Heifers claim champion and reserve at Beef Expo

A strong showing of native and continental cattle impressed a packed ringside at the 2016 Beef Expo at Bakewell Agricultural Centre on Friday (20 May).

Two heifers sealed the Supreme Champion and Reserve titles in a show ring rewarding moderate, not overly big cattle that would satisfy changing market requirements. 

See also: Third Balmoral diary interbreed win for Potterswalls Jerseys

Heifer Championship

Heifer Champion

Daisy Duke, Supreme Champion and Champion Heifer ©Tim Scrivener

The heifer class was led by a Welsh double, with the Supreme Champion and Champion rosette going to Daisy Duke from John Williams, Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd.

It was the second outing for the Limousin-Belgian Blue cross after being crowned commercial champion at Nevin show.

She is by Hunters Hall Troy and was bought privately in January from breeder SJ Nixon, Hunters Hall, Cumbria.

Judge Phil Sellers of Thorpe Tilney Farm, Lincoln, said the class was “very nice to judge”, listing the Champion as ticking all the boxes, having style, movement and being good on her legs.

Heifer Reserve Champion

Hightown Girl, Reserve Heifer Champion ©Tim Scrivener

Reserve went to the home-bred Hightown Girl from Tecwyn Jones, Nebo, Conwy, a Hightown Dalgliesh daughter, who also claimed overall reserve on the day.

She is out of Black Betty, herself a show winner a previous winner at Harrogate, Carlisle and Countryside live in 2012 and a reserve winner at Smithfield. Hightown Girl is next off to the Royal Welsh in July.

Mr Sellers added: “The two I picked out both had style and presence in the ring as well as being sufficiently well-fleshed. The Champion floated around the ring and had a good top line and looked right for the future.

“I was looking for entries with potential for the summer with a bit of growth. There weren’t that many bigger cattle here today.

“This is reflective of the changing needs of the industry and I was not looking for big cattle. That said, they still need to be well fleshed with good width through the top.”

Steer Championship

Steer Champion

Dolphy Duke, Continental Steer Champion ©Tim Scrivener

Continental steer championship winner was the Northumberland-bred Dolphy Duke, a Limousin-cross shown by Will Nichols on behalf on J A Nicholls, Wetley Rocks, Staffordshire.

Tipping the scales at 520kg, the May 2015-born son of Mereside Godolphin LM37 was bought privately from breeder I Robinson, Hexham.

This follows December success when Dolphy Duke won the English Winter Fair baby beef steer class.

A British Blue-cross from B E Williams, Sennybridge, Powys, claimed the Reserve title with April 2015-born Sunny Bill weighing in at 500kg. He was bred by Mr Rob Jones, Erwood, and sired by Gaz Cheggers and bought at last year’s Welsh Winter Fair.

Baby Beef

Baby Beef Champion

Read All About It, Baby Beef Champion ©Tim Scrivener

The Williams pen then managed one better in the baby beef heifer class, with record-breaking red ticket winner Read All About It bred by DH Morgan.

This Limousin-cross daughter of French bull Headguard set a new high of £7,900 at the Ruthin potential sale in February and delighted once again when shown by Caryl Morgan.

Baby Beef Reserve Champion

Black Berry, Reserve Baby Beef Champion ©Tim Scrivener

Another welsh offering, Black Berry, also caught the eye to claim Reserve title. Shown by Robert Alun Elias, Garndolbenmaen, this Aberdeen Angus-cross was bought from Berwyn Hughes, Lampeter, privately in February and is sired by Turbo.