A Clydesdale has taken the prestigious title of champion of champions at Northumberland County Show – the first time in at least five years that a horse has been judged the best beast.
Sixteen-year-old Mick, owned by John Fairbairn of Berwick, was chosen by judge Geoff Hubbuck from an impressive line-up.
Mr Hubbuck is a longstanding show competitor and owner of Tynedale agricultural merchants JS Hubbuck Ltd, a mainline County Show sponsor.
He said: “Obviously the winner has to be an outstanding example of their breed, but I’ll be looking for a bit of extra star quality that’s hard to define.
“I also think there should be an acknowledgement of the animal’s provenance.
“If its owner has carefully bred and improved their stock, and developed a champion through their own hard work over many years, then they deserve to be respected for their labours.”
And in choosing Mick for his champion of champions, he remained true to his belief.
Explaining why he chose the Clydesdale, Mr Hubbuck said: “He’s home-bred, the owner has worked hard on him, put a lot of time and effort in, he’s well-presented and it’s a family team. That kind of dedication should be rewarded.”
Mr Hubbuck’s daughter Sarah presented the champion of champions trophy to owner John Fairbairn, who was accompanied by his seven-year-old son John jnr.
Reserve champion of champions was the dairy champion, a Holstein owned by Mark and Diane Wilson of Ormside, Appleby, Cumbria.