At Winter Fairs up and down the country the Southdowns left their mark, with breeders achieving success at all events at which the breed was represented.
The Royal Welsh Winter Fair saw an encouraging number of Southdowns in the line-up across all eligible classes. In both live and dead classes Southdowns swept up the first place rosettes.
Gareth Jones’s Southdown x Welsh carcass was awarded first place in the lamb carcass class (over 32kg up to 45kg liveweight, not containing any continental breeding), competing against 27 entries, of which twelve contained Southdown breeding.
In the class for a pair of Southdown lambs there were eight entries forward, and first place was awarded to Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer, whose winning pair went on to win the reserve championship in the pure lowlands breed section of the competition.
In the class for the pair of lambs up to 90kg combined weight (any breed or cross not containing any continental breeding), it was breeders D S & P Humphrey whose Southdown x Suffolk lambs took second place as the highest placed pair containing Southdown breeding from a total entry of sixteen pairs.
At the Stafford Winter Fair it was Goodwood Estate Co. Ltd whose Southdowns achieved success in both live and dead classes. The Goodwood pair of Southdown lambs was placed first in their class, and it was a Goodwood Southdown x Beltex carcass that was the highest placed Southdown sired carcass in its class.
Goodwood’s success continued at the East of England Smithfield Winter Fair with their lambs being the highest placed Southdown sired lambs.
Nick Page’s winning Goodwood lambs continued their successful Winter Fair series at the South East Prime Stock Winter Fair, winning first prize in the trimmed pure bred (downland) pairs class. In the native crossbred pair of lambs class it was Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer’s Southdown breeding that took the first prize, going on to win the native pure bred ram championship, with fellow Sussex based breeders D, S & P Humphrey taking the reserve championship title.
Southdown sired carcasses also dominated the prize line-up at the South East Prime Stock Winter Fair, with Mr & Mrs Charles Bull winning the first prize for the 13-19kg carcass, and Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer doing likewise in the heavier (20-26kg) class. Mr & Mrs Bull went on to win the championship with Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer’s carcass standing as reserve.
Ashford Cattle Show proved to be another Winter Fair venue where Southdowns reigned supreme. Hazel Long won the class for the best pair of live lambs sired by a Southdown ram, with Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer achieving the best lamb carcass sired by a Southdown ram.