First place for Suffolk ram

A THREE-year-old ram was first in the show catalogue and first in the show ring on day one of the Suffolk Show yesterday as the Suffolk sheep championship returned to the breed's home county.

Duncan Brodie

A THREE-year-old ram was first in the show catalogue and first in the show ring on day one of the Suffolk Show yesterday as the Suffolk sheep championship returned to the breed's home county.

At number 3001, Tomcroft Javelin, owned by Chris and Sarah Partridge from Kersey, near Hadleigh, was the first sheep listed in the catalogue and, having opened proceedings by winning his class, he also finished off the judging by claiming the overall Best Exhibit title.

On the basis of not changing a winning team, Javelin was shown on all three occasions yesterday - also including the male championship - by the Partridge's daughter, Alice.

The Partridges, who won the breed championship at the Royal Norfolk Show last year with a shearling ewe and will be defending their title there in July, have a flock of around 100 breeding ewes which they use to produce lambs for onward breeding.

Mr Partridge said Tomcroft Javelin had been purchased as a lamb and had already sired some good lambs.

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“We have been showing hear for about 25 years, and I think it must be about 10 years since we last won the breed championship,” he added.

The champion female Suffolk, and reserve overall, was a flock ewe belonging to, and shown by, Gordon Beddie from Swaffham, Norfolk, who won the breed title at the Suffolk Show last year.

Both Mr Beddie and the Partridges achieved their success with a single class win, meaning a frustrating day for the Pinny family from Holcot, near Northampton, who won a total of six classes - including all but one of those for females - and yet missed out on championship success.

Besides the breed champion, there were two other class wins for exhibitors from the breed's home county yesterday - a shearling ewe owned by Stephen Cobbald from Acton, near Sudbury, and a pair of untrimmed ram lambs owned by Val Wolton, from East Bergholt.

There was also a “home win” in the Hampshire Down section, where the breed championship went to an untrimmed ram lam owned by Jim Cresswell from Wattisfield, near Diss.

However, he was not present to witness his success - the latest in a long line of championships - as he was away judging at the Bath & West Show at Shepton Mallet in Somerset, which shares the Suffolk Show's coveted half-term dates.

Among the Texels, however, Terry and Jenny Prentice, from Creeting St Mary, near Needham Market, narrowly missed out on another breed champion, with the title going to a shearling ewe owned by N & E Pamplin from Ringstead in Northamptonshire.

The Prentices took reserve with a senior ram and also won a further class with a ewe lamb while there was also a class win for Sue Rawlings, from Nayland, with a ram lamb.