Archive Article: 1997/05/02 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1997/05/02

2 May 1997

Kent was, strangely enough, the place to be if you wanted to buy Sussex cattle last week…

The Sussex Cattle Societys spring show and sale marks the largest gathering of the breed. And last Thursday at Maidstone saw 60 pedigree animals catalogued, with 140 purebred and crossbred stores of Sussex and other breeds also penned.

If you were at the mart, you might have picked up some sheep equipment. You would have to be quick, though, with just 25 lots to choose from. Among the stakes, buckets, hurdles and halters, was a Ridley Rapper electric fencing system which grossed £380.

Champion bull, Boxted Fanfaron 5th, from L Stevens and Sons, Lower Halstow, made 2000gns to A Walter, Deal. Another went for 1200gns.

Well travelled… Mrs J Brownes annual consignment of North Country Mule ewe tegs, all bought as lambs at Lazonby, Cumbria, were also sold.

Bulling heifers sold to 560gns on several occasions and cows with calves making to 760gns for a March 1993-born cow with her November- born bull calf. Interest was strong in the best heifers but – in line with the store trade – selling the poorer sorts was harder work, according to auctioneer Alan Mummery of Lambert and Foster. And this despite the breed representing the "ultimate low cost suckler cow".

The same day also saw the dispersal of the Graffham Southdown flock for Mr and Mrs E D Dickson, Petworth. Ewes and lambs averaged £32.63 a life.

The ewe tegs averaged £83. A fair price, said the auctioneers, given the dry weather and the shortage of keep.

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Archive Article: 1997/05/02

2 May 1997

CORRECTION

CONTRARY to our report last week, top price at the Brockhurst Limousin herd sale at Chesham, Bucks, was 5200gns paid by Mrs E J Bell, North Berwick, Scotland, for the imported cow Irlande.

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Archive Article: 1997/05/02

2 May 1997

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is just as concerned about the survival of traditional breeds of horses and ponies as it is about pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry. These Shire horses and Eriskay ponies went to the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, for the launch of a campaign to encourage people to make bequests to the charity. The Eriskay pony breed, which originated in the Outer Hebrides, is a recent addition to the trusts list, but Shire horses are now so numerous that they are a minority breed rather than a rare one. These Shires are from the Whitbread Hop Farm and the Eriskays belong to Mrs Mel Bourner, also from Kent.

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is just as concerned about the survival of traditional breeds of horses and ponies as it is about pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry. These Shire horses and Eriskay ponies went to the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, for the launch of a campaign to encourage people to make bequests to the charity. The Eriskay pony breed, which originated in the Outer Hebrides, is a recent addition to the trusts list, but Shire horses are now so numerous that they are a minority breed rather than a rare one. These Shires are from the Whitbread Hop Farm and the Eriskays belong to Mrs Mel Bourner, also from Kent.

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Archive Article: 1997/05/02

2 May 1997

tance out precisely while he was camped, for six days, within sight of the peak, waiting, hoping, for a break in the weather. It never came.

Temperatures on Everest will be below freezing at base camp, dropping to below -26C(-20F) as he goes higher. Add to that the wind chill factor. Hardly T-shirt weather.

Spring snow showers could be a problem. Theres the continual threat of avalanches – not to mention the danger of breakages, strains or altitude sickness. On many days, Chriss rucksack will weigh more than 30kg (67lb). At the very least, hell will come home 12.6kg (2st) lighter than when he left.

"And remember, even if you get to the summit of a mountain, youre actually only half way there, because you have to come down as well. You cant stop concentrating for a second. You can only relax when youre back at base camp."

Yes, Chris is afraid. "I have fear because its Everest," he says. "But my biggest fear is of failing."

With no way of getting in touch with his wife, Susan, and 19-year-old son, Matthew, it can be a time of loneliness.

Keeping a diary helps. Its also useful material for the talks and slide shows he gives which raise money for charity. Last winter he was doing three a week, collecting £6000 in the process.

One, in particular, he remembers was a farmers discussion group at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. Over £300 was raised that night.

The months before departure for Everest on Mar 23 saw him intensify his training programme. Long-distance running, plus regular trips to the gym and the climbing wall have been high on the agenda.

In the hills above Ripon, along the lanes, around the cricket field, Chris could be seen running. Stopping, only occasionally, in pubs. "For water, and nothing else," he stresses.

Not forgetting, of course, the day-to-day business of arable, potato and beef farming at the 240ha (600-acre) North End Farm at Baldersby.

And it will be to his farm that Chriss thoughts keep returning as he tackles Everest.

"Its great to get back from a trip and smell greenery. The smell of soil, of newly-ploughed earth.

"Not to mention a kiss from the wife and a hot bath."

*To make a donation or sponsor Chris ring (01765-640398)

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