THE National Beef Association welcomed visitors to The NAEC, Warwickshire, for the annual Beef Expo highlight. While TB restrictions may have dampened entry numbers, quality competition ran throughout the commercial classes. Alex Robinson reports from the ringside action.
Heading the supreme line-up was the steer champion and heavyweight Limousin class winner, Monty from B.E Williams, Sennybridge, Powys.
Of his champion, judge Colin Phillips said: “The steer had exceptional balance which just gave it the edge. The championship line-up was superb, and the cattle are a credit to their owners and handlers.”
Bred by G. Lewis, Welshpool, this Lodge Hamlet son was bought privately in September, and was having its show ring debut. Weighing 544kgs, it was born in April 2016, and was shown on the day by Neil Lloyd, Hereford.
Reserve supreme came was the best of the heifers. This was Mike Rowlands, Llanidloes, with the January 2016-born Limousin cross Cheeky Girl.
Bred by D. Brute, Brecon, and shown by him on the day, it was bought by Mr Rowlands for £4,000 at the Welsh Winter Fair. Weighing in at 507kg, it is by the Limousin Cwmlimo Hercules, and out of a Brutus Cracker-sired heifer.
The reserve call in the steers went to Tecwyn Jones, Llanrwst, with his May 2016-born British Blue winner, Panda. This homebred is by Netherwood Umpire, and out of the Limousin cross cow Black Beauty, which was a winner itself at Countryside Live and Agri Expo in 2012. Weighing 445kg, it was also having its first outing and will be aimed at the Royal Welsh in July.
Neil Slack, Penrith, took reserve slot with the seasoned 552kg Limousin cross heifer Rio. A homebred by Rossignol, it is out of a British Blue cow and was shown by Hannah Brown, Leyburn.
Rio added the blue ticket to its impressive tally, which includes the commercial championship at Skipton the week previous, and reserve championship titles at both English and Scottish winter fairs.
Some of the largest entries of the day were in the baby beef section, where the two winning lightweight heifers were tapped out as champion and reserve.
Coming in top was T. and K. Bodily, Abergavenny, with the British Blue cross, Serena. This July 2016-born was bought by the family at Brecon show potential sale in February for £1,700, from M. and B. Jones, Sennybridge.
By the British Blue bull Dragons Blues Factor, it tipped the scale at 343kgs and will be heading to the Royal Highland and Royal Welsh shows this summer, before being aimed at the winter show circuit.
Standing reserve was the second placed lightweight heifer Lady De Beaut from Edward and Sarah Layton, Leominster. Bought privately last month, it is by a Limousin bul and out of Limousin cross Blue cow by Brutes Cracker.
Supreme and male (C. Phillips, Herefordshire) Monty, B.E. Williams; reserve and female, Cheeky Girl, M. Rowlands.
Res., male, Panda, T. Jones; res., fem., Rio, N. Slack
Baby Beef (M. Hallam, Ashbourne) Sup., Serena, T. and K. Bodily; res., Lady De Beaut, E. and S. Layton.
RUNNING alongside the commercial beef classes was the annual South Devon performance championships.
Judge David Thomas of the Tregeuddick herd, Launceston, found his champion in the February 2015-born heifer Eyton Sas Lolita 10 from Connor Whitehead of the Conam herd, Telford.
By Hawkley Sas Intrepid and out of Eyton Lolita 6, the heifer was reserve at the same competition last season.
Commenting on his champion, Mr Thomas said: “Its conformation and mobility was excellent. It was a very natural fleshing heifer and I am certain that it will go onto be a fantastic breeding cow.”
In reserve was the senior bull victor and male champion Eyton Trusty 3 from M. and M. Rushbrooke, Bewdley, and shown by Roden Livestock, Telford. Born in March 2015, it is by Wenfork Trusty 5 and out of Eyton Sas Dolly 7.