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HomeFarming NewsVIDEO: Award for farmer who lambed flock for friend with Covid-19
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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VIDEO: Award for farmer who lambed flock for friend with Covid-19

A farmer, who lambed an entire flock of sheep for a Covid-19 stricken friend, has been honoured with an award.

Sam Stables was handed this year’s Farmers Guardian’s Farming Hero award after assisting his friend, David Newhouse.

Newhouse, who farms in Malham, North Yorkshire, contracted Covid-19 days before his 240 Cheviot Mules were due to lamb.

He was rushed to intensive care, leaving wife Carol, also displaying symptoms of the virus, to lamb the flock alone.

Family friend, Stables arranged a haulier to transport some of the flock 200 miles south to lamb on his own farm in Herefordshire.

Covid-19 social-distancing restrictions

Mr Newhouse said: “Despite having a weakened immune system and being seriously ill, I was reluctant to leave Carol to lamb the sheep on her own.

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“We could not get outside help in due to the Covid-19 social-distancing restrictions and that worried me more than my own health.”

“It was an incredibly stressful time for us all and I feel so humbled by Sam’s act of kindness. He deserves so much recognition for his selfless actions. He was amazing, I feel so humbled at what he did, and I am really proud of him.”

‘Took me under their wing as a teenager’

Mr Stables, who has a flock of 380 sheep, said: “David and Carol took me under their wing as a teenager and I knew I had to do something to help them out when I heard David had been hospitalised.”

“Together with Richard and Val Brown, Kirkby Malham, we organised 140 sheep to be gathered and transported to my farm in Herefordshire to lamb here.”

The award also recognised the charity that Stables has established earlier this year, which aims to help individuals with mental health issues among the farming community.

He received a personal commendation of support from HRH Prince of Wales along with a donation to fund further charitable work from We Are Farming Minds.

Speaking about being winning the award, Mr Stables said: “It’s what farmers do – they just pull together and help one another and it’s what makes British farming so good. We all stick together no matter what.”

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