Primestock shows are as
much a part of Christmas as
cooking and shopping.
Theyre competitive but
theyre a lot of fun, too. FW
spent the day in West
Sussex at one of the earlier
ones, the South-Eastern
Prime Stock Winter Fayre…
The event, held at the South of England Showground, Ardingly, is now in its 129th year. But this was, say the organisers, the biggest and best ever. This was partly because, with no Smithfield this year, many of the people who traditionally made the trip to central London went to Ardingly instead.
The men (and women) in white coats… a quiet moment for a chat in the stock lines. Oh, and the back-end of a Belgian Blue, too.
A bird in the hand…but it wasnt just in the turkey and trussed chicken classes that Guido De Lellis took top honours – he also claimed the pig championship. Mr De Lellis is no stranger to getting among the prizes but, planning to retire shortly, it was certainly nice to have such a successful day here.
What its all about – silverware and smiles. Bruce and Jo Woodward picked up the supreme championship with Prince Naseem, their Limousin cross steer which went on to make £1000. If the animals anything like his namesake, the boxer, hes probably no stranger to the limelight. But in terms of p/kg, nothing could beat Jay and Peter Hunts 27-month-old Dexter steer which, at 410kg, made £1.46/kg. "People laughed when it went into the ring, said breed society field officer Di Smith. "But they werent laughing when they saw the price it made."
This pair of Suffolks, consigned by A B and J Long, made up the champion pen of lambs. Showing them off here are shepherd Matt Griffin and Hazel Metianu.
Doing the double…Nobby Bristow won the championship in the lamb and beef carcass classes. Neither were up for sale, but the second place cattle carcass, at 720kg, went for £864. A cut above the rest, you might say.
Primestock shows provide the chance to catch up with the news and make a pleasant diversion from the doom and gloom hanging over much of the industry at present.