The future of the Three Counties Show’s dairy classes must be in doubt after no adult Holsteins were forward this year and only one
Entries have been in decline for several years, with organisers blaming fears about bovine TB and the pressures faced by smaller farm labour forces.
Potential exhibitors visiting the 2008 event could have been forgiven for wondering what kudos there might be in making an effort to enter dairy cattle next year. Messrs Murray’s Jersey cow Fourcrosses Centurian Pine took the overall dairy award.
The problems faced by all livestock shows this year also reduced the number of beef cattle and sheep entered, but both breed and interbreed judges praised the quality of the stock paraded at Malvern in Worcestershire.
Bill Quan from Pontrilas in neighbouring Herefordshire, who judged interbreed beef championships, was particularly fulsome about Chris Turney’s home bred Charolais cow Hamilton Vogue, which took the interbreed beef championship.
The April 2004 born cow from Mr Turney’s 30 cow herd at Tibberton in Gloucestershire, shown with calf at foot, looked superb as stockman Charlie Fairburn paraded her in bright sunshine.
“She is so feminine and correct that, as soon as she entered the ring, there was only one position I could place her in,” said Mr Quan, who had earlier made her continental beef breed champion.
It was the first time the Three Counties judging schedule had included separate interbreed awards for continental and native beef breeds. The native championship went to Douglas Scott’s very senior
When she reached the overall championship showdown Mr Quan said the venerable nine year old was still a fine looking breeding cow that had clearly done a good job in her owner’s 90 cow herd at Moreton in Marsh, but the Charolais champion had the edge on the day.
A pair of British Simmentals exhibited by Boddington Estates Ltd at
John Forsyth travelled from Maybole in Ayrshire to judge the interbreed sheep championships and he was not disappointed by the number or quality of the entries forward.
Having selected two separate champions from terminal sire breeds and the rest he had to pick one as overall winner. Many at ringside thought he would go for the stylish Kerry Hill champion, superbly shown by his breeder Dick Powell from Powys.
Because his 80 ewe flock is in a bluetongue free area Mr Powell has located a separate team of seven show animals outside
Despite his efforts to take the top sheep championship at Malvern for the third time, Mr Powell had to concede to Charollais breeder David Roberts.
An outstanding home bred yearling ewe, which had earlier taken the terminal sire breed championship, took the show’s ultimate sheep accolade for his flock of 65 Charollais females based at
The ewe also teamed up with a Daffurn and Curtis ram to take the interbreed pairs championship for the Charollais breed, with an excellent
One of the biggest smiles of the day was on Amanda Thomas’s face after she and William Edwards picked up the interbreed pig championship with their rising three- year-old, home-bred British Saddleback sow Pantysgawen Dinah.
It was the first championship win at Malvern for the couple who run only 15 pigs on a smallholding at Newbridge in Gwent.