NOTED County Durham Charolais breeder, Steve Nesbitt made a highly successful 400-mile round trip to the Royal Show in Warwickshire this week.

He claimed top male award and overall reserve breed honours on Monday and two days later his winning entry, Maerdy Primeminister, teamed up with the Charolais champion to take reserve honours in the coverted Burke Trophy.

The three-year-old Primeminister was making his debut in the ring after being secured in Perth in February 2001 for a joint 28,000gns by Steve Nesbitt and Border Charolais breeder, Tom Arnott, who farms near Kelso.

Primeminister was the day's champion at Perth and also the top lot.

Sired by the full French-bred Maerdy Grimaldi, he was shown in his working clothes, having run with the Nesbitt family's 15-cow herd at Winston, near Darlington, and before moving on to run with the Arnott's 40-cow herd.

For the Nesbitts, it was their first-ever major win at the Royal, although they had been in the tickets on many other occasions, including securing the overall reserve junior Charolais title with their homebred heifer, Alwent Peregrin, in 2000.

Peregrin returned to the ring this week and claimed the reserve female Charolais award.

North Yorkshire Charolais breeders, Mike and Margaret Atkinson of Kirkby Malzeard were also among the winners.

Their 18-month-old bull, Mowbraypark Starlight, was reserve junior male champion on Monday.

Two days later, he went on to stand in pole place in the Marks & Spencer Beefbreeder Championship, an interbreed award which combines conformation and performance data.

Starlight, making his debut in the show ring at the Royal, is by the French sire Ijoufflu, out of a homebred cow and was within the Charolais breed's top 5pc on Beef Value.