As Beef Expo increasingly becomes associated with quality commercial cattle on display in the suckled calf show, this year’s entries didn’t disappoint.

Having caught the eye of noted Smithfield champion exhibitor and judge Hugh Dunlop the minute she walked in the ring, the Belgian Blue x Limousin heifer Black Beauty from Tecwyn Jones sparkled in the lightweight heifer class, to go on and take the Continental heifer championship and overall title.

Described as being in just the right condition for this time of the show season, Mr Dunlop told Farmers Weekly he had no hesitation in selecting the animal as his champion.

“I came here not knowing whether I would place a suckled calf or a well fleshed animal, but she had my attention right from the start, oozing great style, ring presence and fantastic locomotion.”

The 402kg, nine-month-old heifer from Carmarthenshire-based Mr Jones, who also runs 45 pedigree Welsh Black’s under the Seisiog prefix, was bought privately for an undisclosed figure from noted show cattle producer Trefor Jones.

Black Beauty next heads for the Royal Welsh and will ultimately end up at the Welsh Winter Fair.

Having followed Black Beauty through the class judging, Mr Dunlop selected the second prize winner from the lightweight heifer section as his reserve champion.

From the Leeds-based Rice family with Dan Rice at the halter, the 384kg Limousin cross heifer Angel was bought for 4800gns from Penrith market in March.

She will be shown all summer and ultimately end up at the Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair. Mr Rice also picked up the steer championship with Robbie, a 530kg Limousin cross from the middleweight section.

 Standing reserve to him was Be Cool, a Charolais cross from William Owen, which also went on to win the exhibitor bred title.

In the purebred section, Jim Hollingsworth took home the red tickets with his 491kg Limousin steer Bling Bling, with the Wheelwright family taking reserve honours with their pedigree Belgian Blue heifer Upperfoot Brightstar, weighing 560kg.

And doing their bit for Scottish exhibitors were Messrs McIntosh and Cruikshank, with Jean Cruikshank on the lead of the Galloway steer Hot N’Kickin, described by Mr Dunlop as a flash steer with great ring presence.

A Galloway also took reserve spot, this time from D and G Small with David Cormack at the head of Dougie of Romesbeoch.