THERE was an 'incredible calibre' of livestock at the Royal Bath & West Show this year, organisers have said. 

On Thursday, May 30, the supreme champion in the beef category was given to Mollie and Boomer Birch's homebred Highsky Erin’s Enchantment, the native Beef Shorthorn.

Judges awarded the three-year-old (born Feb 2021) top spot for Beef Shorthorn Cow or Heifer, Female Champion, Best Exhibitor Bred, and overall Breed Champion – before judge Jimmy Mcmillan decided she deserved the interbreed title. All the time, she had her bull calf Highsky Tomahawk at foot. 

“She was our first homebred Shorthorn and has had such a great run of success," said Mrs Birch.

“We’d like to be at the Three Counties Show – and it would be the dream to take Interbreed Champion at the Royal Welsh later in the summer." 

Reserve champion went to Tom Hilsdon and Aimee Hunter with their homebred British Limousin, Poole Treasure, a January 2022-born heifer out of Wilodge Mizdiamante, sired by Powerful Irish.

On Friday, May 31, the Interbreed Supreme Champions for dairy, sheep and pigs took place.

Scooping the Dairy Interbreed Supreme Championship was the Holstein Withamhall Pepper Hester 4 EX92. Bred and exhibited by Clare Cox, the fourth calver was haltered a mere three weeks before the show. 

Ms Cox added: “Last year, just after the Dairy Show, we had the classifier at the farm and they asked if we’d taken her to the Dairy Show.

“They were quite surprised when we said we hadn’t because I wasn’t sure if, at the time, she was good enough.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet. She’s a fantastic cow – recording >14,000 litres over a 305-day lactation – she literally walked out of the parlour the day before the show, so she really is a working cow.”

Reserve went to the Devon-based Greenway Ayrshires for Greenway Ross Great Jubilee – last year’s Interbreed Dairy Champion. She was bred by Les and Tracey Rockett and exhibited by their daughter Abi Marshall.

Ms Marshall said: "She’s a really excellent cow. Producing 42 litres/day – she’s a tank but well balanced with a very good udder and mobility.

“At nine years old she’s still got it – we were also very pleased with her Reserve Champion Interbreed title at Devon County Show earlier in May.”

A two-shear Border Leicester Westforth Walk On, shown by Jock and Katherine Muirhead, took the Interbreed Sheep Supreme Championship after clinching the Native Champion title.

Mrs Muirhead added: “We’re overwhelmed and so proud.

“It makes all the late nights and hard work worthwhile.”

Reserve spot went to Chris and Nick Lockyer’s Crayola Galentine – their Dutch Spotted shearling ewe - which also took Breed Champion and Continental Champion.

During the Royal Bath & West Show, the Southdown Sheep Society’s National Show took place. Jonathan and Chrissie Long’s unbeaten shearling ewe Chaileybrook 23/01772, became the National Champion.

In the pig pen, the Interbreed Supreme Champion featured the rare British Lop pig and the lesser known Duroc, a breed originating from the USA. To the delight of the Loveless family from Dorset, it was Hayley Loveless’ Duroc gilt - Hazeway Havnbjerg – which claimed top spot.

Judge Steve Richardson said: “They were all strong contenders. I choose the Duroc as my Supreme Champion – she’s got the best conformation I’ve seen here and is just a superb gilt, with good feet and movement.”

Reserve went to Martin Snell’s Yeovil-based homebred Large Black, Sock Doreen 251.