Southdown a winner all the way at Suffolk Show for teenager Holly Lutkin

Interbreed sheep
supreme champion
Holly Lutkin with Southdown Solider.
Judge Tom Elliot and past

Interbreed sheep supreme champion Holly Lutkin with Southdown Solider. Judge Tom Elliot and past president Stephen Cobbold

Fifteen-year-old Holly Lutkin beat off competition from a host of more experienced exhibitors to win the sheep inter-breed championship on day two of the Suffolk Show.

Holly, from Marsh Lane, Beccles, was delighted on the first day of the show to land the Southdown breed title with a recently purchased shearling ram.

That was an achievement in itself, with the number of entries in the Southdown classes being one of the highest among the many different breeds on show.

But yesterday she went one better by claiming the inter-breed title, the winner of which is selected from among all the breed champions chosen on day one. Reserve spot went to the Hampshire Down champion, a shearling ewe shown by Harry Middleditch from Belchamp St Paul, near Sudbury.

The inter-breed judge, Tom Elliott, a butcher from Northampton, said the winner was “spot on” in terms of confirmation and handling, with strong show “presence” thrown in. It was a close call between champion and reserve, he added.

Holly, from Marsh Lane, Beccles, has been showing sheep for about four years but began learning about the art of showing livestock at a much earlier age, having worked alongside her parents in showing their Simmental cattle from the age of about five.

She has built up a flock of around 30 Southdown ewes, with her choice of breed initially influenced by having helped another family in showing their Southdowns. Her inter-breed champion ram, which was purchased only a month ago, was bred by Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer from Offham, near Lewes in East Sussex.

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Susan Harmer, who was also exhibiting at the Suffolk Show, said Holly’s success meant that four different sheep bred by the partnership had now won supreme championships this year.

One of her shearling ewes also teamed up with the individual inter-breed champion to claim the inter-breed pairs title for the Southdown breed. The Middleditch family were again second, with their champion shearling ewe and a shearling ram, but there was finally another win for their Hampshire Downs which took first place in the Group of Three contest, ahead of a trio of Susan Harmer’s Southdowns.