Show ring success for the Beltex breed was achieved with the start of the winter primestock season at Countryside Live, Harrogate.
The supreme sheep championship, judged by Malcolm Stewart, Melrose, Roxburghshire, was awarded to the Young Farmers’ class winners shown by first-time exhibitor, Joe Burnett assisted by Aled Groucott.
The 84kg pair of lambs were bred by Andrew and Becky Bishop. The judge said they were a “perfect pair of lambs, full of meat.”
Reserve overall were the reserve continentals, a pair of Beltex crosses, weighing 86kg, from last year’s supreme winners, David and Linda Wadland, Northhamptonshire.
The winner of the single butcher’s lamb championship was Martin and Val Brown, Newton-le-Willows, with a Beltex cross lamb weighing 44kg, which had been in the champion pen at the Great Yorkshire Show. Reserve in this section was David Findlay, Leyburn, again with a Beltex cross.
At Borderway Agri-Expo Beltex-sired lambs dominated the prize list. Andrew Morton was awarded the overall championship with a greatly-admired pair of April-born lambs that had taken first prize in the over 40kg Beltex class before taking the continental championship.
This impressive pair of lambs were sired by a homebred son of Beachy Norman and weighed 89.5 kg. One of the pair had also been in the pair that won the champion butchers lambs at this year’s Royal Highland Show.
Overall reserve champions came from Andrew Baillie, the winner of the championship at last year’s event.
His April-born lambs won the under-40kg Beltex class and then took the reserve continental lamb championship tipping the scales at 77kg. They were sired by Topflight Secret Weapon.
Winning the Young Farmers class were a pair of Beltex x lambs from Kirsty Morton weighing a combined 89.5kg and sired by Glenkeen Patricks Boy.
Judge Andrew Finch, procurement manager at Dunbia Preston, said the Beltex-sired lambs at the event were a credit to the exhibitors and the breed. He added: “The champions were an outstanding pair being full of high quality lean meat with no waste. These champions would have been ideal for both the hometrade and export markets.”