Beltex lambs from Robert Garth and Sarah Priestley excel among the Expo ewes

It was a day for continentals as a pair of Beltex lambs went on to win the supreme championship for Robert Garth and Sarah Priestley.

It was a dream come true for the duo when a pair of home-bred Beltex lambs led the heavyweight Beltex class before winning first the continental championship and then the overall championship. The two 45kg ewe lambs in the first ride were pure Beltex by Todhall Freddie, purchased last year at Kelso, while the dams were home-bred forming part of the Keasden breeding flock from Peaks View, Bentham. Born in March, these lambs will go to the Scottish, English and Welsh winter fairs later this year.

“The winning pair caught my eye from the start. They are a well-built pair and stood out in a strong class that helped them stand out with their impeccable presentation,” commented lamb judge Allan White, who farms 6,000 hectares at home. 3000 Scottish Blackface sheep, 50 pedigree Texels, 80 Bluefaced Leicesters and 50 head of commercial cattle at Lanarkshire Midlock.

The winning pair in the Continental division was followed by the leading pair in the heavy Texel class, a 45kg April lamb pair from the Hall family, Dalston Inglewood Edge. Brought by Johnny and Katie Aitken, the pair are bred by Dutch Texel, Beltex cross ewes bred by Robin Slade of Herefordshire and bred at home within a commercial flock of 2,000. On their first visit, the pair are also scheduled for the English and Scottish winter fairs.

Claiming the lambs bred from a hill ewe championship and retaining the top title were a pair of Beltex cross Blackface weanlings from Shawhead, Crawfordjohn Mill Farm, Biggar. The lambs born this April, weighing 44kg, are from a Todhall Beltex ram purchased from Lanark last year for 600gns and are from home-bred Blackface ewes. The pair will be fattened at home before being sold.

The Cavers from Sorbie Farm, Ewes, Langholm, were awarded reserve prize in lambs bred from the hill sheep section with their 43.5kg Beltex cross South Country Cheviot ewe lambs. This April-born duo is out of a Beltex ram purchased here and home-bred Southie ewes. In the first visit, they will be kept at home for breeding purposes.

Cavers had more success in the hill lamb championship as they took top honors with two purebred Blackface groom lambs. Born in April, the pair are nursing a Blackcraig colt on their first visit from home-bred ewes bought in Ayr last year and forming part of a flock of 2,000. The 43.5kg lambs will also take part in LiveScot where they will be auctioned off.

Standing stock in this section was J and J Frame, High Dykes, Sandford, and two 39kg South Country Cheviot Hill lambs. The April-born duo are sired by a 500gn Potholm bull purchased from Lockerbie last year, also bred from ewes with a Stirkfield ram. Another couple on their first outing are also heading to LiveScot at the end of the month.

LEADING awards

Head lambs – Pair of Cheviot lambs – 1, D Crew. Pair of Cheviot Hill lambs – 1 and reserve hill, JJ Frame and Co; 2, TN Cavers and Co; 3, D Crew. Blackface lamb pair – 1 and champion hill, TN Cavers and Co; 2, HF Hamilton; 3, Shawhead Farm firm. Pair of Rough Fell lambs – 1, K Milburn; 2, E Family. A pair of horn lambs other than Blackface – 1, M Benson. Pair of Herdwick lambs – 1, I Grisedale; 2, J Bland. A pair of cross lambs from Herwick sheep – 1, J Bland; 2, I Grisedale; 3, J Bland. Pair lambs from any other hill ewe – 1 and champion hill ewe bred, Shawhead Farm Firm; 2 and reserve bred from hill sheep, TN Cavers and Co; 3, D Crew. Pair Mule lambs – 1, Firm of Shawhead Farm; 2, E Family; 3, O Hodgson. Pair low breed lambs – 1, J Whiteford; 2, S Miles. Pair of Suffolk lambs – 1, J Whiteford; 2, R Garth and S Priestley. Beltex under 40kg pair – 1, R Garth and S Priestley; 2, R West; 3, R Hall and Son. Beltex pair over 40.1kg – 1, continental and supreme champion, R Garth and S Priestley; 2, R West; 3, R Hall and Son. Texel pair up to 40kg – 1, R Hall and Son; 2, R West; 3, BJ Roberts and D Hughes. Texel pair over 40.1kg – 1st and reserve continental champion, R Hall and Son; 2, J Whiteford; 3, R West. Any Other Breed Pair – 1, J Whiteford; 2, RH and J Wood; 3, BJ Roberts and D Hughes. Unshorn continental lamb pair – 1, R Hall and Son; 2, TN Cavers and Co; 3, R West. Young Farmers pair lamb – 1, A Skelton; 2, R Campbell; 3, J Whiteford. Butchers select single lamb over 50kg – 1, R Hall and Son; 2, R Garth and S Priestley; 3, J Whiteford. Single lamb any breed – 1, R Hall and Son; 2, A Skelton; 3, A Leach.

Mule ewe lambs – Single lamb – 1, J Robinson; 2, P Elliott; 3, J Brough. Pair lamb – 1, J Robinson; 2, P Elliott; 3, J Robinson.

Junior managers – 1, Z Clough and G Elliott; 2, J Whiteford and C Leach; 3, L Garth and E Dempster.

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