An 11-month-old Limousin-sired commercial heifer from Cumbrian breeder Neil Slack outshone her pedigree counterparts to clinch the supreme championship at Skipton’s Northern Limousin Extravaganza (NLE) last week (May 12).
Mr Slack, from Newby, near Penrith, saw his first prize heifer and commercial champion, Elsa, pip the pedigree champion, a bull from fellow Cumbrian breeders, the Priestley family, from Kirkambeck, Brampton.
Elsa, by Volcano and out of a Limousin-cross cow, was bred in Cumbria by Appleby’s John Richardson.
The pre-sale show judge, former British Limousin Cattle Society chairman, Peter Kirton, of Bewdley in Worcestershire, said it had been a close run thing between his two principals, with the heifer just getting the nod.
In reserve was the Brontemoor herd of the Priestley family – Michael, Steven and Ruth, and their son Richard with their March-born male pedigree champion; the home-bred bull, Brontemoor Junglebook.
By the French sire Bahut, he is out of their own Brontemoor Buttonmoon.
The reserve pedigree and male champion went to Tancredgrange Jericho, from the Barker Farming Partnership, who run their Tancred Grange herd in Scorton, Richmond.
Shown by 18-year-old William Barker, the February-born son of Fieldson Ally, is out of Bankdale Avril, bred in Cumbria by Gordon Wilson.
The 2015 female championship fell to Thor Atkinson, who runs Arradfoot Limousins in Newlands, Ulverston, with his first prize January-born heifer, the Central Dart daughter, Saunders Japonica.
She was purchased for 2,000gns last year and went on to become reserve Limousin champion at the Welsh Winter Fair.
The reserve female championship was awarded to a new, young, up-and-coming north-east pedigree Limousin breeder, 22-year-old Kate Sutcliffe, Carlton-in-Cleveland, near Middlesborough, with her first prize Wilodge Fantastic-sired February-born heifer, Burnbank Julie, purchased for 1,750gns last year as a foundation heifer.
In the third heifer show class, both first and second prizes fell to home-bred May-born entries from the West Yorkshire Broadhead pedigree herd of Turner Farms, run by father and son Andrew and Josh Turner at Oldfield Road Farm, Honley, Holmfirth.
Their red rosette winner was Broadhead Jesse, a daughter of the French sire, Etudiant. The Turners, who sell all their commercial bulls at Skipton, later returned to the show arena with their two prize-winning heifers to pick up the red rosette in the pedigree pairs class.
The third show class for Limousin bulls fell to Dylan Townsend, who runs the Clifftown pedigree herd at Quarry Farm, Broughton, just outside Malton, with his April-born Rocky son, Millstone Jaffa, bought with his mother at Newark last year for a price-topping 6,200gns. The dam is in calf again to Acajou.
Back with the commercial entries, the reserve championship was awarded to the first prize April-born heifer, Red Hot Honey, from Mark Harryman and his partner Sarah Warriner, who run the Hot Shot pedigree herd at Swainsea Barn Farm, Pickering, breeding both pure and commercial stock.
Bred by Kevin Spark in Hexham, Honey, out of a Limousin-cross cow, is by Keskadale Eyeful, who was himself bred by Mark and his father Keith Harryman, before the former moved to his current North Yorkshire holding.