27 March 1998


Dry weather set the seal on

what is familiarly known as

the spring show – those

two days of power and

polish that is the National

Shire Horse Show.

Ann Rogers reports

YOUNGSTERS took the top honours at the 1998 National Shire Horse Show. The stallion championship and the King George V champion challenge cup were won by John Richardsons home-bred Toc Hill Sir Alfred, a three-year-old dark bay with four white feet bred which John named in honour of his father.

The 18.2hh stallion, by Shearbrook William out of Toc Hill Lady Margaret, was making only his second appearance in a show ring, and was one of two Shires John and family brought to the show.

"It has still just not sunk in," said a delighted John 24 hours after receiving the trophy. A third place was the height of aspirations of this dairy farmer from West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorks, who has kept Shires for a hobby for the past 17 years and showed at Peterborough for five.

The win qualifies the stallion for the Shire Horse of the Year final which poses a problem for John. "We batch calve our cows in the middle of June, so I dont know how I am going to get away in September," he says.

But, in the interim, Sir Alfred has work to do. He has been let for the season to the South and West Yorkshire Hiring Society.

The reserve championship went to other Yorkshire exhibitors, Paul and Walt Bedford who took it with their four-year-old stallion Leapley Deighton Cardinal, which is by Deighton Commodore and out of Grangewood Tina.

&#42 Reserve female title

The brothers also took the reserve female championship with their home-bred three-year-old mare Deighton Heidi, which is out of their former spring show female champion, Bewholme Wendy, and by Tan-y-Ffordd Caradog.

The three-year-old mare class also produced the female champion, Terry and Vicky Sandlings black mare Trelow Antigone. The mare, bred by the exhibitors at the Trelow Stud Farm which is part of the Shires Family Adventure Park, near Wadebridge, Cornwall, is by the super premium stallion Trelow Father Abraham and out of Grangewood Rita.

The champion gelding was L M Fountains five-year-old Woodhouse Storm and reserve was P & W Bedfords three-year-old Deighton Magic.

The Bedfords won the George Roberts award for the exhibitor gaining most points at the show, with Cyril Knowles reserve. Six stallion grants and 24 premiums were awarded at the show.

John Richardson took the stallion championship with Toc Hill Sir Alfred.

Terry Sandling took the female championship with Trelow Antigone.

The turnout championship was won by the pairs class winner Colin Horler of Radford Farm, Timsbury, near Bath who also won the unicorn class. Essex bulk powder transporter Cyril Knowless team was reserve. John Walker driving Frederic Robinsons turnout from Cheshire won the open single horse class and was third overall.

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