Only a few years after launching a pedigree Limousin cattle breeding programme and on their first-ever foray into the pedigree show arena, Garrowby Farms, of Garrowby, York, achieved a major coup when exhibiting the overall supreme champion at the Northern Limousin Extravaganza at Skipton Auction Mart. (Tues May 8th)

There was a 50-plus entry for the fifth annual show of halter-led pedigree and cross-bred Limousins, an early season highlight that allows 2011-born youngsters to gain valuable experience in the exhibition area.

It formed day one of CCM Skipton’s annual two-day Limousin showpiece, which climaxed with the mart’s premier ‘Craven Limousin Event,’ the annual Spring show and sale of pedigree Limousin bulls and females the following day. Both fixtures were staged in conjunction with the North East Limousin Breeders Club.

Garrowby Farms’ Clive Rowland arrived with just a single entry for the Northern Limousin Extravaganza – and first saw his home-bred Garrowby Gizmo, a 13-month-old son of the renowned Glenrock Ventura, land the pedigree bull championship, before progressing to take supreme honours.

Garrowby Farms’ Clive Rowland with his 2012 Northern Limousin Extravaganza supreme champion, joined by judge Stephen Illingworth

Mr Rowland, who purchased Ventura from North Craven breeder Ian Handley’s Gunnerfleet herd in Chapel-le-Dale three years ago, is better known as a commercial man, running a 125-strong herd of Limousin and British Blue-cross cows, the majority put to Limousin sires to produce suckled calves sold mainly as stores.

Garrowby Farms, which also has a flock of 700 Texel and Mule sheep, had already experienced show success with its commercial holding, but was over the moon with its debut success in such exalted pedigree circles.

Mr Rowland said: “We started with pedigree Limousins some three or four years ago and still only have five pedigree cows. Put it down to beginner’s luck! We may well take our Skipton champion to this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.”

He has every chance to secure further high profile success, as in past years Northern Limousin Extravaganza top performers have gone on to land major prizes at some of the country’s most prestigious shows.

Mark Phillips with the Tomschoice herd’s 2012 Northern Limousin Extravaganza reserve supreme champion, joined by judge Stephen Illingworth

James and Sarah Cooper, whose Tomschoice pedigree herd at Dacre, Harrogate, has enjoyed many successes at the fixture in the past, including last year’s supreme champion, the Haltcliffe Vermount son Tomschoice Fortune, were prominent again at the latest renewal when securing the pedigree bull reserve championship and overall reserve supreme championship.

It fell to their 14-month-old class winner Tomschoice Gladstone, who is by Homebyres Drummie and is the first calf of the Haltcliffe Novel daughter Tomschoice Diamante. The Coopers acquired the sire, bred by John Logan in Kelso, for 15,000gns after he became senior male champion at Carlisle in 2010.

Mr Cooper said he would now be looking to parade his Skipton runner-up at both Otley and Great Yorkshire Shows, before he takes his chance in the sales arena this coming autumn.

Show judge Stephen Illingworth, who runs the Glenrock pedigree Limousin herd at Eaglesfield, Lockerbie, turned to the strong young bulls class for his two leading performers. He observed: “The victor has so much muscle and is so sweet – you just couldn’t go past him, while the reserve is a bigger bull also showing both muscle and style.”

The pedigree female championship fell to the January, 2011-born Millington Gorgeous from Millington Grange Estate, east of York. Shown by head stockman Ian Nattress, she is a daughter of the AI sire Mas Du Clo, who was also responsible for last year’s Skipton pedigree female champion and reserve supreme champion Millington Favourite, a full sister to Gorgeous.

So too was the 2009 Northern Limousin Extravanganza supreme champion Millington Davina, who went on to become junior inter-breed champion at the Great Yorkshire Show, followed by the junior and overall Limousin championship at the Royal Show, before selling for 28,000gns.

The same class also produced the reserve female champion, Corsay Geneva, a 15-month-old daughter of Australien shown by the County Durham-based pedigree herd of father and son Rob and Carl Suddes.

The 2011 Skipton commercial champions, the Rice family, from Church Garth, Carlton, Yeadon, repeated their success this year, also landing the reserve championship for good measure with two quality Limousin-sired entrants shown by brothers Daniel and Stephen Rice.

Daniel Rice with his 2012 Northern Limousin Extravaganza commercial champion heifer, joined by judge Stephen Illingworth

Their success is all the more amazing, as the Rices show cattle only as in interest, raising just a handful on their West Yorkshire smallholding. The champion was their first prize commercial bullock, an 11-month-old son of Rossingal, who was also responsible for the 2011 Skipton victor. The reserve champion, the first prize commercial heifer, is by Vollano. Both animals were bred in Cumbria by John Richardson,  of Ghyll House, Dufton, near Appleby.

Back in the pedigree classes, the Coopers also picked up a red rosette with a Limousin heifer, the 13-month-old Tomshchoice Gold, by same sire as their reserve supreme champion. Millington Grange Estate also won first prize in the pedigree pairs class.

Full results of the Northern Limousin Extravaganza, which carried a total prize fund of £1,400, are posted at In addition to the North East Limousin Breeders Club, other sponsors includes the British Limousin Cattle Society, Ripon Land Rover, Ripon Select Foods, Yorkshire Agricultural Society, AON, I’Anson, LEBC Group, Atlas Business, Natural Stockcare, Elite Beef Semen, Merck Animal Health, Yorkshire Grain and KW/ABAGRI.

For the second year, an open stock judging competition organised by the North East club was run alongside the NLE. The under-18’s winner was Mya Priestley, of Bentham, with Keith Wilson, of Arkendale, Knaresborough, successful in the over-18s category.

The afternoon also presented an opportunity for pre-sale viewing of cattle entered for the following day’s main pedigree Limousin show and sale.