With cattle and sheep classes to their limit and waiting lists in operation, this year’s Countryside Live proved to be a both a competitor-driven event and showcase for the industry.
In the cattle section, judge and Belgian Blue breeder Jim Hollingsworth, who breeds under the Afonwen prefix and shows both from his 40-strong pedigree herd and commercial herd of 30 suckler cows, was looking for a modern, stylish, correct beast with length and mobility to suit the modern retail butcher. A lack of extremes in weight and muscling, with the right eye to the killing out percentage and to the meat-to-bone ratio were also on the list.
And fitting the bill, taking overall champion spot, was Elfed Williams’ Limousin cross heifer Bambi, followed closely by Mark Hallam’s heifer Orangina.
Sired by Limousin Glanmeheli Thumper, this was the second Yorkshire triumph for 500kg Bambi, following a championship title at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. Hobby farmer and agricultural feed merchant, Mr Williams, is still to show at Smithfield in a few weeks’ time.
Reserve overall champion Orangina was bought privately at this year’s Royal Show after being placed in the commercial class. Out of a Limousin cross from Anne Riley’s Northamptonshire herd and weighing 471kg, she has won numerous classes since and is set to be shown at Smithfield. This was a hat-trick for owner, Mr Hallam, who not only took this title, but champion steer and reserve champion steer.
Running both flocks of Dorset Horn and Polled Dorset sheep and a herd of Beef Shorthorn cattle, Brenda Wear brought a southern aspect to the sheep judging. Judging at the Royal Cornwall, Royal Welsh and rare Breeds and Native Sheep at Dunster this year, she selected Malcolm Stewart’s pair of Suffolk crosses for top spot.
Sired by Sandyknowe Musclemaster, averaging at 45kg, the pair will go on to the Scottish Winter Fair then Smithfield in early December.
Prendwick and Rothill Farms’ pair took reserve for the Champion Pair of Native Bred lambs and went on to take the title of Single Butchers Lamb, with one of Mr Stewart’s pair taking reserve spot.
Overall Beef B E Williams’ Limousin cross heifer Bambi res, M Hallam’s Limousin cross heifer Orangina.
Baby Beef G and J A Sedgewick’s Limousin cross heifer Venus res, L Swales’ Limousin steer Flash.
Limousin B E Williams’ heifer Bambi res, M Hallam’s heifer Orangina.
Belgian Blue M and E Hartley’s heifer Smarty Pants res, T Burnett and Black and Blue Show Team’s heifer Lucky Dip.
Charolais Messrs D and M Cormach and D Small’s heifer Miss Dynamite res, S E Sellers heifer She’s a Diva.
Blonde D Small’s heifer Blondie res, A Hall’s heifer Lucy.
Native G R Fountaine’s South Devon cross heifer Little Gem res, D and P A Evans’ Aberdeen Angus cross heifer.
Champion Pedigree S M Priestley’s Limousin steer Brontemoor Abington res, S M Priestley’s heifer Brontemoor Vilac.
Champion Pair of Native Bred Lambs Messrs M M Stewart res, Prendwick and Rothill Farms.
Champion Pair of Lambs bred, owned and shown by Yorkshire-based exhibitor J Garth and Son res, B and M Watkinson.
Single Butchers Lamb Prendwick and Rothill Farms res, M M Stewart.
Pair of Shortwool Native Crossbred Lambs Messrs M M Stewart res, A Fisher.
Pair of Longwool Lambs Y T Mudd res, A M and H V Brown.
Pair of Horned Lambs T Ellis res, Walburn Hall Farm