Stephen Kirkup from Rothbury was rewarded for his years of endeavour in the livestock procurement business with the honour of being asked to judge the Royal Highland Winter Fair 2012 held at Ingleston, Edinburgh on 24th November.
A large number of farmers in the North of England market their livestock with Stephen, who owns one of the largest livestock procurement businesses in the UK. At the prestigious winter primestock event it was the continentals which reigned supreme in the sheep ring with the championship going to a Texel sired pair and the reserve to a duo sired by a Beltex.
The championship title went to Mr R Hall and Son, Inglewood Edge, Carlisle. Handled in the ring by Joanne Hall and Johnny Aiken who have secured the supreme title four times at the event, the pair are by a Turbo Texel and out of a pure Beltex. Weighing in at 102kg, one of the duo had been part of the reserve championship pair at the Agri Expo event at Carlisle.
Stephen Kirkup backed his judgement by purchasing the champions at auction for £250 a head.
The reserve Beltex sired pair weighed in at 80kg and were exhibited by Mr Andrew Morton, Lochend Farm, Denny Stirlingshire.
Stephen Kirkup said there was very little between the champion and reserve, but the champion was slightly better in the loin and the leg. Commenting on his choice of continentals he said: "The continental won out purely on better conformation. There was an exceptionally good pair of North Cheviot lambs, but they were up against some well muscled continental sheep."
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