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Stackyard News Nov 06

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Bon Lea Bonanza at Skipton Aberdeen-Angus Calf Show

With a powerful line-up of progeny from prolific sire Hurdcott Estimator, the Bon Lea Angus herd from Hornby Grange, Great Smeaton, Northallerton, landed two of the four big championship classes at the annual North of England Aberdeen-Angus Calf Show at Craven Cattle Marts’ Skipton Auction Mart. (Saturday, Nov 4)

Victoria and James Brooks are pictured at the Skipton Aberdeen-Angus calf show with their two champions.
Bon Lea Angus

The Bon Lea operation, now run by brother and sister James and Victoria Brooks, presented both the senior bull and junior heifer supreme calf champions.

On breeding, the latter, Bon Lea Elana, is virtually guaranteed a sparkling future in the show ring. A January, 2006, grandson of Hurdcott Estimator and son of Wedderlie Kathak, the junior heifer champion’s dam, Bon Lea Elle, has won virtually every show in the UK, including the overall inter-breed championship at the 2003 Royal Show as a two-year-old. Bon Lea Elana is her first calf.

“It is an excellent line. Progeny of Hurdcott Estimator have upped our game no end in the championship arena. We are confident we now have some of the best cows in the UK,” enthused James Brooks.

Estimator was also directly responsible for the championship-winning senior bull, Bon Lea Predator, a September, 2005, calf from Perchance Of Bon Lea. Predator had earlier in the season won his classes at both Stokesley and Pateley Bridge shows.

Estimator, who had also sired the Bon Lea 2005 Skipton overall female champion, achieved yet more success at this year’s renewal when the March, 2006, Bon Lea Envigor won its junior bull class.

The overall junior bull championship fell to show stalwarts, husband-and-wife Adrian and Penny Johnson, of Clarence House Farm, Yearsley, Brandsby, near York, with their show debutant Yearsley Primetime, a January, 2006, son of Auchincrieve Lord Inferno, out of Yearsley Pollyanna.

Reserve champion was one of the real babies of the show, Craigie Jaguar, who had earlier won his class for bulls born on or after April 1 this year for Cheshire exhibitor Brian McClintock, of Tytherington, Macclesfield. The runner up was also by Auchincrieve Lord Inferno, out of Duncansiemere Jody.

Carol Rettie with her Skipton senior heifer champion Rettie’s Panache.

Rettie’s Panache

The senior heifer calf championship fell to another husband-and-wife team, Scottish breeders Richard and Carol Rettie, of By Alloa, Clackmannanshire, with Rettie’s Panache, an August, 2005, daughter of Blelack Blacksmith, out of Heathlands Panache.

It was the first time the Retties had exhibited their own stock at the Skipton event, having shown in the past on behalf of other exhibitors. Their 2006 victor was stepping up on a reserve championship success at Drymen Show, near Glasgow.

Adrian and Penny Johnson also presented their January, 2006, Yearsley Prunella to win her junior heifer age class, while other junior heifer age group winners were Gramarye Miss Polly, from RA & JE Collings, of Everingham, York, and Foulness Everlin, from North of England club vice-chairman, Chris Page, of, Newport, Brough, East Yorkshire.

Aynho Proud George, from I H McClaren & Sons, of Croughton, Brackley, Northants, was champion of his age group in the junior bull classes.

The fixture, organised jointly by the North of England and PENWAC Aberdeen-Angus Clubs, this year had a record entry of 96 calves from a total of 24 herds.  There was total prize fund of £2,000, provided by a number of generous sponsors.

Chris Page and Adrian Johnson, two of the main organisers, said: “The show has gone from strength to strength every year since its move to Skipton six years ago, with entries from as far away as Perthshire in the north to Northampton in the south, including a number of new exhibitors and smaller herds represented.

“The event is going great guns in terms of entry numbers and the quality of the calves is also improving. It augurs well for the future success of the show, when new sponsors will be more than welcome.”

The 2006 event had a high profile judge in Angus Baillie, manager of The Moss herd on behalf of Mr and Mrs John Moores, of North Moss, Formby, Liverpool.

Mr Baillie, who is due to retire this month after 22 years at The Moss, has been much in demand as a judge this year, having officiated at the Royal Show in July and at the Perth bull sales last month.

“There was an excellent standard of cattle and they were outstanding champions one and all,” said Mr Baillie of the Skipton show.

He also officiated at a young handlers’ competition open to youngsters from both clubs and the finals of the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme’s national junior showmanship competition.

The senior handling title went to 17-year-old Thomas Slowen, of Balkholme, East Howden, East Yorks, while 14-year-old Will Ives, a member of the South-East Aberdeen-Angus Club, of Winslow, Bucks, was best of the junior handlers.

Will then returned to the ring as a winner of the 2006 Youth Development Programme, an honour also bestowed on 15-year-old Ruby Wright, of Metton, Norfolk. The presentations were made by David Lucas, chairman of the society’s youth development committee.


Senior heifer – 1 R&C Rettie, By Alloa, Clackmannanshre, 2 &3 Juliet Swires, Wilsill, Harrogate. Senior bull – 1 Bon Lea Angus, Great Smeaton, Northallerton, 2 Chris Page, Newport, Brough, 3 G&MA Lawn, Skipton.

Junior Heifers.
Born Jan 1-17, 2006 – 1 TA&P Johnson, Yearsley, York, 2 CS Addison, Berwick-on-Tweed, 3 Juliet Swires.
Born Jan 18-March 6, 2006 – 1 Bon Lea Angus, 2 Mrs JB Swires, 3 AE&RC Bishop, Finchampstead, Wokingham.
Born March 7-31, 2006 – 1,2&3 RA&JE Collings, Everingham, York.
Born on or after April 1, 2006 – 1 Chris Carolyn Fletcher, Appleby-in-Westmoreland, 3 AE&CR Bishop.

Junior Bulls.
Born Jan 1-17, 2006 – 1&2 TA&P Johnson, 3 I H McLaren & Sons, Brackley, Northants.
Born Jan 18-March 8, 2006 – 1 I H McLaren & Sons, 2 Carolyn Fletcher, 3 PJ&A Turnbull, Coxwold, York.
Born March 9-31, 2006 – 1 Bon Lea Angus, 2 Mrs & Mrs D Evans, Nunthorpe, Middelsborough, 3 DB Wellock & WP Hoare, Otterburn, Skipton.
Born on or after April 1, 2006 – 1 Brain McClintock, Tytherington, Macclesfield, 2 Mr & Mrs MD Story, Longtown, Carlisle, 3 Carolyn Fletcher.

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