Hexham and Northern Marts held their annual two-day prize show and sale of store cattle and suckled calves this week with a record number of applicants registered.

With classes of both halter-led and unhaltered calves, the catalogue was dominated by the Limousin and British Blue breeds, all from local consignors, whilst steer and heifer classes were also contested.

The overall champion and winner of the John Davison Millennium Trophy was a jet black bullock, from Messrs Rochester & Murray, Glebe Farm, County Durham, which had been bred and handled by three generations of the Murray family.

Ashley Murray said: “After several years competing, we are delighted to have won with what we consider to be one of the best calves we have ever bred.”

The female champion was a red Limousin heifer, from John Smith-Jackson, High Town, in Melkridge.

The business of marketing began with the sale of a Limousin Cross Steer, of 23 months, sold for £1,275 from Messrs Thompson, of Duddo Hill, Morpeth, whilst a pen of four from Messrs Browell, Quarry House, Hexham, were the focus of spirited bidding.

But, it was the show champion, the Limousin steer, and the reserve overall female champion that rang the bell at Hexham, selling for £2,300 and £5,000 respectively, to Messrs Kitson and Messrs Anderson.

Messrs Lee, of Harwoodshield, Hexhamshire, enjoyed success with a run of six well turned out calves rewarded with rosettes and one of the top prices of the sale.

The Young Farmers' overwintered calf competition will be held next week.