A week ago today I was busy getting things ready at the showground and stock were beginning to arrive. It’s mad to tell you that as of last night all of the livestock pens are down, mucked out, pressure washed and marquees down.
As many of you will know I am passionate about the Royal Three Counties Show and this year it was an honour to be once again the Official Young Ambassador to the Three Counties Agricultural Society with Mr Adam Henson being the Official Ambassador.
Talking about Mr Henson on Friday it was a real honour to be asked to host ‘an audience with Adam Henson’ in the Wellington Boot theatre where we discussed many different topics over the 45 minutes. It was a packed event where we talked about many topics including education plus the chance for the audience to ask questions they have always wanted to ask with one of the favourite questions being about Eric the world famous Highland Bull who was bought up at the Oban Bull sales many years ago. The audience were saddened to learn that he is no longer at the farm but were informed that a Royal Bull has been purchased to replace Eric called Archie. I would personally like to thank Adam Henson for all his support he has given me for numerous years and also for all his work he does as the ambassador to the Royal Three Counties. It won’t be long until we are back working together with CountryFile Live being not far away.
On Friday it was the main day for all of the livestock breeds to be judged. At one stage there were 25 rings being judged at once which was a bit of a logistical nightmare from my point of view but without the support of the volunteer ring stewards it wouldn’t be possible. In the cattle section the rings kicked off at 08:30 with the local breed the Herefords starting their long stint in ring number 1. There were 112 different animals entered in this section meaning judge Mr Kemp who travelled down from County Durham had his hands full however he judged his classes professionally and diligently with his Overall Breed Champion coming from D E, E D & A L Jones with exhibit number 82 a Heifer born on or between 1st September 2016 and 31st December 2016. She really was a beautiful Heifer with the reserve coming from the same home with a Bull who was a little younger being exhibit number 24.
It was a real spectacle to watch a breed that has been growing in numbers at the Royal Three Counties over the past few years the Highlands .This year they were out in force with some classes hosting 10 entries which is amazing to see. A heifer born in 2015 was made the champion from Messrs M J & V M Monk by judge Mr A Hill. I must mention the Beef Shorthorns whom were in the Any Other Beed Breed class only two years ago due to poor entry numbers this year hosted 34 entries with the championship going to Mr P Dawes with Dinmore Zoe Katrina a Heifer born in 2016.
In the sheep section it was a busy old day with all rings being used. In the Suffolk section it was success once again for W H Sinnett from Stockton with his strong Tup Lamb who was by a homebred tup. The reserve went to a big gimmer from Mr R Lawrence. It will be interesting to see how they get on at the sales this year.
It was once again the English National Show for the Beltex Sheep Society with an amazing 160 entries which we believe to be a record number for a single breed at the show. It was amazing to watch these classes taking place due to the massive numbers entered which made it a hard job for Mr Burleigh who travelled over from County Fermanagh to judge. One class hosted 32 gimmers with the ewe lamb class hosting 30. It was a gimmer from Mr P & Mrs C Tippets that took the Breed Championship with a Ram Lamb from the same stable being placed in reserve.
A breed that is the same size as the Beltex is the Blue Texel which also had great entries and this year I think it was the best display of Blue Texel’s seen at the Royal Three Counties with the championship going to a gimmer from Mr D B Roberts. She really was a truly incredible sheep being correct all over and handled superbly. Mr Roberts didn’t only just take home the Breed Championship in the Blue Texel’s he also took home the Championship in the British Charollais classes this time with a massive Aged Ewe also taking reserve with a ewe lamb. The Royal Three Counties played host this year to the Southdown Sheep Society National Show with the Overall Breed Championship going to an Aged Ram from Mr Jonathon Long. I will talk more about this sheep a bit later.
The afternoon was when the Terminal Sire Progeny Group Championship was judged by popular livestock auctioneer Mr Lyndon Trumper from Monmouthshire. It was the turn of the British Charollais to take the championship with a very smart group of three once again from Mr D B Roberts with this year the Beltex group from Tippetts and Williams being placed in reserve.
A few pictures I took on my phone during the week:
Saturday was Interbreed Day which is always an exciting day with Breed Champions from all sections getting spruced up ready to show themselves off in front of the judge against all of the other breeds.
Before the Sheep Interbreed could take place there were still many breed classes to take place with one of my new favourite breeds being the Black Welsh Mountain. They may only be a small breed in size however the breed champion was one of the sweetest sheep I’ve seen for a long time. Maybe one day I will buy a few however will need to make sure the fences are all sorted due to their small size compared to the Suffolks we have. There is always a large selection of Jacobs on offer and this year was no different with Mr Chapman from Derbyshire taking up the challenge of judging the large classes however concluded that the Aged ram taking the Overall Championship from Mr R F Price.
Once all of the Breed Classes were over it was the turn for Mr Charles Sercombe from Leicestershire to take up the role of Judging the Interbreed Breed Sheep Championships. First of all it was the Terminal Sire Breeds to take centre stage of which on show was one of the best displays of the Sheep Industry I have ever seen. It was the Southdown which was tapped out as the Champion from Mr Jonathon Long who bought his aged ram from France 2 years ago. It is not often that a 4 year old ram is placed Champion let alone Terminal Sire Champion. In reserve of this section was the Blue Texel gimmer from Mr D B Roberts. In the Other Breeds Section it was the turn of the Poll Dorset to be tapped out as Champion however when put against the Southdown in the Overall Championship Mr Sercombe tapped out the Southdown as the Overall Sheep Interbreed Champion with the Blue Texel in reserve.
Over in the cattle rings it was the turn of the Beef Breed Championships with Mr E W Quick taking up the role as Judge. First of all it was the Pairs championship where the British Limousin was placed overall Continental Pairs Champion with the British Blondes taking reserve. In the Native Pairs competition it was the Aberdeen Angus Pair which were made Champion with the Hereford Pairs in reserve. In the Overall Championship Mr Quick placed the Continental Pair as Champion with Reserve Overall going to the Angus pair.
Mr Quick also had the tough decision to pick his Overall Interbreed Beef Championship however it was the British Blonde Heifer from David and Sue Knight that took the Championship with the Reserve Championship going to the Reserve Continental Champion; a British Limousin from Mr P Dawes shown by Stockman Mr Richard Bartle who judged the British Blondes on the Friday. Mr P Dawes has won the Interbreed Beef Championship for the past four years however it wasn’t to be fifth timer for them.
Pigs are always a big hit at the Royal Three Counties Show and this year was no exception with 273 top quality entries on display. The Interbreed Pig Championship was judged by Mr A W Gregory from North Yorkshire and The George Styles Memorial Trophy which is presented to the Supreme Champion Pig went to Miss Alice Newth with Prestcombe Ally 6 who was a home-bred Landrace gilt. The Reserve Supreme Championship going to a Large Black Sow, Sock Doreen 208 from Martin Snell. The Newth family didn’t just take one breed championship they also took the Any Other Modern Breed Championship and the British Saddleback Championship.
I have just realised how long this blog is so I will stop for the time being and write another one next week regarding my highlights from the Rare and Minority Breeds Show which took place on the Sunday.
Here are some links to look at some pictures from the show:
And for a full list of results please click here: http://www.threecountiesonline.co.uk/frmSearchPrizes.aspx
Until next time;
Please let me know if any of the results are wrong.