Hertfordshire breeders David and Lesley Sapsed were visibly delighted when their two-year-old bull Heathbrow Important was tapped out as interbreed beef champion at this year’s Suffolk Show.
“I’ve been showing Simmentals since 1998 and it’s still a great feeling to win,” David told Farmers Guide. “He is a lovely bull with great locomotion and a super temperament,” he added.
He will also be shown at this year’s Royal Norfolk Show which will be hosting the National Simmental Show classes before heading to the Great Yorkshire Show. The couple also hope to show him at the breed society’s 50th anniversary show in Carlisle next year.
Judge Mrs Pat Stanley from Leicestershire described Important as ‘a tremendously strong young bull’. “He showed wonderful balance, wonderful locomotion – what’s to fault?”
Mrs Stanley chose Charolais heifer Balbithan Nancy as her reserve interbreed champion. The heifer from Darren Knox’s Nayland-based Drumshane herd has ‘massive potential’ she said. “I’m looking for balance, an animal that’s easy on the eye, that moves well with functionality. She had femininity – a super package.”
Two Suffolk breeders scooped the native interbreed championship and reserve. Taking the top spot was Nick Reid with Aberdeen Angus champion Overbury Hall Passiflora. The five-year-old cow is home bred and due to calve again in September. The Overbury Hall herd was established on Mr Reid’s farm near Hadleigh in 2010.
Reserve native interbreed honours went to the Lincoln Red breed champion Yarnhill Hannah from Natasha and Richard Mann from Iken. The two-year-old heifer was sired by Beverly Regal.
In the dairy lines judge James Hudson chose the ‘absolutely exceptional’ Onco Art Mandy from Kent-based Holly Dyer as his interbreed champion. He said the Holstein second-calver was “balanced throughout with tremendous depth and angularity”. Mandy was sired by Mr Aubrey Observer Art, out of Onco Autopilot Mandy.
His reserve was Holstein fifth calver Wigboro Altarush Durose from Smith Farms at Clacton. Durose calved twin heifers in December and yields approximately 60-litres per day, said John Smith who manages the herd. “She has good butterfat and is a great herd cow,” he added. “She is not the biggest cow but has so much balance and I think that is why she does well.” The Smith family’s show team will also be heading for Royal Norfolk, Edenbridge and Telford this season.
Blue Texel ewe
Top honours in the sheep rings went to a Blue Texel ewe from Beckbred Livestock.
“She is stunning – very well-balanced and walked beautifully. She handled correctly throughout,” said judge Mrs Jakeman.
She chose a Suffolk ram lamb from Merrick and Julie Pinny as her reserve interbreed champion. The January born lamb was handled in the ring by the couple’s son Andrew. It was first time out for the home-bred lamb but the family have had show-ring success over the years having won Suffolk breed champion two years ago with a ewe lamb bred from the same ewe. The family has around 120 Suffolk ewes on their Northamptonshire farm plus around 70 Texels and 40 Charollais sheep.
The ram lamb was popular at home, Mr Pinny senior told Farmers Guide. “Out in the field he stands and looks at you down his nose. He has got that bit of swank about him.”
The judge said she was delighted to be able to place a Suffolk sheep in her interbreed line up. “He is a great example with the makings of being a very good ram.”
Top honours in the pig show-ring went to Teresa Cook for her Large White boar Millfields Champion Turk. The September-born boar had “great shape, great conformation and is a beautiful meat pig,” said judge Mr Matthews.
Reserve went to Berkshire sow Tentrees Suzanne from Eykes Herd. This one was described by the judge as having “really good conformation, a cracking underline and really good on her feet”.