Oliver supreme as event ends in a title nail-biter

26 November 1999

Oliver supreme as event ends in a title nail-biter

This weeks entry of 370 head

of prime cattle was one of

the highest quality turnouts

ever seen at the National

Primestock Show at Bingley

Hall. Jeremy Hunt reports

A NAIL-BITING finale to two days of prime cattle judging saw a pure-bred Limousin steer overcome competition from cross-bred section winners to take the supreme title at the National Primestock Show.

Oliver, a June 1998-bred Limousin steer weighing 535kg, captured the top award for Lincs producer Bob Wilkinson. But the champions owner paid tribute to his grandson, Sid Wilkinson, who had prepared the steer and expertly piloted him to victory.

"Its a very proud moment for Sid. He has worked so hard with the steer," said Mr Wilkinson.

The champion is by Goldies Gigolo, a bull whose semen has been widely used in the Wilkinsons pedigree herd of 18 Limousins run on their farm at Gainsborough alongside 150 head of finishing cattle.

They have been showing at Bingley Hall for six years, but this was their first major title.

Hereford cattle breeder Dennis Jones of Newtown, Powys judged the championship with Gerald David, a butcher from Minehead in Somerset. "The champion is an exceptional steer. He has excellent conformation, great width and is superbly fleshed. A worthy winner in top company."

The judges had two remaining beasts in the ring from which to select their reserve champion. They pulled out Jim Walliss cross-bred heifer Just So ahead of P Bodilys Limousin-sired baby beef champion, Red Dawn.

Mr Walliss runner-up is a three-quarter Limousin bred on his farm at Towcester, Northants. She is by Beauchamp Tagor and weighed 550kg. Her dam also produced a section winner at this show for Mr Wallis in 1992. Both champions were bought by Mr David, who paid £3500 for the supreme winner and £1450 for the reserve.

In the sheep ring, no one could have been more surprised by victory than Sara Morris, who swept seasoned exhibitors aside on her first attempt to take the supreme prime lamb title.

Her winners, home-bred at her farm at Ludlow, Shropshire, were by a Beltex ram and out of Texel x Beltex ewes.

The three April-born ewe lambs – all twin-bred – included two at 51kg and one at 52kg. Their sire, from the Coningswick flock of John Frazier, Kidderminster, was bought privately three years ago.

Judge, Richard Taylor, a catering butcher from Derby, said the champions were outstanding, superbly presented with full loins and legs, spot-on for cover and handled beautifully.

Mr Taylor said he felt some Texel entries lacked length: "Producers must take account of the trades need for length, particularly the demands of wholesalers supplying the catering trade and supermarkets.

"Extra length means extra chops for supermarkets; catering wholesalers want plenty of length to be able to supply joints such as rack of lamb and modern cuts like noisettes," said Mr Taylor.

Several exhibitors, unaware of his catering connections during the judging, felt he was looking for heavier-type lambs. They were right. "Providing lambs are of good conformation and with the correct level of finish, there is a good demand from the catering trade for carcasses weighing 20kg-plus that are ideally suited to the cuts we want."

Reserve prime lamb champions were shown by David Bishop, Malvern, Worcs. His Beltex x Texel x Beltex winners averaged 50kg and were bred in his flock of 20 pedigree Beltex and 100 Texel and Beltex cross ewes. Mr Bishop also took the reserve championship in the lamb carcass section with a Beltex-sired entry weighing 20.5kg and classifying E3L.

The champion lamb carcass was shown by long established Peak District exhibitors P Ritter and Sons with a Dutch Texel lamb weighing 20.5kg and classifying E2.



Beef R Wilkinsons Limousin steer Oliver; res, J Walliss cross-bred Limousin heifer Just So.

Baby beef P Bodilys Limousin cross Red Dawn; res, D A Williams Limousin cross Excel.

Sheep S Morriss Beltex; res, D Bishops Beltex.

Dairy The Field of Dreams Holstein cow Avondale Skychief Oprah; res, &#42 W Oultram and Cos Ayrshire cow Stamford Freda 10.


Beef J M Rowlands Limousin cross heifer (301kg, E4L); res, J M Rowlands Limousin x Belgian Blue heifer (302.5kg E4L).

Lamb P Ritter and Sons Dutch Texel (20.5kg E2); res, D Bishops Beltex (20.5kg E3L).

Pork L P, J L and GG Hartleys Welsh (52.5kg); res, Rodbaston College (51.5kg).

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