Tomschoice Matador charges to supreme championship at Northern Limousin Extravaganza Ole! was the call, as an up-and-coming pedigree bull, Tomschoice Matador, charged to a supreme championship success at the 2017 Northern Limousin Extravaganza (NLE), the opening day of Skipton Auction Mart’s annual two-day breed showcase. (Tues, May 9)



Bred by the renowned Tomschoice pedigree Limousin herd of James and Sarah Cooper, based at Hill Top Farm, Dacre, Harrogate, the January, 2016, Matador first won his show class before progressing to become pedigree male, then overall champion.

He is by the Irish-bred Carwin Icaros, who was himself supreme champion at the Northern Limousin Extravaganza several years ago and supreme champion at main breed show and sale last May, out of the Homebyres Drummie daughter, Tomschoice Gauche.

The 2017 victor, a maternal brother to Tomschoice Imperial, who has been sold to stud with the National Cattle Breeding Centre in Ireland, also appeared at the following day’s Craven Limousin Day show and sale, where he again excelled to become junior male champion, reserve male champion and overall reserve champion, before selling for 4,600gns.

The reserve supreme championship fell to the commercial champion, a Limousin-sired heifer known as Rio from Cumbrian breeder Neil Slack, of Plumtree House, Newby, near Penrith, another familiar face at the early season breed highlight for youngsters produced the previous year.

The January-born Rio is by Rossignol, acquired in 2002 by a good friend, fellow Cumbrian breeder John Richardson, of Appleby, and who has done so well for Mr Slack over many years of use, notably at the NLE, where the French-bred sire was also responsible for his 2015 supreme champion.

While the majority of the youngsters were entering the exhibition arena for the first time – and gaining valuable experience from it – that was not the case with Rio, who has already made her mark on the show circuit.

She was the champion calf at Smithfield last year, reserve calf at the Scottish Winter Fair and reserve female at the English Winter Fair. Mr Slack said she was also due to participate at the 2017 Beef Expo the week following the NLE and will be further paraded on the summer show circuit.

Show judge, Ian Wildgoose, who runs the Scarcliffe pedigree herd in Derbyshire and is also a well-known breeder of commercial Limousins, said he found it very difficult to choose between his two principals, both ideal types for their respective breeding and fattening roles. For him, the pedigree just edged it and he also described the commercial entry as “fantastic.”

Also making sweet music for the Coopers was Tomschoice Mozart, second in class to Matador, who then became reserve bull and reserve pedigree champion. He is a March-born son of Kaprico Eravelle, who also has five well-bred sons at stud around the UK and Ireland. Mozart will be paraded on the summer show circuit with a view to sale later this year. Matador and Mozart also paired up to win a standalone show class for pedigree pairs.

Taking top honours among the pedigree females was the February, 2016, Barrons Maisey, from father and son, John and Ben Richardson, who, while long-time commercial breeders, now  run a relatively new pedigree herd, Mystyle Limousins, at Ghyll House, Appleby, in Cumbria. Maisey, who is by the 40,000gns Mereside Godlolphin, was acquired from Northumberland breeder and North East Limousin Breeders Club stalwart Willie Barron earlier this year.

Reserve female champion was Norman Marcey, from Cumbrian husband and wife, Ian and Angela Grisedale, who run the long-established Angiean pedigree herd at Green Mount Farm, Crooklands, Kendal.

Also noted Herdwick sheep breeders, they acquired the February-born heifer in Spring this year for 3,000gns from fellow Cumbrian breeders, Eric and Elaine Norman, of Carlisle. She is a daughter of their top-producing stock bull, Claragh Franco, and was shown by the Grisedales’ 19-year-old son John, who starts an agricultural degree course at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, this September, ahead of which he will parade Marcey on the local show circuit.

Procters Farm in Slaidburn, the 2016 NLE supreme champions, returned to take first and second prizes in a third heifer show class with a brace of May-born youngsters. The red rosette winner, Procters Myleiha, is a daughter of Haltcliffe Dancer and has breeding lines that go back to Greenwell Leiha, one of the foundation cows in the Procters herd over 20 years ago. The runner-up, Procters Majesty, is by their former 28,000gns stock bull, Ampertaine Hotshot.

Back with the bulls, also picking up a red rosette were the Priestley family, who run the Brontemoor herd at Cracrop Farm, Kirkcambeck, near Brampton, with Brontemoor Master, by Lodge Hydro, bred by Stirlingshire’s Ian Callion. Three generations of the family are involved in the operation - Michael, his son Steven, wife Ruth and their children, Richard and Sara. Master also appeared at the following day’s main breed show and sale, where he sold for 4,000gns.

Another first prize bull was Swalesmoor Monty from Scottish Borders breeders and first-time NLE exhibitors, Kedzlie Farm, of Blainslie, near Galashiels in Selkirkshire, owned by Danny Sawrij. The ten-month-old is by Dinmoor Goldeneye, acquired from breeder Paul Dawes in Hereford.

Returning to the commercial section, reserve female champion was the second prize winner in the same show class as the reserve supreme champion. The January-born Milly was shown by Colin and Alison Sutcliffe, of Blue Bell Farm, Wetwang, Driffiield. She is a home-bred out of a British Blue cow from the Hutchinson family in Barnard Castle.

“We have only been breeding for two years and this is our first real success in the show arena, so we are over the moon,” said Mrs Sutcliffe. She and her husband also run their own on-farm butchery, Blue Bell Farm Meats, which only opens on a Friday. They sell meat from their own cattle in the shop.

A nice story unfolded, much to the delight of the packed ringside, when nine-year-old Matthew Bentley won a red rosette in one of the commercial heifer show classes with his March-born Bitsy, ahead of Itsy, shown by his father, Craig, who farms with his partner Rachel Mudd, Matthew’s mum, at The Gables, Kepwick, near Thirsk.

Matthew, a pupil at Knayton School, Thirsk, has been farming-mad since the age of four and is already an accomplished hand in the show arena, having himself prepared Bitsy for the NLE. She was acquired from Messrs Rochester and Murray, of Bishop Auckland, and is a daughter of their own Haneve Hogan. Itsy, the April-born runner-up, is by the Hexham-bred Telfers Jackflash.

The family then went on to claim a second red rosette with their April-born Limousin-sired commercial bullock, Hammy, by Lodge Hamlet, and again shown by young Matthew

Neil Slack also returned to pick up a second red rosette in the commercial heifer show section with his ten-month-old Flash Dance, another well-bred daughter of Rossingnol

The fixture– full results are posted at – attracted a record 97-strong entry, and offered prize money of £1,500. Again supported by the North East Limousin Breeders Club, it attracted multiple sponsors, notably the Skipton NFU branch.