IT was an Agri-Expo debut dream come true for the Workman family when they first secured the heifer championship before their Bexy Boo went on to stand supreme champion on what was their first time showing at the Borderway event.

Making their trip across the Irish Sea from Larne, County Antrim, worthwhile was their July, 2016-born heifer by the renowned Limousin sire, Wilodge Vantastic, which has sired multiple pedigree and commercial sale leaders and show winners. Her dam, a British Blue cross called Gabby, is no stranger to the tickets either and has bred bullocks that have done well in the showring but this was her first heifer born in to Leanne's select herd of females which runs alongside husband, Robert's 150-cow commercial herd at Deerpark Road, Kilwaughter.

Brought out by Eamon McGarry, with some top assistance from Robert and Leanne's children, Victoria and Jamie, while second son John watched at home, Bexy Boo landed the calf championship at Allams last December and will now retire from the showring to concentrate on breeding future stars.

"The heifer was a tremendous, well-balanced and well put together animal with lovely conformation and good cover as well as great character," said the judge, Chris Pennie, of the Sarkley Limousin herd run alongside his father Glyn, and brother Nige, near Llandyssil, Powys.

Bexy Boo had headed up the heaviest class of continental heifers having crossed the weighbridge at 652kg, but it was a bullock from one of thelightweight classes that secured the reserve supreme honours for fellow Northern Irish exhibitors, father and son duo Dermot and Gareth Small, of the Strathearn commercial herd at Irvington Close, Kilkeel, County Down. Their Scottish-bred Jon Snow was bought for £6000 at the Thainstone Spectacular in August from John and Craig Robertson, Newton of Logierait, when he stood overall champion, adding to his commercial championship at Perth Show and champion of champions title at Aberfeldy. Marking his first outing since August when paraded by Thomas Illingworth, he is by the Newton of Logierait stock sire, Calogale Irresistable, that also sired the £9000 heifer sold at the Royal Northern Spring Show, while the dam is a Limousin cross Blue.

"He's very flashy but not quite got the cover of the heifer, although does have great width and squareness over his rear-end," said Mr Pennie of the 14-month-old bullock weighing 534kg which will next contest at LiveScot and the Welsh Winter Fair.

Claiming the reserve female title was another entry from first time exhibitors, Rachel from father and son team, Michael and Mark Robertson, who are well known in Scottish circles for commercial calves and pedigree Limousin cattle as they run 110 cows at Fodderletter, near Tomintoul. Bought privately from Alistair Robson, Old Manse, Huntly, and named Rachel after the person who helped calve her, she started off her career with the reserve championship at the Spring Show. The British Blue cross by Meryl Hugo then added to it with wins on the North-east show circuit, including at Nairn, Grantown and Dornach, as well as many Young Farmers' tri-colours, and will now be retired for breeding.

Also in the tickets was Jimmy, a Limousin cross from the Harryman and Warriner team – recently married Mark and Sarah Harryman, together with Sarah's father, from Swansea Barn, Pickering. Jimmy, which was bought at Cockermouth last October from Willie Richardson, Gatesgarth, has already made his mark on the circuit, standing bullock champion and reserve supreme at Countryside Live as well as reserve at the Great Yorkshire, to name just a few. Sired by Keskadale Fame, a Limousin bull, he will next head to the English Winter Fair.

LEADING awards:

(Judge: Chris Pennie, Gwern-Yr-Ychain, Llandyssil, Powys).

Native classes – Bullock – 1, A Ewing’s Belty Boy, Belt Gall; 2, L Calcraft’s Wee Rascal, A-A X; 3, Mr and Mrs M Alford’s Foxhill Superhero, Gall. Heifer – 1, M Kirby’s Fowley Heather, Gall; 2, HW Timm’s Minnie Maddi, Gall X; 3, Messrs Barker and Bailey's Mysterious Girl, Her X.

