With entries up by 25%, a higher overall quality of sheep on show and new exhibitors from a much wider area lining up, Skipton Market’s second national progeny show for Beltex further highlighted the growing impact of the breed across the country.
The day was dominated by two breed stalwarts, North Yorkshire-based Northern Beltex Club founder member David Findlay, who sent out the male and overall show champion, and first-time Cumbrian exhibitor Anne Story, responsible for the female and overall reserve show champion.
David and his wife Diane also exhibited a gimmer lamb chosen as reserve female champion, while Anne, of Hobbiesburn, Longtown, Carlisle, also chipped in with the reserve male champion, one of a group of three shearling rams by the same sire.
The Findlays’ title-winner, a two-shear ram, was bought as a shearling for 4800gns at Carlisle last year from husband-and-wife breeders Thomas and Hester Palmer, of Burnside Farm, Glenarn, County Antrim. The couple had travelled over from Northern Ireland especially for the show to see the ram’s success.
Anne Story hit the headlines by making a sparkling show debut. As well as her top end successes, Anne’s 14-strong entry landed no less than eight of the 17 individual class wins.
Her reserve champion home-bred shearling gimmer also shone as a lamb when taking the reserve championship at the 2006 Westmoreland Show, while the week before the Skipton fixture she also sent out another Beltex shearling to take championship honours at Cumberland Show. Anne currently has 60 Beltex breeding females.
Commercial breeders again turned out in good numbers to support to the butchers’ lambs classes. The championship fell to another show debutant, local exhibitor John Mellin, of Mill House Farm, Long Preston. His first prize pair of 35-40kg Beltex-cross lambs was awarded the title by judge Tom Ennison, of Perth, receiving the Cavan Maguire Trophy.
The reserve championship went to the first prize duo in the under-35kg class, shown by last year’s butchers’ lambs champions Martin and Val Brown, of Beechwood House Farm, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale.