Oaklands Saddlebacks take Singleton Show by Storm

The Singleton rare breed show was held on Sunday 20th July. The pig classes are divided into white breeds like the Middle White and Lop, and the coloured breeds such as Saddlebacks and Old Spots etc.

First up was Hilary our three and a half year old sow who took first place in the sow class. She was followed by Harriet a gilt born in July last year who also won her class. There was another first place for Edna, our gilt in the September age group and bringing up the rear, Bunty our little gilt born in January this year who came second in her class.

That meant that there were three Oaklands Saddlebacks in the ring contesting for the coloured Championship. Although we were pipped at the post for the top slot, Harriet took home the Reserve Champion award.

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Reserve Best in Show at the South of England Show

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“HER NAME IS LOLA – SHE IS A SHOWGIRL” the words of the song rang true at the South of England show, where Lola the Landrace took Reserve Best in Show. We were surprised to win her breed class against strong opposition and then even more delighted to win Best Modern breed. That entitled Lola to compete for Best in Show, which was judged on the Friday. A large black took the top slot and Lola came in as Reserve Champion.

Whilst the rest of the show team couldn’t claim any firsts there were plenty of 2nd’s and 3rd’s. The 2nd’s going to Gladys the Old Spot in the Breeding Sow class and another second to Bunty in the January born saddleback class on Thursday and then Edna the saddleback also came 2nd in the interbreed September class on the Friday.

The 3rd’s went to Hilary in the Saddleback breeding sow class and Harriet in the saddleback July born class.

And then we rounded off the day by winning the best livestock exhibitors display. So all in all, great results at the South of England for Oaklands Pigs.


Gladys wins Best Old Spot at Surrey

Gladys the Gloucester Old Spot won a big rosette as best old spot at the Surrey County show on Bank Holiday Monday. Although she is a four year old sow weighing around 300 kilos (that’s 48 stone) she can still move around the ring. She wasn’t so pleased however at winning “The Grumpiest Pig” award in the novelty classes.


As at the Heathfield show, the Welsh pig took top honours, but we again came second and third to that winning pig in our breed classes. But this time the roles were reversed with Lola the Landrace taking the second slot and Harriet the Saddleback coming third.

Lola and Clare also won the pig most like it’s owner, I think it was the ears !

Lola Like

It was however a rather wet day, but that did mean lots of people visited the livestock marques especially during the downpours.

Harriet wins Best of Breed at Heathfield

Harriet wins Best Saddleback at Heathfield 2014.

The show season got off to a good start with all of our pigs winning prizes at the show. Harriet came second in her breed class to a beautiful Welsh pig, which then went on to win Best in Show. Lola the Landrace was not far behind by winning the 3rd place in that class just behind Harriet.


The judge Steve Loveless is checking Harriet’s teats to see how many piglets she could feed.


Lola is Covergirl !

Our Landrace gilt, Lola is now gracing the cover page of Modern Farmer.

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This follows a photo shoot in January, when photographer Richard Bailey came down to the farm to take photos of many of our breeds.

Many of these other shots feature in an article inside the magazine.

We’re hoping that this early stardom doesn’t affect her, and that she’ll learn to cope with all this attention.

Show ring practice – of a different kind

After our show success with the pigs last year, Clare has gone up a notch by judging the final of the gamekeepers working gundogs in the main arena of Crufts on Sunday 9th March 2014, shortly before the main best in show.

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Clare’s judging was streamed live on YouTube and the Crufts Channel  –
Watch it here

Clare said ” It was all a bit scary standing alone in such a large arena surrounded by thousands of knowledgeable people. I think I’ll stick to pigs in a field at the agricultural shows”

Pigs on the catwalk

A mammoth photo session took place to capture portraits of six different breeds of pig. London photographer Richard Bailey, set up his studio in one of our barns and we attempted to get a variety of pigs standing still on the right spot, looking the right way. Needless to say, the session took quite some time and a lot of bribery food. The most co-operative pigs were in fact a couple of litters of babies, who stood relatively still once you had turned them all around the right way. The pictures are destined for an American magazine.
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7 shows – and winning in the top 2, at 6 of them

Oaklands Pigs attended 7 shows during the 2013 season and came home with 3 Best in Shows, 2 Reserve Best in Shows and 1 Breed Champion, so only missing out on a top spot at one show.

The Best in Shows came from Heathfield, Cranleigh and Edenbridge. The two Reserves from Singleton and Egham. And the Breed Champion at the large South of England show.

Vera the Saddleback will now be putting her feet up and awaiting the arrival of her first litter, which is due in the autumn. Hopefully she can produce a show champion for next year.

