This year’s East of England Smithfield Festival, Peterborough, saw strong competition across both cattle and sheep sections, with a brace of historic Northern Irish wins in both the supreme cattle championship and the Baby Beef championship.
Taking the supreme championship, the first time a Northern Irish exhibitor had lifted the top title, were Dermot and Gareth Small with their Limousin cross heifer Khaleesi.
Shown by Stephanie Dick, this heifer is a daughter of the noted crossbred calf breeder Swarland Eddie and was bred by fellow Northern Irishman James Alexander, Randalstown, and has an impressive show record behind her.
Previously supreme champion at Agri-Expo and reserve heifer champion at Livescot, she was also reserve commercial champion at Balmoral back in May.
Khaleesi weighed 622kg on show day and was praised by judge Wendy Morgan for her evenness of fleshing as well as here show ring style and sparkle. “She’s an exceptionally well put together heifer with a balance of fleshing throughout and a great cover across her loin and her plates.”
Following this exceptional heifer through from her class to take the reserve crossbred heifer title, the reserve overall heifer championship and the reserve supreme championship was Cai Edwards at the halter of the Edwards family’s heifer Miss Halfpenny.
This one is again Limousin sired, being by a Penygelly bull bred by Bryan Griffiths, Kerry, Newtown, and weighed in at 542kg. She was reserve commercial champion at the Royal Welsh in July as well as being first at Agri-Expo and first at the Welsh Winter Fair earlier this week.
Taking the overall steer championship was James Nesbitt’s Carmorn Cantona sired bullock Maybe This Time. Bred by William McAllister, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, this one was steer champion at Agri-Expo in October as well as being reserve champion at the Royal Highland this summer. He was shown weighing 612kg.
Another Limousin sired bullock then took the reserve overall steer championship, with this being purebred Limousin steer Ivor, from Elfed Williams, Sennybridge
Ivor came through from the show’s purebred classes, having been tapped out first as purebred steer champion and then as overall purebred champion before collecting the reserve steer title.
He is sired by Glangwdn Charlie he is out of Church Daisy and was bought privately in September at Sennybridge Show.
This one was champion pure Limousin steer at the English Winter Fair and the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
Taking the exhibitor bred championship were Andrew and Becky Bishop with their Blonde sired heifer Black Beauty. This one has picked up a fistful of red tickets throughout the year, including being champion AOB at Countryside Live and champion Blonde cross at the English Winter Fair.
Reserve homebred honours fell to Tecwyn Jones’ Millgate Fame sired heifer Candy Crush when she took the reserve exhibitor bred championship.
Another with a strong show record she was first at Beef Expo in May and having won a number of red tickets at local shows. She is a maternal sister to Tecwyn’s successful show heifer Tequila.
And Milton Keynes-based Mike Dickens and family had a good day too, taking the reserve purebred Continental title with their Limousin heifer Dinmore Istria a 626kg heifer, a Hafodlas Cymro daughter out of the noted dam Fleethill Sal.
Having dominated the first day’s sheep judging, collecting a total of nine red tickets, Daventry-based David and Linda Wadland were odds on to lift the supreme championship sheep championship, the only question needing answering was which pair they’d win with.
Having picked up both the native and Continental championships it came down to a battle between his Southdown crosses and Texel sired lambs, with the Texels taking the top ticket.
This pair which were also supreme champions at the English Winter Fair three weeks ago are by a tup bred by the Prince family and tipped the scales at 91kg. This pair also won the Continental purebred title, with David ably assisted by trimmer Kate Gunn.
Judge Matt Prince said his champions were a perfectly matched pair, being even throughout and well fleshed through both their loins and gigots. “They handled like lead and were just a superbly matched pair of lambs.”
Following them through from the Continental championship to lift the reserve overall title were Andrew Morton’s pair of Beltex sired lambs out of Beltex cross ewes. These are by a homebred sire which is himself a son of Beachy Norman and was sire of the reserve champion carcass at LiveScot. This duo weighed 92kg.
David Wadland’s native champions were a pair of Southdown x Beltex lambs by a tup bred by Daniel Bunting and headed this championship ahead of Malcolm Stewart’s Suffolk crosses.
Picking up the native purebred title in an uncontested championship were the Southdown pair of Messrs Wakeham-Dawson and Harmer.
In the events Baby Beef classes it was another first time Northern Irish win with Robert Miller’s heifer Dashing Lady taking top spot here. This British Blue cross heifer is by Dafydd D’Ochain and is out of a Limousin x British Blue dam. She was champion at the English Winter Fair and reserve at Agri-Expo.
Another of the primestock show season’s prolific winners scooped the reserve championship honours when Pokerlicious from Devon-based Michael and Melanie Alford took the tickets.
This Limousin cross is by Easegillhead Exterminate and was reserve champion at the English Winter Fair and champion at Agri-Expo and reserve at Countryside Live.
Winning the native Baby Beef championship was Mike Rowlands’ Hereford cross steer, Harry the Hereford. Sired by Haven 1 Bulldozer he’s out of a pedigree British Blue cow.
Reserve native championship honours went to the winner of the heifer class, Warehams Patsy, a Galloway from Jason and Sarah Wareham.
Pedigree Calf Show
Taking the interbreed championship in the pedigree calf show under judge Peter Donger, Northamptonshire, was the Charolais champion, Danny and Jane Wyllie’s bull calf Newroddige Innovation.
Born in October 2013 he is the second bull calf by the 10,000gns Esgob Ferrari which was champion at Welshpool in 2012, while his dam is Newroddige Fuchsia.
Taking the reserve spot was Jason and Sarah Wareham’s British Blue bull calf Warehams Jon Boy who came through as champion from the Any Other Breed section. This January 2014-born Empire D’Ochain son is out of Wareham’s Diamond.
In the interbreed group of three the championship fell to Lincoln Red trio, with Peter Donger saying this team were an evenly balanced, well turned out group.
The team was made up of the breed champion Springwood Treasure T93, a Walmer Piper sired heifer from Springwood Farm, Tommy Charlton’s reserve champion Vickers Field Tommy, a Fenlady Hereward son and Auchmacoy Grace T236 an Auchmacoy Orlando daughter from Messrs Benge and Coulter.
Standing reserve was the Limousin team, made up of the third prize bull calf Foxhillfarm Jasper, a Loosebeare Fantastic son out of Bankdale Alice. He was joined by his full sister Foxhillfarm Just the One and Foxhillfarm Josie, an Objat daughter out of Bankdale Elizabeth.
Carcasses and beef ribs
Taking the championship in the lamb carcass classes were Andrew and James Bailey with the Beltex cross carcass from their Ivanhoe Livestock enterprise, Bedale, North Yorkshire, with this one grading E3L.
Reserve champion was Robin Slade with a Dutch Texel cross carcass by a homebred sire which graded E3L also.
In the Beef Ribs the winner was a set of ribs from Michael Read, with these coming from a Limousin cross heifer which killed out at 370.4 kg
While reserve went to the Needham family with their British Blue x Lincoln Red ribs from a heifer carcass which weighed 332kg.