Smiles at the South of England Show

Another successful show for Oaklands Pigs

Our Old Spot Sow GABY and our July Gilt GISELLE both won their classes and GISELLE went on to win Best of Breed

In the Saddleback Camp our January Gilt AUDREY won her class and went on to win the Reserve Best of Breed

Under a different judge the following day AUDREY also won the heat of the Young Pig of the Year which entitles her to go to the championship in Malvern in September.

Stunning Start to Show Season








Great results at the Heathfield Show on 25th May 2024.

We took 4 pigs, three saddlebacks and an old spot.

The July 2023 saddleback won her class with the old spot coming in a close second.

Then the January 2024 saddleback sisters also took 1st and 2nd in their class.

So two of our saddlebacks in the Supreme Championship, which was eventually won by our July Saddleback Agatha

Summary of Stunning Show Season

We now only have 3 breeds – Saddleback, Tamworth and Old Spot and in 2023 we only attended three shows.


Reserve Champion with a Tamworth

Best of Breed – Tamworth, Saddleback and Old Spot


Reserve Champion with an Old Spot

Best of Breed – Tamworth, Saddleback and Old Spot


Supreme Champion with a Saddleback

Best of Breed – Tamworth and Saddleback


Nancy the January 2023 born Saddleback qualified for the National Finals with her wins above.

And went on to win the Young Saddleback of the Year 2023 at Malvern

Clare and Nancy with Judge Arthur Uglow (and their “small” rosette)


Having been Best of Breed at the South of England Show – Nancy the January 2023 born Saddleback won her class at the Oxted and Edenbridge Show. Then went on to win Best Traditional Breed and finally to win Supreme Champion of the show.

Reserve Best in Show at South of England

Another great show for Oaklands Pigs. Three best of Breeds and Reserve Best in show.

First up was our big old spot sow GRETCHEN who won her class and then went on to win Best Old Spot

Then came TALA the July born tamworth who won the AOV Traditional Class and went on to win Best Tamworth

And last but not least, NANCY the Saddleback born in January this year, took Best Saddleback.

On the second day, GRETCHEN then won Reserve Best in Show in the Interbreed Competition.

Then NANCY surprised us by winning this Southern Heat of the Young Pig of the Year competition which entitles her to go to the finals in Malvern in September. The first time we have entered this competition.

So quite a haul of rosettes to show for our efforts.


2023 Show Season off to a flying start

Heathfield show 27th May 2023

Lots of prizes at the Heathfield show.

Tala – the July 2022 Tamworth won her July Gilt class and went on to win RESERVE BEST IN SHOW

Gaby – the January 2023 born Old Spot won her class of 12 and was best Old Spot

Nancy – the January 2023 born Saddleback was 2nd to Gaby in the class of 12 and was best Saddleback


Reserve Champion again

Once again, like the Heathfield Show, we took both saddlebacks and old spots to the South of England Show 2022.

Again we managed to secure Best of Breed in both breeds.

But this time it was Matilda, our Saddleback sow, that went on to win Reserve Champion at the show

Reserve Champion at Heathfield 2022

Oaklands Pigs took both Old Spots and Saddlebacks to the Heathfield Show.

We won Best of Breed for those two breeds and Gretchen our July 21 old spot gilt, went on to win Reserve Champion.

Smiles at South of England Show

Oaklands Pigs did well again at the South of England show this year.

Winning Tamworth Champion and both the Male and Female Champion in the Saddleback classes




Teghan the Tamworth, born in July 2018 won best Tamworth








Dominic, our saddleback boar, born in January this year, was Male Saddleback Champion







Bonnie, a four year old Saddleback Sow, won Female Champion and went on to win overall Saddleback Champion. 

We were pleased that she also went down to the last 6 pigs in the interbreed championship for Best in Show


Reserve Champion at Surrey

Lexie the Landrace won her class at the Surrey show and went on to win Reserve Champion at the show. She behaved impeccably in the ring unlike our January born gilt who took Jo for a run around the ring.

