North Cantabrians one and two for meat sheep

Charles Miller-Brown (left), of Amberley, was surprised to win supreme champion meat sheep and is congratulated by Felicity O'Reilly - holding the Frank O'Reilly Trophy in memory of her late father - as well as judge Ian Stevenson (right), of Cheviot, and
Charles Miller-Brown (left), of Amberley, was surprised to win supreme champion meat sheep and is congratulated by Felicity O'Reilly - holding the Frank O'Reilly Trophy in memory of her late father - as well as judge Ian Stevenson (right), of Cheviot, and sponsor Dave Clouston (front), of BNZ. Photos: David Hill
Charles Miller-Brown admits he considered scratching his champion 3-year-old Suffolk ram from the New Zealand Agricultural Show.

The Amberley farmer was surprised to win supreme champion meat sheep at Canterbury Agricultural Park on Thursday, November 15, with a ram he considered leaving at home after it was beaten at the Amberley A&P Show last month.

Mr Miller-Brown said it was the biggest win he and partner Emma Simpson had enjoyed since taking over the Limavady Suffolk Stud four years ago from Ms Simpson's parents, who established the stud at Duntroon, North Otago, in 1971.

They began the year well, winning supreme champion sheep at the Banks Peninsula A&P Show in January with the same ram, which was bred by James Gardiner, of the Pinegrove Suffolk Stud at Broomfield, near Amberley.

''The judge said he was 'a very well-balanced sheep and he stands very well', which is important because a meat sheep needs to be able to eat and walk,'' Mr Miller-Brown said.

''He's structurally sound and he's got a good carcass.''

John Burrows, of West Eyreton, near Rangiora, was thrilled to have his entry placed runner-up to the supreme champion meat sheep.
John Burrows, of West Eyreton, near Rangiora, was thrilled to have his entry placed runner-up to the supreme champion meat sheep.
The couple run 350 stud ewes across four stud breeds - Suffolk, white Dorpher, Southdown and Texel.

They enjoyed a successful Canterbury show, claiming best and second-best carcass meat sheep with a Suffolk ram hogget and a white Dorpher ram.

Another North Cantabrian, John Burrows, was runner-up with his Dorset Down ram hogget, with the ram hogget also jointly winning the best meat breed pair competition with a Dorset Down ewe entered by Heriot farmer Fraser Fletcher.

Mr Burrows said the ram hogget would be going on sale at the Canterbury A&P Association ram fair, being held on Friday at Canterbury Agricultural Park.

He runs 120 Dorset Down stud ewes at West Eyreton, near Rangiora, with his fiancee Anastacia Hurndell, who breeds Southdown sheep. His father, Tom Burrows, has Corriedale and Perendale sheep studs ''and we all help each other out''.

Mr Burrows said it had been a busy week, beginning with a working bee at the showgrounds on the Sunday before the show.

After coming up through the junior judging ranks himself, Mr Burrows was turning his attention to supporting other young people, giving advice on stock judging to 16 students from Geraldine High School on the Friday of the show.

-By David Hill

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