Countryside Live: Top livestock winners

Luke Wilkinson, 13, of Leyburn, winner of the Beef Young Handler class.
Luke Wilkinson, 13, of Leyburn, winner of the Beef Young Handler class.
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There is just no stopping the Sellers. The hobby farmers and husband and wife duo have certainly struck a rich vein of form at Countryside Live.

In what was the finale of the weekend’s beef cattle judging, farmers from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Devon and Wales were pitted against each other.

Beef judge James Alexander, of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, said he was particularly impressed by the quality of heifers on show and so the Supreme Champion Beast was named as More Of That, the Limousin heifer paraded by serial champions Phil and Sharon Sellers of Lincoln.

The couple have 11 show cattle and have now won the top beef prize at Countryside Live on five occasions. The Sellers, who also run a mobile catering business, buy calves and rear them on their small farm to get them to show standard and have shown at the Harrogate event for 11 years.

Standards were high across the beef classes.

John Stephenson’s 16-month-old Limousin called Bordley Pot Black was named the champion Yorkshire born, bred and shown beast, as well as champion exhibitor bred beast. The family farms near Skipton and it was John Stephenson Junior who showed the winning animal in the ring.

Thirteen-year-old Luke Wilkinson of Leyburn is a regular at Countryside Live and he triumphed as the champion Beef Young Handler. The Wensleydale School pupil said he was delighted to win with his six-month-old Limousin Cross.

The sheep section attracted a record 330 entries.

Richard Lancaster, 14, whose family farms near Clitheroe, won the Sheep Young Handlers class with his seven-month-old Beltex and Blue Texel Cross.

“I’ve been showing since I was three-years-old,” he said. “And I’m really proud to win. I want to be a sheep farmer when I grow up.”

The Clough family of Pickering were on a high having secured a double win in the butchers lambs classes - taking the championship rosettes in both the single and pairs categories.

Ian and Shelly Clough enlisted the help of Jake, nine, and Max, 12, to prepare and lead out their winning Dutch Texels, born in March on the family farm.

Mr Clough said: “I’m very proud of my boys. They are very hands on in the ring. We’re very pleased to be double winners.”

The family has been coming to Countryside Live for a decade. They run a 100-strong flock of pedigree Texels, besides a cattle herd of Charolais and Shorthorn.

Beckwithshaw sheep farmer David Wilson, chief steward of the sheep section and chairman of the Dalesbred Sheep Breeding Association, said: “The quality of sheep here at the show has been absolutely amazing; phenomenal quality. I don’t know how the judges picked out the winners.

“Any of the lambs presented are fit to go straight to the butchers shop. Yorkshire is the place to come at the moment. Standards have only been getting better since the restrictions were lifted post Foot and Mouth.”