His daughter Carol-Anne was asked to judge the young handlers and was delighted to discover Joanna was a fellow Clydesdaler!
She said: “Dad has always commentated on the young handlers section and he decided to sponsor it this year.
"Joanna did really well and certainly knows how to show sheep. It’s so nice to see youngsters who are so keen and enthusiastic.”