Exhibitors who entered the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution Charity Sheep class for single lambs at last week’s AgriLive Smithfield raised more than £1500 for the charity.

Leading the way was Andrew Bishop from Eldersfield, Gloucestershire, who added to his success in the show’s supreme championship by taking the RABI perpetual trophy. His excellent Beltex lamb went on to sell for a top price of £500, a record for the class in which exhibitors donate the sale price to RABI.

The Bishop family were helped by RABI during the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic and, like many of the exhibitors, regard the class as a way of helping those less fortunate members of the farming community. “We were completely stuck during foot and mouth, surrounded by outbreaks”, said Mr Bishop. “It cost us a fortune and RABI helped to feed the family until we got sorted out.

“The lamb I entered was probably the best one I had but it did not have a pair to match it for the other competitions. Entering it in the RABI class was all about putting something back for all the help we received when we needed it.”

Runner up for the RABI championship was a Dutch Texel exhibited by R J Slade from Pembridge, Herefordshire, which sold for £175. The 13 entries represented a cross section of the breeds on show with more than half of them shown by exhibitors who had supported the class since its inception in 2004.