There are no doubt those across the country who firmly beleive they’ve got this year’s AgriLIVE Smithfield champion safely tucked up at home, having either bred it themselves or bought it at one of the suckled calf sales that’s already taken place this year.
However, my post tray yesterday contained the catalogue for a sale which may just contain a few calves with the potential to claim the coveted crown this year.
I am of course talking about the sale off 1579 suckled calves at Carlisle on Saturday – the corresponding fixture last year produced last year’s Smithfield winner Divine Diva, bred by the Scotts of Thirwall Castle and shown by Alistair and Liz Vance.
This year’s sale features a run of 250 calves from the Scotts, as well as several other quality runs. And of course should the Smithfield champion be bought at Carlisle the generous folk at H and H will give a £1000 bonus!
Also on Saturday the mart plays host to a raft of sheep sales, including sales of Texels for the Solway and Tyne Texel club, a sale of Roussins, an entry of Blue Texels and the catalogue I’m most interested in – Hampshire Downs.
This selection includes several big ticket winners from the summer show circuit, including this year’s Royal Welsh interbreed champion from Jennifer Borsey and, my pick from the catalogue, Allan Jackson’s first prize ewe lamb from the Royal Highland. She’s a very correct, heavily fleshed lamb with a bit of sparkle about her.
All in all, it look’s like Saturday will be a busy day for the H and H staff, full reports will of course be posted here in due course….