At our AGM and Christmas Lunch held in December, we had the added task of voting in a new Chairman. We were in the enviable position of having two very able nominees for this position in Simon Farmer and Luke Anthony - the final decision after a close call being Luke. As a club we now look forward to benefitting by his undoubted enthusiasm for our breed. Our grateful thanks must also go to Richard Newgass, who has been our Chairman from its early beginnings some 8 years ago, and we wish him and Tamara all the best at Gambledown.
2014 Herd Competition. Many thanks to Gwyn Williams who was our 2014 Herd Competition Judge. A marathon trek to get round all of us and not for the faint hearted, but a challenge Gwyn was up for!
Judges Comments: (condensed form).
“ It was extremely difficult separating many of the herds and cattle in all the different classes. In the herd classes, (done according to my points system, as all the judging was), the winners of the three categories all showed animals of style, consistency of type, and commitment to improvement through breeding. I found the classes for ‘ Heifer, in calf or with calf at foot’, the ‘2013 Heifer’ and the ‘2014 born Calf’ the most difficult with the future of the breed in mind, the quality I saw on so many farms was outstanding. Scores were extremely close between the top half dozen or so in each of the classes, but it was the 2014 calf class that probably generated the most head scratching, trying to judge heifers against bulls when picking out calves from a lively gang galloping across fields. The breed has been in the forefront of health testing and declaration of health information , but it is equally important that breeders produce cattle that perform for the requirements of both commercial and pedigree buyers”
Gwyn finishes by saying some very encouraging comments about us as members, his full report can be seen in the 2015 Journal. We thank him very much for the very helpful comments and also for taking the time to present the prizes at our Club dinner.
Southern Beef Shorthorn Breeders Calf Show.
The Calf Show moved to Ardingly Show ground as part of the South Eastern Prime Stock Winter Fayre, and our Judge was Mr Ian Park. Lots going on, and it was a good spectator day out, enjoyed by all, even for those of us not showing, many congratulations to the Hursley Partnership with Hursley Broadhooks Emily, the Supreme Champion, and Alistair Cooper the Champion Male Calf with Cooperdown Hansard. Young Handler Champion was Romy Jackson. (full results in the 2015 Magazine)
United Auctions, Stirling 2015. A flying sale by all accounts for the top end bulls with some good prices achieved by our own members who made the trip. As in previous years, the indications are that we Southern Counties Breeders CAN sell at Stirling, but only if selected bulls are of a high quality and presentation. This was born out by a clearance of only 63%. Top price achieved was £13000 by Balgay Gorgorath.
News from AGM at Stirling Charles Horrell was elected as Southern Director - commiserations to our own representatives, Simon and Luke, but congratulations to Charles, also congratulations to Sally Horrell as President elect.
Other Beef Shorthorn AGM News (by kind permission of Tina, our ‘journo on the ground’). Frank Milnes gave a resume of the year where he described how the Society had another very good financial year, but that registrations had plateaued, (are we becoming more selective?) He also announced the Society would run its own Young Bull Proving Scheme and hoped that the recording members would take up their 5 free doses of semen of a yet to be chosen young bull. This would further improve the accuracy of performance figures by achieving closer links by participating members. Frank also thanked Tina for the organisation of a very successful Young Members Day, and Charles and Jemima for hosting the event at Nell Farm. 2015 will see the event hosted by Highland Wagyu on 22nd August for both new and young members. Don’t forget members can always direct any questions they may have to our Southern Directors being: Charles Horton, Trevor Brown, Charles Horrell, and Sally Horrell.
2015 farm visits A visit has been organised to the Glenariff Herd near Kings Lynn, Norfolk for Saturday 9th May with a suggested overnight stay at a local Travel Lodge. A visit to the Podehole Herd near Peterborough has been arranged for Sunday the 10th May organised by the Central club to which Southern Club Members are invited. If you would like to visit one or both of these herds, please contact Luke, who will forward numbers. A more local visit has been offered by Nigel Fortun of the Sandley herd near Gillingham, Dorset on Sunday 12th July details to follow nearer the time, but please put this date in your diary.
A Happy Spring calving to everybody, and success at the forthcoming shows.
DIARY OF A SHORTHORN DIVA
I am the stockmans pride and joy,
of that there is no doubt,
my lovely face, my shapely rear,
I’m favourite heifer of the year.
My friends are not too happy,
when they see my 5 star life,
I only have to flick a hoof,
for more food to arrive.
The Shows are getting closer,
I cannot be ignored,
I’m washed and dried and washed again,
I’m feted and adored.
Round we go, and round again,
I’m ready for the ribbon.
A glint of red, at last it’s us,
I cannot bear the tension
My audience awaits me,
I know I’m at my best,
The Judge is looking straight at me,
I think he’s way impressed.
Well!, what a disappointment,
I cannot comprehend,
the judge has walked right past me
And gone down the other end!!!