29 November 1996

First-time couple hit supreme form

By Allan Wright

A DREAM came true for Hugh and Lynne Dunlop from Ayrshire, winners of the Royal Smithfield supreme championship with crossbred steer Am-Yer-Man.

The husband and wife team, both 29, were showing for only the third time. With three cattle forward, they collected three first prizes and followed up with the supreme award and the reserve heifer championship.

"This is the sort of thing you dream about but never really expect to happen. Its impossible to put into words the way I feel," said Lynne who showed all the animals while husband Hugh looked on.

The Dunlops farm 106ha (260 acres) at Cumnock, Ayrshire where the main enterprises are dairying and pedigree sheep. "We only have 12 pure Charolais and 12 commercial beef cows. But this win is even sweeter because we bred Am-Yer-Man," said Hugh.

The yearling steer was sired by the Limousin Shatton Pedro and out of a Charolais cross mother. It weighed 536kg and had a daily weight gain of 1.42kg.

The Dunlops also collected the Kings Cup for best home-bred beast.

Overall reserve was Ewan and Donald MacPherson from Oban with heifer champion Moonlight Lady. Judge Arfon Jones said it was very close between the top two. The steer was favoured for its exceptional meatiness.

eed not compromise performance.

@NTI:So said Plumpton Agricultural College, East Sussex, pig unit manager Dan Leggett at Smithfield Show. The unit won this years BOCM Pauls college pig unit of the year award by recording 23 pigs sold a sow a year.

But Mr Leggett explained that they had been invited to Smithfield because of the production system behind these figures.

"We believe the future of the pig industry lies in producing meat from systems that the public finds acceptable. And we have taken certain measures to appeal to the publics perception of welfare," said Mr Leggett.

All of the 100 Newsham sows are kept in free access stalls in groups of four which are not mixed throughout the sows lives. This cuts out aggression and reduces the risk of disease.

Tail docking, castrating and ear notching are all avoided but teeth clipping is carried out to protect the sow and prevent damage to the sows teats.

"Iron is administered orally to avoid using injections which we believe is against the publics perception of welfare," says Mr Leggett

All progeny are then housed on shavings in a kennel system

with two litters joined to form groups of 20.

Groups are not mixed again which has eliminated the need for in-feed antibiotics. Feed is offered ad lib again to cut out the risk of fighting which can occur when feed is restricted.

PLUMPTON PIGS

* 23 pigs sold/sow/year.

* 4 sows/free access stall.

* No tail docking, castrating or ear notching.

* Clipped teeth protect sows.

* Oral iron avoids jabs.

* Progeny kept in groups of 20, on shavings in kennels, to cut in-feed antibiotics.

@NT:A DREAM came true for Hugh and Lynne Dunlop from Ayrshire, winners of the Royal Smithfield supreme championship with crossbred steer Am-Yer-Man.

@NTI:The husband and wife team, both 29, were showing for only the third time. With three cattle forward, they collected three first prizes and followed up with the supreme award and the reserve heifer championship.

"This is the sort of thing you dream about but never really expect to happen. Its impossible to put into words the way I feel," said Lynne who showed all the animals while husband Hugh looked on.

The Dunlops farm 106ha (260 acres) at Cumnock, Ayrshire where the main enterprises are dairying and pedigree sheep. "We only have 12 pure Charolais and 12 commercial beef cows. But this win is even sweeter because we bred Am-Yer-Man," said Hugh.

The yearling steer was sired by the Limousin Shatton Pedro and out of a Charolais cross mother. It weighed 536kg and had a daily weight gain of 1.42kg. The Dunlops also collected the Kings Cup for best home-bred beast.

Overall reserve was Ewan and Donald MacPherson from Oban with heifer champion Moonlight Lady. Judge Arfon Jones said it was very close between the top two. The steer was favoured for its exceptional meatiness.

Smithfield champs…Hugh and Lynne Dunlop from Ayrshire celebrate the supreme championship, won with their own bred steer cross Am-Yer-Man.