THE National Beef Association’s Beef Expo 2014 attracted more than 6,500 visitors to Hexham mart on Thursday of last week.

The highlight of the day saw Neil Slack from Newby Farm, Penrith, take the National Spring Spectacular Show supreme cattle championship with Watabootie.

A Limousin-cross heifer, she was also last year’s champion of champions at Northumberland County Show.

Mr Slack said: “It is absolutely tremendous to win this award at the British Beef industry’s key annual event, and with it being on my very own doorstep.”

The reserve supreme title went to Welsh man Tecwyn Jones’ British Blue cross steer, Will.I.Am.

Philip Parrott judged the native and continental classes and the supreme championship.

He said: “The way that cattle breeding has evolved over the last ten years is amazing, and there has been a tremendous show of cattle here in Hexham with not one bad beast.

“The Supreme was a very wellbalanced heifer, well-fleshed throughout its body with tremendous length. The reserve was exceptionally well-balanced and it certainly was a challenge to pick a winner.”

The overall Baby Beef championship went to County Down’s Dermot Small’s heifer, Khaleesi.

The reserve was J W Wilkinson’s baby steer, iTunes.

The British Charolais Cattle Society’s youth team beat seven others, including one from Canada, to win the Young Show Stars Challenge for 14 to 23-year-olds.

Over 24 hours, each team completed a number of tasks including animal preparation, handling and parading cattle, presenting and stock judging.

The winners won the Duke of Northumberland Trophy and a trip to the Royal Canadian Agricultural Winter Fair to compete in the National Junior 4H Beef Cattle Competition in early November.

The British Blondes team was runner-up and Limousin Scotland third.

Four seminars were well attended and the Beef from the Dairy Herd exhibition and demonstration, supported by Eblex and XL Vets, was very well received.

Lord de Mauley, Defra Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Science, visited the event and met with the National Beef Association and key industry stakeholders.

Other visitors included delegations from Ireland, Norway, Canada and Poland.

Robert Addison, chairman of Beef Expo and director of Hexham and Northern Marts, thanked all who attended and helped with the event.