Contests prove show’s national standing

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IF there was any proof needed of the national profile that Countryside Live is afforded than visitors need have looked no further than the winner of the Baby Beef category at this year’s event.

The Supreme championship was taken by Michael Alford and his daughter Charlotte with their seven-month-old animal which has already seen the length and breadth of the country in its short life.

Bought by the farmers from a sale in Aberdeenshire it has been reared on their holding in Devon and was making its debut showing performance at Countryside Live and came away with the top prize.

Mr Alford said he was delighted with the result and was now weighing up his options with regards as to what to do next with it.

“It’s got a lot of style and shows really well. It is a fantastic animal and we are very lucky to have it.”

Taking the reserve was Limousin cross Swagger Jagger, whose owner, Neil Slack, from Penrith, Cumbria, home bred the beast.

“She has won all of her classes, taking three out of three at previous shows,” he said.

Elsewhere the champion British Blue was taken by Party Girl, owned by Herefordshire farmer Ben Williams and the champion Charolais was taken by Lincolnshire farmer Terry Lyon with his animal, Snoop Dog.

The sheep classes once again proved to be highly contested as well with exhibitors having travelled from all over the country to attend.

Individual categories were judged in a specially created sheep tent while the major classes were held in the beef ring on the Sunday.

The supreme title for the best pair of lambs was taken for the second year in succession by Joanne Hall, who farms at Carlisle.

Ms Hall runs a flock of 2,000 ewes at her holding and had home bred the winners.

Her pair of Beltex cross won over the judges with Johnny Aiken, a Northern Irish farmer who assists Ms Hall with her sheep, saying that it was all about the breeding and a bit of luck when it came down to big events.

“We have always had a good time at this show and the competition is very good.”

Reserve was taken by George Cropper, 21-years-old, from Preston, who also showed a pair of Beltex Crosses.