The second East of England Smithfield Festival held at the Peterborough Arena on 30 November and 1 December was once again a roaring success and a fitting finale to the major primestock show season.
Chief steward Charles Horrell said the event had once again proved the draw of the Royal Smithfield Club's primestock awards, with sheep and cattle heading to Peterborough from all corners of the UK.
"The second year of the partnership between the East of England Agricultural Society and the Royal Smithfield Club cemented the event as the premier winter show in the UK and the quality of the stock on show was a true tribute to commercial producers the length and breadth of the country."
Heading up the prize list in the cattle section of the event was the winner of the show's overall cattle championship, Limousin cross heifer Olympic Dream from local exhibitor Vicky Bowring, Mansfield.
This one, by Bailea Umber was shown weighing 596kg and was purchased at Ruthin in the spring when it took the championship. She was bought for £5000 and has previously been a class winner at Agri Expo in November. She was described by judge Jonathan Maycock as “a perfect animal for the small retail butcher. She has a great top and is full of flesh with that added show ring presence as well.”
Mr Maycock backed his judgement when buying Olympic Dream for £5000 in the post-show auction on the second day of the event.
The reserve overall award went to one of the season's most successful show beasts, Tecwyn Jones' heifer Black Beauty. This one stood second in her class to Olympic Dream and followed her through to take the reserve crossbred and overall heifer championships before then taking the reserve overall title.
This one has taken the supreme championship at Agri Expo and Countryside Live this year, is by Shire Apollo and was bought privately from John Smith-Jackson. She sold for £7000 to the Hyslop family, Ayrshire.
A strong line up of crossbred steers saw Jonathan Maycock tap out the Alford family’s successful Limousin steer No Likey No Lighty to take the overall crossbred steer title and then the overall steer championship.
Weighing 676kg, No Likey No Lighty was champion steer at the English Winter Fair, reserve overall at Agri Expo and Countryside Live and had a host of wins in the summer including the steer championship at the Royal Welsh Show.
Standing reserve to him for the crossbred and overall steer championship was Trevor Lyon and Family with Rob Roy, another by Bailea Umber, this one was reserve baby beef champion at Beef Expo and the Royal Welsh and also stood first in his class at the English Winter Fair this back end.
In the purebred championships it was the turn of Cumbria-based producers Keith and Mark Harryman to take the overall purebred championship with their homebred 538kg Limousin heifer Keskadale Gamel. By Sarkley Volvo, this one has already stood reserve purebred champion at the English Winter Fair this year, as well as a second at Countryside Live. Keskadale Gamel also secured the Harryman's the King's Cup for the best beast bred by the exhibitor.
And having stood second to her in the class and following behind to take reserve in the purebred championships was Michael, Melanie and Charlotte Alford’s Bishops Goldilocks, who took the reserve overall purebred title. This one, by Waindale UFO and out of Scorboro Custard, has had a successful championship run this year having won the pedigree championship at the English Winter Fair.
Winning the best opposite sex to the championship was Andrew and Becky Bishop’s purebred Limousin steer Bishops Gadolfin, weighing 644kg. He is also by Waindale UFO and is out of Stitford Daffodil.
And the Lyon family's success carried over in the Baby Beef classes too, with their homebred Limousin cross heifer taking the Continental Baby Beef championship before going on to take the top spot in the Baby Beef championship. Their winner was January 2012-born heifer Temptation. This one is by Rossignol and is out of a Thirlwall Castle heifer and was second at Stafford on her previous outing.
Reserve to her in the Continental section and then reserve overall was Donald MacPherson with his family’s Charolais cross heifer Molly Malone. This one is fresh from her reserve baby beef win at the Royal Highland Winter Fair on Wednesday and was purchased privately in August when Donald tapped her out as champion at Bonniconlon Show in Co Mayo, Ireland.
On winning form in the native baby beef classes to take the native championship was Michael Kirby with his homebred Aberdeen-Angus purebred steer Blackcroft Banarang. By Oakchurch Dictator, this one is out of a Lockerley bred cow and was native calf champion at the Cornwall Calf Show this year.
Standing reserve native calf was Arfon Jones’ Beef shorthorn cross heifer Super S. This April-born calf is out of a British Blue cross dam and is homebred.
Coming through to win the special East of England Agricultural classes on the second day of the event were Jason and Sarah Wareham with their Limousin cross heifer Jessie J which weighed 510kg. Bred by James Morrison, she was purchased from Thainestone for £1200.
Standing reserve to her was Trevor Lyon and family with their reserve overall steer champion Rob Roy. By Bailea Umber, this one was reserve baby beef champion at Beef Expo and the Royal Welsh and also stood first at Birmingham this back end.
Winning the exhibitor bred title in these classes was Richard and Judy Fountaine’s Limousin cross heifer Classy Girl.
In the National Festival Of Meat beef ribs competition the winner was a Limousin cross heifer from S J Hodges, Aylesbury. This one came from a June 2011-born heifer which weighed 416.1kg dead.
Reserve here was Ian Wildgoose, Derbyshire, with another Limousin cross heifer. This came from an April 2011-born heifer.
Across in the sheep ring the overall championship in the sheep section went to Northamptonshire-based David and Linda Wadland with their Blue Texel cross Beltex lambs. Making it two Smithfield championships on the bounce for the Wadlands.
