Limousin heifer Sassy Lassy reigns supreme at 2016 East of England Smithfield Festival

Judge Gavin Scott with supreme overall champion and Jennifer Hyslop
Judge Gavin Scott with supreme overall champion and Jennifer Hyslop

The 2016 East of England Smithfield Festival was held over two days on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th November at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

The event which is carved into the livestock industry history books for the quality cattle was another terrific day for the Limousin breed which is again dominating the early 2016 Winter Primestock shows.

Sassy Lassy, overall champion Smithfield 2016

Sassy Lassy, overall champion Smithfield 2016

Winning the show’s supreme overall champion, under the watchful eye of well-known judge for the day Gavin Scott, West Lothian, was the Limousin sired heifer Sassy Lassy from Ayrshire’s Jennifer Hyslop.

Commenting on his champion, Gavin Scott said: “When she first entered the ring she just had that bit of something special about her. She had a presence and style, great length and handled well. She was exactly the sort of animal I was looking for and more.”

Brought forward and turned out to perfection by Jennifer Hyslop, Balluskie Farm, Girvan, Ayrshire, the May 2015 born Sassy Lassy weighed in at 592kgs on show day and was bred by John Smith-Jackson, Hightown Farm, Melkridge, Haltwhistle.

Sired by Waindale UFO, she was purchased from Leyburn Market back in March and has already seen success in the show ring this summer.

When she first entered the ring she just had that bit of something special about her. She had a presence and style, great length and handled well. She was exactly the sort of animal I was looking for and more.

Gavin Scott, West Lothian

In July she was a winner at the BLCS National Limousin Show and more recently also at Borderway Agri-Expo, Carlisle.

In October she was also Limousin champion and reserve heifer champion at Countryside Live.

Commenting on her championship win Jennifer Hyslop said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, very proud and honoured to have won this prestigious award. It really is the title that all exhibitors aim to win.”

It’s the first ever time in the Smithfield history that the overall championship has been won by a brother and sister on separate occasions. Jennifer’s brother Drew won the top honour back in 2013. 

Baby beef champion Limousin sired heifer Rio from NE Slack

Baby beef champion Limousin sired heifer Rio from NE Slack

It is also a first Smithfield Championship for John Smith-Jackson, the breeder of Sassy Lassy, with his cattle having been Reserve Overall on two previous occasions.  

After a tremendous couple of days for Jennifer Hyslop and family the supreme overall champion Sassy Lassy went on to sell for a mighty £10,000.

She was purchased by Alex and Carolyn Paton, Cairnhill Farm, Old Dailly, Girvan for their family-run, multi-award winning butcher’s business.  

Earlier on the first day W Richardson and Son, Ghyll House, Dufton, Cumbria clinched the overall pure continental championship with the pedigree heifer Romford Jola.

Red Hot, overall steer champion, Dickie Wright

Red Hot, overall steer champion, Dickie Wright

The November 2014 embryo heifer, sired by Carmorn Copilot and out of Sarkley Ola, was a recent purchase for the Mystyle prefix of W Richardson and Son with them having paid 10,000gns for her at the BLCS Breeders’ sale at Carlisle in October this year.

The overall steer and exhibitor bred championship went to Dickie Wright, Bowers Hill, Somerset with the Limousin sired Red Hot.

The August 2015 born steer weighed in at 588kgs on show day and had recently been reserve bred and fed champion at last week’s Beef South West event.

Dickie Wright commented: “This is my first championship at a Smithfield Festival and I’m very pleased to have won the Kings Cup with my steer Champion. He’s sired by Bailea Spunkie who has bred very well for me winning numerous other prizes over the last few years. I try and AI all my cows with him as he clicks so well.”

Hot on the heels of the steer champion was Neil Slack, Penrith who took the reserve overall steer championship as well as the reserve exhibitor bred titles with his June 2015 born steer Red Alert. This son of the famous show calf producer Rossignol had been Champion Exhibitor Bred at the Countryside Live event.

On the second day of the show, Gavin Scott was back in the ring to judge the baby beef championship which was awarded to Rio, another entry from Neil Slack. The January 2016 born heifer, Rio weighed in at 382kgs and is again sired by Rossignol and out of a homebred Blue cross cow.

Red Alert, reserve overall steer, Neil Slack

Red Alert, reserve overall steer, Neil Slack

Neil commented: “I’ve had a great show and it’s always an honour winning somewhere like this against the quality of cattle forward. Rio will next head to the English Winter Fair this upcoming weekend and LiveScot thereafter and then I plan to show her next summer.”

Reserve overall baby beef champion was also sired by a Limousin sire. Moto, born in February 2016 was bred and exhibited by J L and D A Davies, Clifton Mill Farm, Rugby. Sired by Brutus Cracker and out of a Blue cross Lim cow, Moto weighed 404kgs on show day.

Limousin pure champion Romford Jola from W Richardson and Son

Limousin pure champion Romford Jola from W Richardson and Son