The quality of farming in north Northumberland was demonstrated at a recent agricultural show, with a host of awards going to cattle producers from Coquetdale.
The success was at Hexham and Northern Marts’ last sale in September, which was also the first of their special autumn prize show sales of store cattle, featuring predominantly native breed types.
Leading the way at the show were brothers Derek and Vincent Milburn, of Holling Hill, Netherwitton.
They took the top accolade by winning the Martin Wallace Memorial Challenge Cup, with a ‘well grown and shapely’ red roan beef shorthorn cross-heifer, aged 18 months.
The winners had purchased the animal 12 months previously from the breeder and near-neighbour in the Simonside Hills, David Milburn, farm manager for Lord Max Percy on his Blue Burn hill farming enterprise.
Experts said: “The lovely heifer was tremendously correct, exceptionally quiet and an outstanding example of a modern beef shorthorn, displaying typical trademark broken red-and-white colouring and an animal that would suit either a feeding or a breeding enterprise.”
Meanwhile, a clean sweep of the Angus pens of four was achieved by Jimmy and Claire Walton, of Flotterton – aided by stockmen Callum Storrow and Grant Cummings – who took home first, second and third prize for three square pens of black Angus steers.
The trio of Coquetdale winners was completed by the aforementioned David Milburn, who expertly turned out his offering of Luing cattle to take the Luing Cattle Society Championship with a tremendous bullock. He also scooped first and second prize rosettes for his pens of four steers.
Chris Armstrong, auctioneer and valuer at the mart, praised the efforts of the Coquetdale farmers. He said: “It was a fine display. Coquetdale is a renowned lifestock-producing areas, but I have never seen as many prizes won at one show by Coquetdale producers.”