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Another Best in Show


Vera, our Saddleback Gilt, won another Best in Show at the Cranleigh Show on 3rd August. The pig numbers were down at the show as it had moved to the Saturday to avoid the London 100 mile cycle event, but this did mean that it clashed with another large pig show at Stoneleigh Park. Vera joined the grand parade of cattle and sheep in the main arena to collect her trophies, but hitched a ride in the groundsman’s trailer. Although Vera took the honours the rest of the team also did well with Oaklands pigs winning 3 out of the 4 classes and therefore having three of our pigs competing for the Best in Show slot.

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Trio of awards at Singleton Rare Breed Show

We took three different breeds to the Singleton Rare Breed Show and won Best of Breed with all three of them. First up was GLADYS the Gloucester old spot (at the front of the picture). She  came 2nd in a strong adult sow class and also took the award for Best Old Spot. Next up was TALLULAH the Tamworth in the July Gilt class. After entertaining the crowds with her usual run around the ring chased by her owner trying to catch her up, she took the Best Tamworth award.

Also in the July Gilt class was our Saddleback VERA, who won the class and was also awarded Best Saddleback. She then went on to win Reserve Traditional Breed Champion.

The weather was extremely hot and we had to pour water over several pigs in the show ring to ensure that they did not overheat. With all the marquee flaps open we managed to get a good breeze through the pig marquee. So all in all a good day out.

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The Good Life

Meet Margo & Gerry the new Kune Kunes from Hampshire who have just arrived this week. Margo is the ginger with black spots and Gerry (a castrated male) is all ginger. They have plenty of grass in their pen, so that should keep them busy for months.

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After winning Best in Show at Heathfield, Vera went on to take Breed Champion at the South of England show. This was a much bigger show with well over 100 pigs entered. We were also delighted that our big breeding sow Hilda took the Reserve Female Champion.

Vera 2 SofE 2013  Hilda SOE2013



Oaklands Pigs won Best in Show at the first show of the season with their British Saddleback Gilt born in July 2012. It was a busy day with their Boar born in July last year and their Boar born in September last year, also winning their classes and contending for the champion spot. We had to rope in other exhibitors to help us get all our pigs into the Championship run off. But it was worthwhile when Vera went on to take the top place.

Oaklands Pigs Heathfield Champion

Pigs in Mud cake







Oaklands Pigs was presented with a “Pigs in Mud” cake made by Sue Jensen for Easter. This was very soon consumed !

Springtime in the South East







Snow has reached the South East again. Good job the pigs enjoy playing in the snow. We make sure that they have a nice warm ark to get into, with plenty of straw. Although keeping dozens of water troughs defrosted is an all day job. Hopefully the sunshine will be out soon.

Reserve Champion at Rare Breed Show

The Rare Breed Show at the Open Air Museum at Singleton was bathed in glorious sunshine this year, a contrast to the very wet previous year. Hazel our July Gilt won her class and went on to become reserve traditional breed champion. Our September and January Gilts also did well, both coming 2nd in their respective classes. The win was just to much for Hazel who had to have a lie down – in the show ring.



Hazel has a lie down after winning Reserve Champion


Best in Show at Surrey County

Oaklands Pigs were in great form at the Surrey County show on the May Bank Holiday Monday, with our saddleback sow Hilda winning Best in Show. We also scooped 1st and 2nd in the July gilt class, with Hazel a saddleback gilt taking 1st and competing alongside Hilda for Best in Show. Then Chestnut an Oxford Sandy Gilt taking the 2nd spot making her the best Oxford at the show. Not to be out done by her mother, Hilda’s daughter Hyacinth born in January this year came 2nd in her class. And the whole day was rounded off by Amy, our 5 year old saddleback sow winning the Veteran class.

Successful Show Season






We attended 6 shows in the 2011 show season and won Best of Breed for the Saddlebacks at 5 of those shows and have won Reserve Best in Show at 2 of them.

The Five Best of Breeds have also been from 4 different pigs, with Amy our 4 year old sow winning at Heathfield and then again at Surrey County. This was followed by Hilary, our September Gilt taking the spot at the Singleton Rare breed show (beating Amy that time), and on 7th Aug our 3 year sow Miranda (pictured above) took Best of Breed at the Cranleigh show. The last show was at Edenbridge where our two and a half year old sow Joyce took the Best Saddleback slot. We were also pleased that at manyof the shows it was different age saddlebacks from Oaklands Pigs that were competing for the Best of Breed title.

The Two Reserve Best in Shows were won by Amy at the Heathfield show (pictured below) and Miranda at the Cranleigh show.









Although its the Saddlebacks that are our primary focus on the show circuit, we were also delighted that our January Tamworth Gilt Tabitha won a class of 8 entries at the Singleton Show. Mind you, you have to be fit to keep up with a young Tamworth in the ring !