The boys strut their stuff at Heathfield

Heathfield show was busy as ever. The sun came in and out and made a very pleasant day. Dominic our new breeding boar, born in January looked splendid in the ring and won his class, then went on into the championship class. But it wasn’t his day for the top prizes.

Spring into Action

Oaklands Pigs were once again at the SPRING LIVE show at the South of England Showground for the Bank Holiday weekend. Although dry it was quite cold especially on Sunday, but that didn’t stop the visitors coming. In the pen we had Dominic who will be our new breeding boar when he is older and a saddleback gilt Rosie who is 4 months old. They were both very obliging in letting everyone stroke them but not so good when loading them in the trailer to leave, as they went on a small detour around the animal barn – obviously wanting to say goodbye to everyone ! But after some assistance from the cattle and sheep breeders and even the reptile handlers joined in, we managed to corral them into the trailer.

National Pig Breeder of the Year Award

Oaklands Pigs took the prestigious title of National pedigree pig breeder of the year award at a ceremony in London recently. The competition is judged on a number of criteria including breeding statistics, pedigree sales, show awards and importantly how you are promoting pedigree pigs in the wider world. Oaklands Pigs regularly support a number of non competitive shows and fairs where they take pigs and talk to the public, including the schools day in July. With our courses and Perfect pigs book we also get the word out about keeping pigs. We also host days for school young farmers groups, disabled groups and trainee chefs learning the art of pigs from farm to fork. And certainly we put pigs on the map when we appeared in the recent Celebs on the Farm Pig Day.

So we are delighted to receive this award.

Clare is pictured with Guy Kiddy Chairman of the Britsh Pig Association and Andrew Castle the ex number one UK tennis champion who presented the awards.

Autumn Show

The day did not start out bad on Saturday 6th October, but by lunchtime the heavens had opened and there was torrential rain. All the arena demonstrations were cancelled and the public exited en masse. Luckily our pigs were in the Abergavenny building in the dry. Sunday could not be more different with glorious warm sunshine and loads of people there all day. We took some of our show pigs for next year including Tamworth, Saddlebacks and Landrace and they soon got used to people stroking them and all the sights and sounds of the show.

Celebs on Oaklands Farm

The new series of Celebs on the Farm started at 10pm on 5Star on Monday 20th August. Episode 4 on Thursday 23rd August was their day with us at Oaklands Pigs. If you missed it you can still catch up on My5 at My5TV .

The Celebrities :- Lorraine Chase, Sandi Bogle, Charlotte Dawson, Megan McKenna, Gleb Savchenko, Louie Spence, Bobby Norris, Ashley McKenzie

They first met the piglets and then went onto to wash and shampoo their own pig ready for the show. After a little bit of chasing the pigs around the field, they soon got the hang of working with a stick and board and then competed in two mini show heats. With 8 Celebrities and a crew of nearly 30 we had our work cut out keeping tabs on everyone. So apart from camera and sound men, there were producers, editors, wardrobe, drivers, minders, catering, runners and a medic

Photos for Chinese Year of the Pig

Next year 2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig. So planning ahead, we were asked to assist with photography for some new merchandise for next year. The photos needed to be of pigs faces and the design company would then draw in cartoon bodies for them. Luckily we had a litter of tamworths and a litter of Landrace that were about a week old and ideal models for the shoot. Some of the piglets were more co-operative than others but we ended up with all the shots we needed. The design company have mostly been photographing dogs and cats, so this was a nice change for them too. Their merchandise can be seen at (although the pigs won’t be on the site for a few month’s yet)

3 Best of Breeds

The weather was warm and sunny all through the three days of the South of England show. Oaklands pigs took 9 show pigs from 5 different breeds, as well as a sow with her 8 piglets for the pig village. That involved two trailer loads to get everyone there on the Wednesday setup day.

Greta the Old Spot won Best of Breed, repeating her win of the previous year.

