Limousin cross heifers dominated the National Commercial Cattle Show at the Beef Expo, which this year attracted an entry of more than 100 head, with three exhibitors from north of the Border.

The event, which saw similar numbers forward to the same event staged in 2022 at Darlington Auction Mart, saw local showman, Neil Slack, Penrith, take the supreme cattle honours with Pepper, a November 2022-born heifer by Kinniside Novel out of a pure British Blue cow. Bred by Malcolm Telfer and Helen Claxton, Northumberland, this 589kg entry shown by niece Elizabeth Haughan, was bought at Carlisle in September for £2000 and was placed at several local events last year.

The Scottish Farmer: Stewart and Lynsey Bett's Electra, was reserve overallStewart and Lynsey Bett's Electra, was reserve overall

On receiving the award, Neil who has previously won the overall commercial championship when the Beef Expo was staged at Hexham said: “It’s tremendous, it’s been a local show to us this year, so that makes it extra special. Pepper is a fantastic beast.”

Flying the flag for Scotland, Stewart and Lynsey Bett, Kippen, landed the reserve with their red ticket holder from the previous class, Electra, a yearling heifer bred by Balfour Baillie, Orkney, that was bought at the Thainstone Spectacular, last year for £5000. She is sired by Ronick Redhot, out of a British Blue cross cow and bagged the calf championship at LiveScot.

Adding to the celebrations, the couple also won the steers in the baby beef section, with Pocket Rocket, a Limousin cross on its first outing after being purchased at a calf show and sale at Brecon judged by the Betts where they placed the calf champion steer. Sired by Mereside Oscar and out of a British Blue cross dam, this 10-month-old 416kg bullock is bound for Ayr and the Royal Highland Shows.

The Scottish Farmer: A Kind of Magic lived up to her name for Gareth Small and Beth Wilkinson, to take the supreme baby beef championshipA Kind of Magic lived up to her name for Gareth Small and Beth Wilkinson, to take the supreme baby beef championship

Limousin crosses took the top two awards amongst the babies too, with the supreme being A Kind of Magic, a previously unshown seven month-old heifer from joint consignors, Gareth Small, Northern Ireland and Beth Wilkinson, Leyburn. Living up to her name, this home-bred entry is the result of a flush from Mr Small’s noted show calf producer, Pocahontas and sired by Trueman Idol.

A delighted Gareth added: “Her mum was the famous show heifer, Pocahontas, that won a lot of shows, with her two full sisters Black Magic and Voodoo Magic, winning at the Great Yorkshire Show, and Balmoral.

Taking the blue and white sash in this section was first time exhibitors, James and Will Ludgate’s 10-month-old Sexy Pants, from Battlesden, Beds. Bred by John Smith-Jackson, Hightown and bought at Carlisle for £2200, it is sired by Hightown Jacko and out of a British Blue cross cow.

The Scottish Farmer: Will and James Ludgate's Sexy Pants was reserve baby beefWill and James Ludgate's Sexy Pants was reserve baby beef

Adding a bit of competition to commercial steer proceedings the champion was by an entry owned jointly between Scottish showman, Blair Duffton, Huntly; Gareth Small and Beth Wilkinson. Their Limousin cross yearling cross, Houdini, by Carnew Millreef, was bought in utero of a cow sold to McGee Brothers, Northern Ireland.

Just pipped at the post in this section was a similarly aged Limousin cross from Mikey Rowlands, Llanidloes, Powys. His Fist Full of Dollars, brought out by freelance stockman, Steven O Kane, was bought at Welshpool last year from Llian Jones, Corwen. Sired by Ampertaine Elgin and out of a pure British Blue cow, it was baby beef champion at the English Winter Fair. It was very much a ladies day among the young handlers with Olivia Matten (15) winning the supreme and Elizabeth Haughan taking reserve.

Leading Awards

Steer of heifer by registered native sire – 1, Mudd and Bentley’s Gall X, Lugsy Malone (692kg), bred by E Telfer and Son; 2, Edward Bros’ Short X Captain Morgan (441kg) bred by JAV and PM Mills, Powys; 3, P and K Brannen’s home-bred A-A X Agnes (564kg).

Steer or heifer by Char or Char X sire – 1, Jennifer Hyslop’s Char X Shake’m up Arry (518kg).

Steer or heifer by BB or BB X sire – 1, Neil Slack’s home-bred Super Ted (584kg); 2, Olivia Matten’s Dr Pepper (503kg), bred by RR Reay and Sons, Northumberland.

Lim or Lim X steer – 1, JM and SM Rowlands’ First Full of Dollars (517kg) bred by IP Jones, Corwen; 2, Ellie Hargreaves’ Loaded Gun (549kg), bred by JS Baillie and Co, Orkney; 3, Mudd and Bentley’s Hijack (670kg), bred by E Telfer and Son, Northumberland.

Heifer by Char X – 1, Jennifer Hyslop’s home-bred Versace (479kg); 2, BE and SA Williams’ Lim X BB Baby Guiness (487kg) bred by RW and LA Jones, Powys.

Heifer by BB or BB X – 1, KW Ludgate’s Sweet Pea (478kg), bred by RW Lloyd, Hereford; 2, S and NV Jowett’s The Duchess (551kg) bred by N and J Temple, Cumbria; 3, Edward Bros’ home-bred Deja-Moo (412kg).

Heifer by Lim or Lim X – Superlight – 1, James Nisbet’s Honey I’m Good (456kg) bred by Andrew Brown, Cumbria; 2, Colin Harris’ Miss Dior (469kg), bred by PJ and TA Jones, Powys; 3, DT Miller’s Frenchie (457kg) bred by D Jarman, Cumbria.

Heifer by Lim or Lim X – Light – 1, James Nisbet’s Sunlight (498kg), bred by K and GJ Huck, Lancaster; 2, B and L Wilkinson’s home-bred Matilda (471kg); 3, Tecwyn Jones’ home-bred Twilight (504kg).

Heifer by Lim or Lim X – Intermediate – 1, S and L Bett’s Electra (529kg), bred by B Baillie, Orkney; 2, Andrew Ewing’s home-bred Sassy (510kg; 3, M and R Barker’s Crazy Daisy (510kg) bred by G Bell.

Heifer by Lim or Lim X – Heavy – 1, Neil Slack’s Pepper (589kg), bred by Messrs Telfer, Northumberland; 2, Edward Bros’ Top Notch (621kg), bred by ST Roberts, Clwyd; 3, A Dickinson and L Powdrill’s Cover Girl (623kg), bred by Bowen and Bowen, Powys.

Baby steers – Lim or BB X – 1, S and L Bett’s Lim cross, Pocket Rocket (416kg), bred by D Lewis, Dyfed; 2, N Slack’s BB X, Westmorland Warrior (366kg), bred by Messrs Marston, Cumbria; 3, DM Leedman’s home-bred BB X Turbo (280kg).

Baby heifers – Light – 1, Small and Wilkinson’s Lim X A Kind of Magic (333kg); 2, Tecwyn Jones’ Lim X Little Beauty (369kg) bred by J Smith Jackson, Northumberland; 3, GH and AH Roberts’ home-bred Lim X Freckled Berry (375kg).

Baby heifers – Heavy – 1, KW Ludgate’s Lim X Sexy Pants (410kg) bred by JW Smith Jackson, Northumberland; 2, Mr and Mr M Alford’s Lim X The Mistress (416kg), bred by AJ and RE Marston, Cumbria; 3, KW Ludgate’s Lim X Poppy (425kg), bred by RW Lloyd, Hereford.