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Stackyard News Jul 07

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Beltex Sheep National Progeny Show

The second annual National Progeny Show for Beltex sheep built solidly on last year’s inaugural event and – with entries up 25%, a higher overall quality of sheep on show and new exhibitors from a much wider area lining up - further highlighted the growing impact of the breed across the country.

David Findlay with his
Beltex National Progeny Show champion.

Beltex National Progeny Show champion

Again staged at Craven Cattle Marts’ Skipton Auction Mart (Saturday, July 28), the Northern Beltex Club organised fixture, open to all Beltex Society members, attracted a 186-strong entry of pedigree and commercial sheep.

The day was dominated by two breed stalwarts, North Yorkshire-based Northern Beltex Club founder member David Findlay, who sent out the male and overall show champion, and first-time Cumbrian exhibitor Anne Story, responsible for the female and overall reserve show champion.

David, who trades with his wife Diane as DR & DC Findlay at Birdridding Farm, Coverham, Leyburn, also exhibited a gimmer lamb chosen as reserve female champion, while Anne, of Hobbiesburn, Longtown, Carlisle, also chipped in with the reserve male champion, one of a group of three shearling rams by the same sire.

The Findlays’ title-winner, a two-shear ram, was bought as a shearling for 4,800 guineas at Carlisle last year from husband-and-wife breeders Thomas and Hester Palmer, of Burnside Farm, Glenarn, County Antrim. The couple had travelled over from Northern Ireland especially for the show to view their former charge’s offspring and expressed themselves delighted with his best in show success.

The victor, whose parents were both imported from Belgium, recognised home of the breed, is already making his mark. His progeny won the reserve championship in the carcass competition at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, while his lambs will be also appearing at the high profile mid-August Carlisle sale. The Skipton champion received the Ivan Ashton Memorial Trophy.

Anne Story hit the headlines by making a sparkling show debut. As well as her top end successes, Anne’s 14-strong entry landed no less than eight of the 17 individual class wins.

Her reserve champion home-bred shearling gimmer also shone as a lamb when taking the reserve championship at the 2006 Westmoreland Show, while the week before the Skipton fixture she also sent out another Beltex shearling to take championship honours at Cumberland Show. Anne currently has 60 Beltex breeding females.

Last year’s judge John Hall, of Inglewood Edge, Dalston, Cumbria, again returned to officiate at the 2007 show, ably assisted by his daughter Joanne Skelton, both well-known Beltex enthusiasts. Mr Hall commented: “Quality sheep were clearly evident in every class, better than last year overall. The champion and reserve were both excellent. The victor is a true Beltex, showing all the attributes you could ask for, with an excellent meat stamp.”

Commercial breeders again turned out in good numbers to support to the butchers’ lambs classes. The
championship fell to another show debutant, local exhibitor John Mellin, of Mill House Farm, Long Preston. His first prize pair of 35-40kg Beltex-cross lambs was awarded the title by judge Tom Ennison, of Perth, receiving the Cavan Maguire Trophy.

The reserve championship went to the first prize duo in the under-35kg class, shown by last year’s butchers’ lambs champions Martin and Val Brown, of Beechwood House Farm, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale.

The success of the show was praised by Beltex Society council member and Northern Beltex Club committee man and founder member Tom Ashton, of Orrell, Wigan, who became the first person to introduce Beltex sheep into the UK in 1989.

He described it as a tremendous show of sheep and thanked all concerned with the event, in particular the judges and Skipton Auction Mart. “It as an excellent venue – the facilities are second to none,” he said.

Mr Ashton noted: “It is a very exciting time for the breed. They have caught on very, very fast. I have been a butcher all my life, as well as a farmer. Beltex produce a good, meaty carcass and if crossed with other breeds improve whatever you put them on.”

Northern Beltex Club chairman Eli Tattersall, of Bacup, commented: “The annual event again proved of major significance for both club and breed and we were delighted with its success, particularly in terms of increased entry levels and the overall quality of the sheep on show. It further strengthens the growing popularity and reputation of Beltex sheep in this country.”

Many of the entries at the National Progeny Show are also expected to appear in the Beltex Sheep Society’s seventh annual production show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart, on Saturday, September 8. The fixture is again open to all society members, with cash prizes of £100 for the champion and £50 for the reserve. Entries close on August 24.

Results – pedigree classes:

Beltex aged ram – 1 DR&DC Findlay, Coverham, Leyburn, 2 Mrs AE Story, Hobbiesburn, Carlisle, 3 M Jennings, Selside, Kendal.

Shearling ram – 1&2 Mrs AE Story, 3 M Jennings. Ram lambs – 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 R Garth, Keasden, Clapham, 3 MR&JE Davies, Eldroth, Lancaster.

Ewe - 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 DR&DC Findlay, 3 JR Critchley, Hutton, Preston.

Gimmer shearlings – 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 DR&DC Findlay, 3 JR Critchley.

Gimmer lambs – 1 DR&DC Findlay, 2 Mrs AE Story, 3 M Jennings.

3 shearling rams by same sire – 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 D&MA Haigh, Holmfirth, Huddersfield.

3 ram lambs by same sire – 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 J&J Garnett, Draughton, Skipton, 3 MR&JE Davies.

3 ewes by same sire – DR&DC Findlay.

3 gimmer shearlings by same sire
– 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 DR&DC Findlay, 3 MR&JE Davies.

3 gimmer lambs by same sire – 1 Mrs AE Story, 2 MR&JE Davies, 3 J&J Garnett.

Butchers’ lambs: Under 35kg – 1&2 AM & HV Brown, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale, 2 G Cropper, Baxenden, 3 R Garth. 35 to 40kg – 1 J Mellin, Long Preston, 2 AM & HV Brown, 3 G Cropper. 40 to 44kg – 1 JR Citchley, 2 AM & HV Brown, 3 J Elliott.
Over 45kg – 1 AC&SA Hutchinson, Kirkby Wiske, Thirsk, 2 AM & HV Brown. Under 40kg – 1 R Garth, 2 DR&DC Findlay, 3 AM & HV Brown. Over 40kg – 1 AC&SA Hutchinson.

link New breeder’s sparkling debut at Skipton Beltex show
link Catons Clinch Skipton Prime Lambs Championship
link Time to Debate Future of Scottish Wool Clip

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