NORTHUMBERLAND livestock procurer Stephen Kirkup put his expertise to good use as a judge at the Royal Highland Winter Fair 2012.
Mr Kirkup, who owns Stephen Kirkup Livestock in Rothbury, awarded top prizes to continentals in the sheep section at the event held at Ingleston near Edinburgh.
The championship was awarded to Mr R Hall and Son of Inglewood Edge, Carlisle, for a Texel-sired pair. Handled in the ring by Joanne Hall and Johnny Aiken, who have secured the supreme title four times at the event, the pair are by a Turbo Texel and out of a pure Beltex.
One of the pair was in the reserve championship pair at the Agri Expo event at Carlisle and Mr Kirkup acted on his judgment by purchasing the champions at auction for £250 a head. The reserve Beltex sired pair weighed in at 80kg and were exhibited by Mr Andrew Morton, Lochend Farm, Denny Stirlingshire.
Mr Kirkup said: “The continental won out purely on better conformation. There was an exceptionally good pair of North Cheviot lambs, but they were up against some well-muscled continental sheep.”