Continental bullock (by weight) – A (lightest) – 1, Messrs Harryman and Warriner’s Mr Impossible, Lim X; 2, RJ Wright’s Wee Jimmy, BB X; 3, G Rowlands’ Flash, Lim X. B – 1, bullock champion and reserve supreme, D Small’s Jon Snow, Lim X; 2, A Jones’ Top Dollar, Char X; 3, TA and LC Lyon and Son’s Arch Bishop, BB X. C – 1, RDA Cattle Services’ Georgie Boy, BB X; 2, RF Whitfield and Son’s Black Diamond, Lim X; 3, TA and LC Lyon and Son’s Goldrush, Lim X. D – G and JA Sedgewick’s Vodka Smoothie, BB X; 2, J Nisbet’s No Frills Frazer, Lim X; 3, Miss HL Donaldson’s Full Monty, BB X. E – 1 and reserve bullock, Messrs Harryman and Warriner’s Jimmy, Lim X; 2, T Jones’ Black Magic, BB X; 3, L Calcraft’s Highland Lad, Lim X. F – 1, S and L Bett’s Top Gun, BB X; 2, Messrs Bentley and Mudd’s Game Changer, Blo X; 3, AG Laws’ Devvo, BB X. G – 1, KW Ludgate’s Booboo, BB X; 2, J Williams’ Dewin Du, Lim X; 3, W Peters’ Gold Buck, Char X.

Continental heifer – A – 1, IJ Phillips’ Cheeky Girl, Lim X; 2, S Dick’s Midori, Lim X; 3, H Morgan and S O’Kane’s Midnight, Lim. B – 1, I and H Townson’s Tiddly Winks, Lim X; 2, A Weir’s Black Brandy, Lim X; 3, L Allan’s The Lady Boss, BB X. C – 1, Messrs Harryman and Warriner’s Miss Unique, Lim X; 2, L Calcraft’s Lady Million, Lim X; 3, P and S Sellers’ My Gracie, Lim X. D – 1, J Smith-Jackson and B and L Wilkinson’s Model, Lim; 2, P and S Sellers’ Hot Totty, Lim X; 3, S and L Bett’s Third Time Lucky, Lim X. E – 1, GH and AH Roberts’ Dream Girl, BB X; 2, Messrs Donaldson and Little’s Magic, Lim X; 3, J Hyslop’s Hard to Resist, BB X. F – 1, J Nisbet’s Raysonhall Matilda, Lim; 2, JM Rowlands and Edwards Brothers’ Queen B, Lim; 3, J Smyth and W Moir’s Mercedes, Char X. G – 1 and reserve heifer, M and M Robertson’s Rachel, BB X; 2, AG Laws’ Yazoo, BB X; 3, C and J Cropper’s Almost Illegal, Lim X. H – 1, A and S Stevenson’s Coco Chanel, Lim X; 2, TA and LC Lyon and Son’s Show Me the Money, Lim X; 3, R and E Roberts’ Mini Me, Char X. I – 1, Mr and Mrs M Alford’s Foxhill Lady Gaga, BB X; 2, WA Peters’ Miss Tees, BB X; 3, JM and SM Rowlands’ Cheeky Girl, Lim X. J – 1, heifer champion and supreme champion, R and L Workman’s Bexy-Boo, Lim X; 2, D Small’s Fizzy Orange, Char X; 3, D Small’s Taboo, Lim X.

Young Farmers’ – Bullock – 1, JF Phillips’ Vegan, Lim; 2, R Richardson’s Jackpot, Lim X; 3, Edwards Brothers’ Paco-Robanne, Lim X. Heifer – 1, J Hodge’s Hakuna Matata, Char X; 2, A Ewing’s Lakeland Lady, Lim X; 3, N and M Morley Chappelhow’s Jessie, Lim X.

Charolais calves – Bullock – 1, L Allan’s Good as Gold, Char X; 2, RA Jones’ Top Dollar, Char X; 3, WA Peters’ Gold Buck, Char X. Heifer – D Small’s Fizzy Orange, Char X; 2, J Hodge’s Hakuna Matata, Char X; 3, R and E Roberts’ Mini Me, Char X.