A Scottish Texel breeder has won an award recognising his “outstanding contribution” to the sheep breed.

Solway and Tyne Club member Ewan MacTaggart, Castle Douglas, has been named as the winner of the 2024 Texel Sheep Society Spotlight Award.

The Spotlight Award is in its second year and is given to a young breeder who works to support their local Texel club and raise the profile of the breed in the process.

Other nominees for the award this year were; Caity Higgins, Bentley Ford and Wollascott flocks, Harry Griffies, Cairngryffe flock, Lowri Williams, Caron flock, Ivanna Strawbridge, Lynebrooke and Tamnamoney flocks.

The award is open to members under 35, with the Texel Sheep Society clubs and Youth Development Programme (YDP) committee members asked to nominate members who they felt had made an outstanding contribution to the breed in their local area or nationally. 

Announcing MacTaggart as the winner, society chief executive John Yates said he shone out from a high calibre of finalists due to his in-depth knowledge of the breed and the society.

“Ewan is a fantastic ambassador for the breed and his commitment to Texel is second to none. I have no doubt that, in time, Ewan will fulfil all his ambitions within the breed,” Yates said.

Ewan MacTaggart Source: Texel Sheep Society

MacTaggart took on management of the Rascarrel flock following the death of his father, Tommy.

In the years since then he has had a keen focus on the type of Texel he wants to produce and that he believes the industry requires. This has seen the flock flourish in recent years, selling to 9000gns for Rascarrel Fantastic at Lanark in 2022.

MacTaggart attends most Solway and Tyne Club events and has enjoyed success in the club’s flock competition and has aspirations to be more deeply involved with the club and the society in future years.

Texel Sheep Society Spotlight Award

Society chief executive John Yates said: “The spotlight award provides an opportunity for clubs and the society to promote the strength in depth of young people in our membership.

“This year’s nominations were a pleasure to interview, all high achievers, some with high performing flocks, others who go the extra mile in supporting clubs and local events.

“All had in-depth knowledge of the breed and value it adds to them and the industry,” he explained.

Yates said that regional clubs had long been at the core of society activities and it was important to recognise the role clubs play in supporting and promoting the breed across the UK.

“It was great to see a strong calibre of nominations once again for this award, showing the great strength of the younger generation within the breed. It is encouraging for the future of the breed and the society and being able to recognise this through the Spotlight Award is hugely important for the society.”

The award is decided following interviews with all of the nominated entrants, with this year’s interview panel consisting of society chief executive John Yates, society chairman Jeff Aiken, and the society’s YDP coordinator and events manager Ailish Ross, with interviews completed remotely.