In 1981 the Hardgate Ryelands was only the second flock in Yorkshire at that time, being established by Margaret and Stephen Hipps and founded on winning bloodlines.
Having bred them for many years, the aim has always been to maintain traditional Ryeland characteristics with particular emphasis on size, length and a fleece free of kemp. After Margaret sadly died in 2007, Stephen continued to show the sheep, establishing his own reputation, and continuing to win top prizes. He became President of the Ryeland Flock Book Society in 2015 and during his time in office showed his own sheep and also visited several shows across the country. In addition Stephen is a well respected judge of the Ryeland breed.