Winning ways continued for Charolais breeders Andrew and Beth White as their three-year-old cow, Balbithan Iona, took the inter-breed beef championship at Dorset County Show.
The cow, which won the National Charolais supreme championship last year, took her fourth inter-breed on the trot following victories at the New Forest, Gillingham and Shaftesbury and Melplash Shows.
Shown by Jane Haw, from Worth Matravers, Dorset, the animal was shown with her eight-month-old calf at foot.
Reserve inter-breed beef was Andrew Haste’s three-year-old British Blue, Cromwell Ironman, which took the championship last year and has won more than 20 breed and supreme titles, including the Royal Bath and West, Holsworthy and Launceston in recent weeks. The bull, from Shebbear, Devon has two more outings - Frome and Newbury – before being retired.
The champion dairy trophy was taken by Les Bennett, Templecombe, Somerset for the three year old Holstein cow in-milk Lilylane Fever Effie 88. She is out of Lilylane Shottle Effie 41 by the sire Cracholm Fever and took the Gillingham and Shaftesbury supreme dairy championship last month.
And reserve went to eight-year-old Ayrshire sixth-calver Greenway Shamrock, owned by Len Rockett and Tracy Marshall, Bridestowe, Devon. The couple operate on a low input, low output system with the 55 Ayrshire’s grazing outside for six months a year. It was the first time the couple have exhibited at the Dorset County, and the animal – which has won championships at North Devon, Okehampton and Totnes in 2014 – will go on to Frome next week.
Tracy’s daughter Abbi is part of team of three from the South West to be representing the UK in November at the Toronto Winter Fair young handlers competition after winning the National Young Stars handling competition at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern.
Suffolk sheep farmer Chris Beck’s 200 mile trip to Dorset proved worthwhile as his five-year-old Beltex ewe took the inter-breed sheep championship. Mr Beck, from Bramfield, Halesworth, said the ewe had taken honours at the Lincoln and Kent shows this year. Kendal judge John Geldard described the ewe as an outstanding sheep with sparkling character and a real asset to the breed.
Reserve inter-breed went to an in-lamb Charollais ewe from the Brandywell flock at Kings Nympton, Devon, shown by Carol Irwin. The flock took the inter-breed championship at Dorset last year but had to settle for second pipping a Wensleydale Longwool, from Ann Griffiths, from Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.
For the first time this year, the Dorset Agricultural Society ran a flock competition, which was open to all commercial, pedigree and rare breed sheep farmers across the county. The winner in the large flock category (300 ewes+) was Tom Besent, from Cheslbourne. Winner of the medium-sized flock (51-299) was Rachel Geddes, from Toller Porcorum, while the small flock award went to Ian and Fiona Andrews and their Cattistock Texels.
It was a great weekend for the Brown family, from Winsford, Somerset, who took the inter-breed pig championship with their Tamworth sow on the Saturday and then clinched the national Tamworth championship the following day. The Brown’s run 30 sows and finish the pigs for specialist outlets including a leading London butcher.
The three year old sow, Valstock Princess 894, was described by judge Caroline Wheatley-Hubbard said: “She stood out to the eye with excellent conformation, walked well and had good teats.”