A good display of the best of finished cattle in the region were forward at Ashford Market last week. Judge, Sean Hutchings of Partridge Green had a tough time picking his champion finally tapping his supreme title to a superb Sussex heifer, ideal for the retail butchery world.
Forward from Messrs Chandler and Dunn, Ash, Canterbury this one went on to sell for 480p a kg and gross £2,795 to quality Kent retailers the Butchers of Brogdale who have shops in Ashford, Faversham and Broadstairs.
The award of the supreme championship to our regional breed follows on from reserve championship success at last year’s show and is the first supreme award, won by the breed since 1980. Retail interest in the Sussex continues to expand with breed development strengthening its commercial carcass appeal.
A change in name but no change in standards as the High Weald Academy (formerly Angley School YFC) produced another outstanding display of cattle. Their lead Limousin steer was beautifully presented and took the reserve championship, selling at 340p £2,342 to judge, Mr Hutchings.
Demand for show cattle was strong and committed throughout with participation from regional wholesalers, retail butchers and farm shops. Plenty of prize winners made 250 to 300p and very few exhibits below 200p. The commercial unhandled classes met a strong trade too and here Gallagher Farms took the championship with Limousin steers at 240p and £1,558 while reserve went to Limousin heifers from W Alexander (Shoreham) at 220p.
A small show of commercial cattle met a firm trade this reflects positively that beef prospects are firm looking into next year. Aberdeen Angus steers sold to 201p and £1,378 from Gallagher Farms while with Limousin heifers P N and C Burden made 222p and £1,252.
The champion pair of lambs were consigned by Mr and Mrs J M A Long, a superb pair of Blue Texels and they sold for £180 each and were purchased by Brian Wilson for his farm shop in Hockley, Essex while the reserve champions were Mrs H Long’s pair of Blue Texel crosses which sold well at £155 and were purchased by Fulk Brothers (Butchers), Pirbright, Surrey. The champion pen of five commercial lambs from Lovejoy Farm Partnership sold for £104 to the local Butchers of Brogdale.
The pigs in the show pens have improved in quality every year and this year that trend continued. Judge David Martin found his champion in the S J M Evans run of entries and Ben Hope produced reserve champion pair. Both pairs were Pietrain or Pietrain crosses as were 99% of the rest of the entry in the pens.
The sale of the show pigs with a further commercial entry of 44 met a very solid trade from start to finish. Champion pair made 1.60p per kg and £125.55 to Anglo Dutch Meats, Charing (David Martin buying) and heavier reserves 152p and £140.60 to the same buyer. 110p to 148p covered the rest of the show pigs and the 1st quality in the commercial entry 12 individual buyers purchasing.
Lamb and pig carcases – Cobtree Young Farmers Club for presented the champion lamb carcase which sold for £10 per kg and grossed £228 to Chris Sargent for his butchers shop in Dulwich, South London. He also purchased the reserve champion lamb carcase for £8 and £174.40, shown by the High Weald Academy and the champion pig carcase shown by SJM Evans. The pig carcase making £4 and £244.80.