With Covid-19 resulting in every show across the country being cancelled, Beltex breeders have enjoyed the opportunity to be able to showcase their livestock in a series of virtual shows, organised by the Beltex Sheep Society, with many of the champions generously donating their winnings to charity.

A strong entry number of just under 800 sheep were forward to compete at the 10 virtual shows on offer, which included Balmoral, Royal Three Counties, Royal Cornwall, Great Yorkshire, Royal Highland, Royal Welsh, Penrith and the three national shows in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

With no entry fees being taken and prize money on offer, breeders took to the virtual showring and the society witnessed a surge of spectators, on Facebook, enjoying watching the videos of classes and results – all can be viewed on the Beltex Sheep Society website.

Exhibitors were also praised on their generosity after many decided to donate their prize money – of up to £101 – to the society’s chosen charities including RABI in England and Wales, RSABI in Scotland and Air Ambulance NI in Northern Ireland. This has resulted in an outstanding total of £1300 being raised by the society and it's members, with many donations still being taken.

However, show season is to looking promising with the next big event in the Beltex calendar being the Carlisle Premier Sale, which is set to take place this week over a course of three days – August 13 to 15 – with the champions from each of the 10 shows being put forward for the supreme championship.

Here we shall see two champions crowned – the first based on a points basis by the judges of all the individual shows, whilst the other will be given the title of ‘people’s champion’ based on the highest count of votes on the society’s Facebook page, where the championship video will also be up for viewing.

LEADING awards

Royal Three Counties: Champion – J and R Jerman with shearling ram, Brilley Elvis. Reserve – J and R Jerman with shearling ewe, Brilley Emoji.

Royal Highland: Champion – S Wood's ewe lamb, Woodies Flirt ET. Reserve – S Wood's shearling ewe, Woodies Extravagant ET.

Balmoral Show: Champion – M Burleigh's shearling ewe, Matt’s Enzo. Reserve – W and A McCrabbe's shearling ewe, Ardstewart Enchantress ET.

Great Yorkshire: Champion – RM Cornforth and Son's ewe lamb, Bexbel First Class ET. Reserve – Wannop’s Farms' aged ewe, Aviemore Bivici 3 ET.

Penrith: Champion – Wannop’s Farms' shearling ewe, Wannop’s Ethel ET. Reserve – M Armstrong and F Brown's ram lamb, Crossfell Full Monty ET.

Royal Welsh: Champion – D Lewis's shearling ewe, Cothi Elegance. Reserve – G Mathias's shearling ewe, Buarth Ewe Sexy Thing ET.

Royal Cornwall: Champion – L Elworthy's ewe lamb, Fingle Frozen. Reserve ­– A and S Payne's aged ewe, Windsor Connie.

Welsh National: Champion – DE Owen's ram lamb, Smart Ass Fair and Square ET. Reserve – DE Owen's shearling ewe, Smart Ass Eventful ET.

Irish National: Champion – W and A McCrabbe's shearling ram, Ardstewart Elijah ET. Reserve – M Burleigh's shearling ewe, Matt’s Enzo.

Scottish National: Champion – M Dunlop's ewe lamb, Corstane Fabulous. Reserve – J Campbell's shearling ram, Cree Energiser ET.