She's A Diamond to the very end lives up to her name with record sale price

Northumberland farmer John Smith-Jackson's heifer She's A Diamond lived up to her name by making a record sale price after a string of successes

Reserve heifer champion from John Smith-Jackson
Reserve heifer champion from John Smith-Jackson

A Northumberland-bred heifer set a new record at the Leyburn Spring Spectacular when she sold for 7,300gns.

This was set for the pre-sale show heifer and supreme champion She’s A Diamond, an 11-month-old British Blue cross heifer by Heatheview Cooper, from John Smith-Jackson, Haltwhistle, which also claimed the British Blue championship.

Already a big showring winner having been baby beef champion at Agri Expo and the East of England Smithfield Festival last year, she was described by judge Harry Emslie, of Aberdeenshire, as an outstanding picture-perfect heifer.

Mr Smith-Jackson said: “I never expected to get the show record but I knew there was lot of interest in her from all around the country.

“I’m very sorry to see her go, she has a lovely nature.

“Hopefully the new owners will show her and I may even end up in competition with her.

“Good luck to the next person - I’ve had a lot of pleasure out of her.”

She’s A Diamond buyer, Robert Miller of Moneymore, Northern Ireland, does intend to show her.

He is leaving her in England with James Wilkinson and his son Luke of Leyburn, and they will take her to Beef Expo at Hexham in May and probably the Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire Show.

She will then go to Northern Ireland for the end of the show season and the Allams Christmas Fatstock show and sale.

Mr Smith-Jackson, who farms at High Town, Melkridge, Haltwhistle, with his wife Mandy, also hadthe reserve heifer champion at Leyburn.

This was Miss Mulberry, May 2013-born by the Limousin Shire Apollo, which sold to Richard Anderson, Middleham, for £3,500. He plans to take her to the Great Yorkshire and other local shows.

Champion steer from Garrowby Farms, Bugthorpe, was April 2013-born and by Garrowby Gizmo, a Glenrock Ventura son, knocked down for £2,800 to Matthew Keel, Thirsk. Second to him in theclass and reserve steer champion was an April 2013-born son of Netherhall Elect consigned by Will and Gillian Sedley, Carnforth, which sold for £1,800 to Nigel Bunkham, Cornwall.

The champion British Blue steer, consigned by John and Fred Prescott of the W.A. Dinsdale and Son Partnership, Swaledale, sold to David Sandham, Lincolnshire, for £1,200.

JW Dent and Sons, Barnard Castle, sold a seven and eight-month-old Limousin-sired heifers for £1,650 apiece.

A British Blue sired-heifer from Ivanhoe Livestock, Bedale made £1,620. G.K. Hird and Sons, Swaledale, sold a British Blue-sired heifer at £1,600.

At the same money was a class-winning Limousin steer from Bill and Maureen Orme, Stalling Busk, and another Limousin heifer from John Smith-Jackson.

In the young handlers section, the under-16 class was won by Beth Wilkinson, with her brother Luke in second place and Owen Acton third. All are from Leyburn.

The over-16 class went to Hannah Brown, Newton le Willows, with Ashley Fenwick in second place.

Averages: Steers - British Blues, £1,163; Limousins, £1,356; overall 21 steers, £1,301 (+£4 on 2013). Heifers - British Blues, £2,674; Limousins, £1,525; overall 16 heifers, £1,884 (+£551 on 2013).

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