Surrey with a smile

Lola aAfter the serious showing at Heathfield on Saturday, Oaklands Pigs went to Surrey with a smile.

Here are Clare and Lola in their matching Tutu’s winning the fancy dress class.

Our four month old Tamworth won the happiest pig class by running around the arena with Robin in hot pursuit.

Winning Start to the 2015 show season

A fantastic start to the 2015 showing season, with 3 wins at the Heathfield Show.

DSC_0141Lola our Landrace sow continued last year’s form, by winning her class. This year’s new comers Jolene our July Saddleback and Beatrice our September Saddleback also won their classes with Bridget also coming second giving us a one-two in the July Class.

We were beaten in the best in show by a cracking January gilt shown by our friend (and no relation) Mark Wilson.

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Off to the Surrey show on Bank Holiday Monday to see if we can repeat our form

Disabled group come to meet the pigs

Shinewater 2015 aOaklands Pigs played host to a group of young disabled adults recently who came to see the farm.

They were able to hold a baby piglet and meet a variety of breeds and sizes of pig including the mums and babies. Gerry and Margot the Kune Kunes also kept them entertained, as shown here.

The group went on to stroke baby lambs and pet rabbits and see a gundog demonstration. Before finally having a hot dog lunch in the barn. The sausages went down so well, that they bought some more to take back to the other residents at the centre.

Spring Show outing for the newcomers

spring_showOur three youngest show pigs for this year made their debut at the South of England Spring Show over the bank holiday weekend.

Tessa the Tamworth – 11 weeks old, Bryony our Saddleback Gilt – 13 weeks old and Hamish our new Saddleback Boar at only 15 weeks, all got the chance to strut their stuff in a small practice ring.

No competitions at this show, we’re were just giving visitors the chance to experience young pigs close up, and ask as many questions as they liked.

All three loved having their bellies rubbed, as the tweet from the showground demonstrates !

River Cottage Photos

London Photographer Gavin Kingcome visited Oaklands Pigs this week to take pictures for the wrap around cover of the new River Cottage Pig book. The brief was to have a line of various breeds of pig out in their free range environment. Our sows were happy to oblige with a stroll around the field gathering up beech mast and early acorns as they went. It looks as though the winning shot will be of an Oxford Sandy and Black.4 breedsw

Reserve Best in Show at Egham Royal Show

Lola the Landrace finished this year’s show season with another Reserve Best in Show. This time at the Egham Royal Show. The weather was perfect, warm but not too sunny and Lola strutted her stuff around the ring to win her class and then go on to win the reserve best in show. Now that she has finished the show season, she can roll in as much mud as she likes. Although she will probably miss being washed, as she quite enjoyed the hose and being rubbed down with a horse brush during the hot weather.


Close at Cranleigh


We had another good show at Cranleigh on 2nd August. First out again was Hilary our Saddleback sow who won her class. She was followed by the gilts born in July 2013 which was a strong class, eventually being taken by the Old Spot pictured at the rear. Lola the Landrace came a close 2nd, but she let herself down by not moving well around the ring. Next in was Edna the September born gilt who also claimed a first and lastly the little January Saddleback Gilt Bunty who managed a third.












So just like the Singleton show, Hilary and Edna were both out again to contest the Best in Show. With two Oaklands Pigs already in the ring, the judge Richard Lutwyche then asked me to bring Lola the Landrace out again.

Unfortunately she still did not want to strut her stuff and therefore missed out on the Reserve Champion prize.


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.

modern farmer

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.

Gladys a Vera a

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

Pig most like its handler

Surrey County Show hold a number of novelty classes as well as the serious showing side.

Vera, our Best in Show pig from Heathfield show, only managed to come second in her class. The first being taken by a lovely Welsh pig, who went on to win Best in Show. We did redeem ourselves in the novelty classes, with Tallulah the Tamworth (pictured) winning 1st in the pig most like it’s handler, thanks to a baler twine costume and some cardboard ears sported by Clare. Tallulah also came 2nd in the Happiest pig class by charging around the ring, as only Tamworths can do. Other novelty prizes included Delilah winning grumpiest pig by refusing to move and whining throughout the class. And Vera won the pig that the judge would like to take home.
Tallulah costume



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

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.

New Trio of Oxford Sandy’s arrive from Cornwall

A new trio of Oxford Sandy and Blacks have just arrived from Cornwall. The girls Martha and Mavis are sisters from the Mary Bloodline and the boar Henri is from the Clarence bloodline. They will join the other 4 Oxford Sandy’s already at Oaklands Pigs

Oaklands Pigs at the Singleton Show

We took five pigs to the Singleton Show including three saddlebacks, an Oxford Sandy & Black and Tabitha our popular Tamworth, who spent much of the day enjoying being stoked by the public.