An outstanding display of Southdowns at the breed’s 2015 National Show hosted by the Cheshire County Show saw southern breeders take the pick of the prizes, including the championship and reserve championship awards.
Taking the breed championship from a strong line up was the winner of the ewe lamb class, a January born lamb from Goodwood Estate’s, Chichester, Sussex-based Goodwood flock.
Shown by flock manager Nick Page with the assistance of his daughter, Amy, this ewe lamb is sired by a Ridings ram, by the noted Benoit sire, and is out of a homebred dam.
Judge Brian Glaves said the ewe lamb had been an easy winner of her class, but the championship had been a tight call. “She’s an exceptional lamb, with great breed character and fleshing and moves exceptional well. She’s a sharp, showy lamb and just pipped the reserve champion to the title.”
Reserve championship honours fell to the winner of the aged ram class, Chaileybrook 13/0001 from the Long family’s Chaileybrook flock. Another well travelled animal this one is by the French sire TC4028 and is out of Chaileybrook 05/0002, a ewe which is also dam of the breed male record holder Chaileybrook 12/0008 and the joint female record holder Chaileybrook 13/0002.
Mr Glaves said the ram was a great example of the breed, being full of flesh through his loin and gigot and with great size and character.
“It was an honour to judge such strong classes at the breed’s National Show and I commend all the exhibitors for the quality of the sheep put forward. There were no easy classes to judge and it shows the standard present in the breed across the UK.”
Winning the Northumberland Trophy for the best group of four sheep were Leek, Staffordshire-based Chris and Dave Rhead, while the Cooper Trophy for the best ram lamb was won by Daniel Bunting and family, Hertfordshire.
The Sheila Colman Salver for the best shearling ewe was awarded to the Long family’s shearling ewe which is a full sister to the reserve overall champion.
Next year’s National Southdown Show will take place in August 2016 at Goodwood Estate as part of the Society’s 125th anniversary celebrations.