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Woodchurch pupils are the best baah none
A PAIR of Wirral teenagers wowed judges with their shepherding skills at a special competition.
Megan Lowry, 16, from Woodchurch High school, took home first prize in the young handler class at the Cheshire Show last month.
Her classmate Sophie Tedesco, also 16, was awarded third place in the category.
After deciding to take part in the sheep showing, the two friends threw themselves into learning the vital skills and gave up their free time to get ready for the competition.
And their teacher Heidi Moulton, who has looked after the school’s farm since it started, said she “could not be prouder” of the girls.
She said: “We wanted to enter the Cheshire Show purely for experience and to see what it was like because we had never done anything like it before. Megan and Sophie learned what to do from a textbook and gave me a list of things we needed.
“They are so dedicated and would stay after school in the wind and rain to help and perfect their skills.
“When we first arrived, the girls were quite intimidated by the standard because there were people there who did this for a living and really knew their stuff. But they went out there and impressed the judges to win first and third prizes.”
The competition also saw the farm’s rooster, "Johnson", take home first prize in the poultry category.
Part of Woodchurch High School’s grounds was transformed into a farm last year with a flock of 20 North Ronaldsay sheep, chickens and goats.
Students use the farm as part of their horticultural and agricultural studies and regularly volunteer to give Mrs Moulton a helping hand with everyday duties.
Megan and Sophie’s knowledge of the sheep is even so sound that they managed to save a ewe’s life by diagnosing an infection before any harm was done.
And Mrs Moulton added that the girls’ success was all the more poignant because of the school’s urban location.
She said: “I was away from school and they rang me to say that they thought one of the sheep had a serious infection in one of its udders. They had only seen the symptoms in a text book but they were able to diagnose it there and then and sent for a vet.
“If it had gone unnoticed, it could have been very bad news for the ewe.
“At the Cheshire Show, the judges couldn’t believe it when they found out the girls went to a school in such an urban area and had only been handling sheep for about 16 months. They were so confident and knew exactly what they were doing.”