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.
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
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,
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
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
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:
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,
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
3 ewes by same sire – DR&DC Findlay.
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.
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