A Dorset sheep breeder from west Wales took top honours in a huge entry of more than 2,100 Dorset sheep at the prestigious Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset May Fair in Exeter.

The entry, which was well up on last year, saw 1,887 pedigree and commercial go under the hammer with Kivells auctioneers, following the first day of showing.

The first major sheep breeding sale in the farming calendar attracted entrants from all across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with some top quality stock.

More than 180 of the UK’s finest Dorset sheep competed for top honours at the show, with David Lewis from Narberth, Pembrokeshire, scooping the supreme championship with his poll yearling ram Pembroke Zupreme Z172.

Sired by Ballytaggart Upstart U873 and out of Pembroke S139, this ram really caught judge Andrew Kingdon’s eye.

Rapid bidding saw Zupreme become the first to reach the 2,000gns threshold, quickly followed by the best Signet recorded ram, David Rossiter’s Huish Action, by Huish Zodiac. The buyers were Bristol-based CJ Whiting and Sherborne-based Robert Hole, respectively.

Mr Lewis, who keeps 300 pedigree Poll Dorset ewes and 250 commercial sheep at Llangwathen, identified Zupreme as a potential winner at an early stage.

“I always thought he could be the right sheep, but you just don’t know how they will turn out until you start feeding them and shearing them. He’s very powerful and just handles so well.”

Completing Mr Lewis’s perfect day was his ewe lamb Pembroke Amaretto A9, which managed to take the champion female title as well. By Richhill Wallace and out of Pembroke S2, this poll ewe lamb was born in September 2017 and went on to sell for 700gns to Chesterfield-based THC Weston.

“To win the female and male championships in the same day is just unreal,” said Mr Lewis. “I’ve only kept Dorsets for nine years so I try and select the cream of the crop to bring here and get my name established.”

Other notable top sellers included another of David Lewis’s – Pembroke Autumn Gold – at 1,800gns.

Overall, breeding ewes averaged £139.44, with MV accredited ewes settling at £203.66. MV ewe lambs levelled at £186.11, while MV rams averaged £741.27. Registered ewe lambs levelled at £163.82, with unregistered ewes and lambs coming in at £164.56.

For more information visit dorsetsheep.org.uk.