Their winning pair tipped the scales at 95kg and came through from the untrimmed AOB Continental class. They are by a tup bought from Rugby market and the same sire as the Wadlands’ Smithfield championship winners last year. These sold in the traditional post-show auction for £400 to independent butchers' Yorkshire Lamb.
Reserve overall champions were a pair of purebred Beltex lambs from Brecon-based Steve and Sara Gibbons’ and are by homebred tup Llwynbrain Napoleon. This trimmed pair of ewe lambs weighed in at 85kg and later sold for £400 apiece.
Topping the sheep sale were a pair black lambs from Ivanhoe Livestock. This pair of Texel crosses out of Black Beltex dams sold at £440 to Steve and Sara Gibbons. Second best of the day were a pair of Blue Texel ewe lambs from the same vendors which sold at £420 to Paul Barwood, Norfolk.
Meanwhile lifting top honours in the native lambs was Malcolm Stewart with his pair of Suffolk cross lambs by Sandyknowe Whiteford and out of Beltex cross ewes. These weighed 87kg and stood above a pair of Southdown cross Texels from Messrs Wakeham-Dawson and Harmer. Purebred native champions were a pair of Southdowns from the same home.
And topping the line in the lamb carcass classes were Denny, Stirlingshire-based Andrew and Hilary Morton.
The Morton's winner a homebred Beltex cross lamb out of a Beltex cross dam weighed 46kg alive and killed out as a 26kg E3L carcass. The win continued a rich run of form for the Mortons after their reserve supreme live lamb championship at the Royal Highland Winter Fair earlier in the week.
Stirlingshire-based Andrew and Hilary Morton's champion lamb carcass sold at £400 to butcher Joseph Morris, Leicestershire.
Standing reserve were Andrew and Becky Bishop with their purebred Beltex carcass which graded E3H. This one weighed 34kg alive and 22kg dead.
And in the class for single lambs donated in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute the winner was a Dutch Texel sired lambs from Herefordshire producer Robin Slade.
Pedigree Calf shows
The event also hosted a number of pedigree calf shows, with exhibitors from near and far competing for top spot in seven breed classes.
Taking the Simmental championship was Jimmy McMillan at the halter of Boddington Estate’s October 2011-born Sterling Petra’s Cairo. This one is by Dovefields Gallant and out of Sterling Dolores Petra and was champion at the Central West Club Calf Show at Cirencester Market.
Reserve here was Ann and Tony Jukes who followed through from the class with the second prize heifer, Swallowhill Charity. Born October 2011, this one is by the herd’s previous herd sire Blackford Tonka and is out of Swallowhill Tallulah.
Standing top of the line in the Aberdeen-Angus classes was Shadwell Estate with their September 2011-born Shadwell Rosa Erica E052. By the senior herd sire Netherallan Peter Pershore E052, she is out of Shadwell Rosa Erica.
Reserve to her was Neil Ainsworth’s April 2012-born bull calf Billinge Magic Jake Eric M176. Again by Peter Pershore, this one is out of the herd’s former show cow Mosston Muir Jennifer Erica C060.
Meanwhile the Beef Shorthorn championship went to local exhibitors and big supporters of the event Charles, Sally and Harry Horrell. Their champion was the April 2012-born Pode Hole Gypsy Freesia which is a Chapelton Clansman daughter out of Pode Hole Snowqueen.
Reserve to her was Trevor Brown’s October 2011-born Grafton Emily, a Grafton Bombardier son out of Grafton Silver Cloud.
In the Charolais classes Messrs McMillan and McInnes’ Two Macs Grace took the top spot with their October 2011-born Mortimers Vanquish daughter out of Mortimers Evanesce.
Reserve to her was Darren Knox’s February 2012-born bull calf Drumshane Hugoboss, a Rumsden Fallout-sired calf out of Rumsden Diva.
Then in the Lincoln Red classes, top honours went to Julie Evans’ February 2012-born heifer calf Springwood Miss R62, a Hemingby Dragon daughter out of Beverley Miss L8.
Then the reserve spot went to Messrs G and J Bolton with their February 2012-born bull calf Wragby Romeo, a Walmer Kendal son out of Wragg Miss E7.
Top spot in the Red Poll calf show went to H R Arthan with Chorlton Lane Celinda Bellis, a February-born heifer by Moreton Percy and out of Chorlton Lane Yasmin. Reserve here was Pinguis Caroline 2, a November 2011-born heifer from J R Williams. She's by Kemerton Zetland and out of Pinguis Caroline 4.
And in the South Devons the winner was Langham's Kublai 2, a January-born bull calf from Vrona Farms. This one is by Mutterton Ashton Bitter and out of Brafferton Stella 35.
Standing reserve in this section was R K Rundle with his bull calf Kestle Leo, an April-born Lumbylaw Leo 2 son out of Kestle Buttercup 106.
The climax to these calf shows was the team of three competition with each breed competing for the prestigious Duke of Norfolk Trophy.
Taking the top award here were the Aberdeen-Angus team of three pedigree calves. The winning team consisted of two from Shadwell Estate, Shadwell Rosa Erica E052 and Shadwell Frances M580, both by Netherallan Peter Pershore, along with Neil Ainsworth’s bull calf Billinge Magic Jack Eric M176, again by Peter Pershore.The Simmental team of three stood reserve.