Viper among the silverware again

Visitors to last weekend’s Newark and Nottinghamshire Show may have been forgiven for thinking they’d slipped into a bizarre time warp around the beef judging rings, as the same animal picked up the interbreed award for the third successive year

Taking top honours once again was Limousin bull Greenhill Viper from David Cormack and Gaynor McDowell, Billesdon, Leicestershire.

January 2004-born Viper is a son of French sire Nenuphar and is out of Nana and had stood breed champion under Christine Williams, Wilodge, before going on to take the overall title under local Longhorn breeder Richard Burton. Having been bought for 20,000gns from the Newstart herd dispersal last spring, Viper is senior herd sire for the couple’s five-cow Dynamite herd.

Standing reserve to the Limousin was the Blonde leader, Burghwallis Cadbury from Willie Seels’ 20-cow herd at Belper, Derbyshire. This impressively well-shaped heifer is by Brownhill Unite and out of Elmhurst Liquorice and was shown six weeks in calf to the herd’s stock sire Shapfell Bobcat. This was Cadbury’s first outing of the year after a successful show season last summer.

In the commercial cattle classes it was a win for Welshman Elfed Williams when his Limousin-sired steer Teddy took top honours. Teddy tipped the scales at 425kg and stood overall champion ahead of the heifer leader, another Limousin-sired entry, 525kg Stop Me from Mike and Jean Dickens, Milton Keynes.

And it was a case of déja` vu in the sheep lines, too, with another Suffolk shearling ewe repeating the success the breed enjoyed in last year’s interbreed. But it was young breeder Thomas Blunt who took the title this year with his ewe sired by Northcroft Conquest and out of an Alloaks ewe by Cairness Pins Pride bred by Merrick and Julie Pinny, Northampton, which Mr Blunt bought as an in-lamb ewe from the couple.

She is one of 20 Suffolk ewes run under the Milton prefix by Mr Blunt and collected the breed championship at last year’s Kent Show as a ewe lamb.

Taking the reserve championship honours here was the Charollais leader, another shearling ewe, from Cecil Thomas, Wolston, Coventry. This one is by Dalby High Flyer and out of a homebred dam from Mr Thomas’ 60-ewe Wolston flock. Mr Thomas also enjoyed success in the interbreed group competition, picking up the championship with his trio of Charollais.

Across in the pigs it was the turn of Nuneaton breeder Christine Vaughan to take top place with her Welsh boar Vinery Workman 4418. This July 2008-born boar is fully homebred, being by Vinery Workman 4308 and out of Vinery Empress 4226. Judge Vanessa Mills then awarded the reserve overall honours to British Lop stalwart Brian Upchurch with his July 2008-born gilt Greenway Harmony 134. This one is by Poplarburn Ben 16 and out of Greenway Harmony 81.

In the dairy classes it was the turn of the Saxby family, Yorkshire, to take the championship title with their Jersey cow Saxowl Precious 4. She gave 5000 litres in her second lactation and is one of 90 cows run by the family at Skipton.

Standing reserve was the Dairy Shorthorn champion from Ian Collins, Churchroyd Heather 30. This one, by Carrousel Regiment, gave 8200 litres in her first lactation.

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