Sheep 2012: Hampshire Down commerical flock winner

Northumberland producer Simon Bainbridge has been named Hampshire Down Commercial Flock of the Year.

Mr Bainbridge who runs 1,400 ewes, comprising of Swaledales and North of England Mules, plus a beef enterprise at Donkin Rigg, Cambo was praised for his technical and business approach to sheep farming.

Phil Stocker, National Sheep Association chief executive, who judged the competition, said Mr Bainbridge’s attention to detail in terms of grassland and soil management clinched him the prize.

“[He] stood out in all the judging areas – cost control, recording and genetic selection, health management, outstanding grassland forage and soil management. Equally important, he had a clear focus on his market and meeting its specification.”

Mr Bainbridge runs an organic flock which is lambed outdoors from mid-April and lambs reach target weight of 19kg to 20kg finishing weight from 12 weeks. The entire crop is finished before the end of the year off a forage based diet and without the use of concentrates.

The joint runners up were David Harrison of Briar Hill Farm, Broad Campden, Chipping Camden and Michael Wentworth Waites, Thornthwaite Hall, Bampton, Penrith.

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