Tara the Tamworth then won her Best of Breed, again a repeat of her 2017 win.

We also won best Landrace at last year’s show with our junior boar, but this year we again won Best of Breed but this time with our July Gilt Lorna.

So we once again had three pigs in the Interbreed Championship which was held on the Friday. Sadly no awards there, with the Supreme Champion being a Large White and the Reserve taken by a Berkshire.

Carol Kirkwood meets the pigs

BBC breakfast came to the South of England show and Carol Kirkwood filmed her links and the weather from our pen of sow and litter.

We also filmed with ITV Meridian and did a live broadcast with BBC Radio Sussex.

Several other smaller camera units also came round for their social media sites, so our pigs will be popping up everywhere.

Prizes all round at Surrey

The weather was kind to us at the Surrey show. Although heavy showers were forecast, we had an overcast morning – ideal for pig showing and a bright and sunny afternoon. Every pig we took to the show (old spots, saddlebacks and landrace) made the top 3 in their class and took home a first, second or third rosette. And to top it all, Greta the Old Spot won the Sow class and went on to take Reserve Champion in the final.

Show Selection Time

With the agricultural show entry forms dropping on the mat everyday, it is time to decide which pigs will be going to the shows this year. We usually keep back 3 or 4 in each age category and grow them on before we decide which ones will be kept. Here is a group of our July and September born saddlebacks along with an interloping Landrace gilt. It is very hard to breed the perfect pig and the one with the best teats doesn’t have the best markings and the best shaped one doesn’t have the best legs, so you just have to choose the one with the most positive features, that you think the judge might like in the show ring on the day.

Pigs are shown in age categories with separate classes for boys and girls.

There is a class for Adult Sow – which can be any age from 1 year although most sows at about 5-6 years old are getting stiff on their legs so do not move so well around the ring.

The next class is for pigs born after 1st July. So during the 2018 show season we will be showing pigs that were born after 1st July 2017. Pigs in this class can be born from July to the end of December that year, although obviously those born later in the year will not be as big and impressive as one born earlier and are therefore less likely to be in the awards.

Some shows (but not all) will also have a born after 1st September class. So again we have chosen some pigs that were born close the beginning of September 2017 for this class.

The final class and the one that usually causes chaos in the ring is those pigs born after 1st January, so these are shown in the year that they are born. With shows starting in April and May these girls will only be 4 to 5 months old when they go to their first show, so haven’t had much time for training and generally take off round the ring with the handler in hot pursuit.

The boys generally only have two classes, one for those born after 1st July and one for those born after 1st January. That means that only young boars are shown and these will still need two handlers in the ring to ensure that they are kept separate from each other avoiding a fight. 




Fun in the snow

Snow finally hit the South East this week, but it didn’t stop the girls going for their daily walk. Pigs love the snow and like to run around and dig in it. But they’ll have to make the most of it, as I am sure it won’t be around for long.

Preparing for Winter

With the outdoor pens getting increasingly muddy, it starts to become difficult to feed the pigs at this time of year. Luckily our main paddock has a large concrete pad onto which we can put the feed to avoid it becoming lost in the mud and we have also taken delivery of our first round of sow rolls in the silo. Normally we use the smaller sow pellets for the majority of the year, but during the winter the larger sow rolls are easier to feed and don’t get lost so easily.

Whilst we still have a number of fatteners and young stock in the woods and about 15 sows left in the main paddock we have brought a batch of pigs into the straw filled barn to ease the pressure in the outdoor pens. And although the barn is over 50ft long, they all want to bed down in one corner, but they do seem content with this arrangement.

Runner up in National Competition

Oaklands Pigs was a runner up in the National Pig Association annual award ceremony which took place in London on Monday 6th November.

A finalist in the Pedigree Breeder of the Year category, which was judged on our breeding statistics, number of pedigree sales made, showing successes and how we promote pedigree pigs to the general public.

The awards ceremony meant that everyone was dressed in their posh frocks and no wellies in sight.