Two Hadlow students proved they were ahead of the flock when they scooped joint second place in the prestigious ‘Shepherd of the Future’ competition at the National Sheep Association’s Next Generation event.

Louis Cheeseman and Emily Bungay, both Final Year Level 3 Extended Diploma Agriculture students, were up against 18 other participants in the event, held at Pythouse Farm, Tisbury, Wiltshire – and won £100 prize money each.

Over the course of the intense, six-hour competition, they had to shear two sheep, select lambs for slaughter and demonstrate their ATV handling/basic maintenance and electric fencing skills. Finally, they were required to answer a series of detailed questions on flock management and health issues.

Alan West, lecturer in agriculture and course manager for animal and land management, commented: “The judge’s comments on all the competitors were really positive, saying how well trained they were in all areas and how polite the students had been. Our students gained a tremendous amount from this event, in terms of broadening their knowledge, enhancing their employability and widening their circle of contacts.”