Local farming talent was on top form at the Royal Bath & West Show, with Somerset exhibitors beating off close competition to claim many of the top livestock prizes.

Winning the interbreed beef championship was David and Sue Knight’s British Blonde heifer Doncombe Madhu, on the breed’s first return to the beef classes at the show for a number of years.

Bred from the family’s Ishtar as a heifer and sired by the French bull Aramis, this two year-old heifer was reserve interbreed champion at the Devon County Show.

“It’s fantastic to win,” said Mr Knight, who farms near Bristol. “I bought my first pedigree heifer in 1985 – I’m from a non-farming family but I helped on a local farm, and just fell in love with the breed. We now have the largest Blonde herd in the UK at 220 head.”

Judge Iain Green from Morayshire said Madhu had tremendous length with a good shoulder and locomotion. “She’s an outstanding example of the breed and just had a bit more power and length than the reserve champion.”

He picked Ben Trim’s British Charolais bull Blabithan Napoleon as his reserve champion, chosen from a top selection of competitors.

Ben Trim keeps 10 breeding cows at home at Bere Regis, Dorset, having purchased Napoleon at the Balbithan herd dispersal in October last year – the demise of a very well-known herd managed by his mother Jane Haw.

In the dairy ring, Jake Sayer from Cannington took the top honours with his Ayrshire cow Denmans Cracking Touch of Red. A homebred by Des Prairies Potter and out of Huntlodge RR Crackles, this fifth calver was yielding 50 litres a day.

In reserve position was Valerie Norman’s Jersey cow Perrins Minister Joyful, exhibited by her son Richard Norman. A homebred cow by Select-Scott Minister and out of Crinnisbay Exceptional Joyful, this fourth calver was giving 30 litres.

In the poultry section, Sophie and Joe Merchant from Taunton took the champion prize with their Croad Langshan hen, while also claiming the egg championship with a plate of six waterfowl eggs. Mrs Merchant said: “We will breed from her now and any competitions after that will depend on how well she stays in condition.”

Hugh Price’s Malay Game Bantam cockerel took the reserve championship for Wales under judge Andrew Marment’s expert eye.

An impressive 1,336 sheep competed for top honours in the sheep lines, with the overall championship going to Shropshire based Paul and Christine Tippetts’ Texel shearing ewe.

By an Eglur Yukon ram and out of an Oldford ewe, this was the shearling ewe’s first time out at a competition.

In reserve spot was Brandon Roth’s shearling Suffolk ewe from Redruth. “We have 3-400 commercial sheep and 10-15 Suffolks,” said Mr Roth. “I think they’re the best ram for a commercial job.”