Following a fantastic entry into the Farmers Guardian summer shows competition the overall winner has now been chosen.
The winner of the Farmers Guardian Summer Shows competition is a Cotswold ram lamb, Roelcots Caesar, which was entered by John Palfrey and Ben Stayt, Bourton-on-the-Water.
The competition was launched earlier in the year by FG in a bid to give regular show goers a way of showcasing their stock to the farming community in a year that has been marred by cancellations.
We had a tremendous response with some excellent entries across all four categories – beef, sheep, pigs and dairy.
Four well-known show-ring enthusiasts were tasked with picking their top three in each category, before Farmers Guardian picture editor, Theresa Eveson, chose the overall winner who will receive the top prize of a £100 shopping voucher.
Speaking about her overall winner, Mrs Eveson said: “The ram stood out for me as both a winning animal and a winning picture. The lamb has a good stance, and is shown with its head up, a straight back and alert ears.”
The winning picture was submitted by Mr Palfrey and Mr Stayt who were planning on showing the ram this year. Mr Stayt said: “His full brother took a lot of tickets at shows last year, and we had high hopes for Caesar this year.”
However this was not to be. But undeterred by the lack of physical shows this year, the pair entered the ram, which is by Queenford Pete, into the Online Sheep Show, where he won his class of ‘any other breeds’ and was reserve longwool champion.
Caesar then went onto be sold at an online sale, which took place instead of the Cotswold Sheep Society’s annual sale at Cirencester. At the sale he was knocked down at £250, the sale’s top price for a ram lamb, and now resides with Kathryn and Victoria Wheeler’s Waterloo flock at Herefordshire.
Meinir Howells, a presenter on Welsh language television channel S4C’s farming programme, Ffermio, placed the ram first when judging the sheep category.
Mrs Howells, who together with her husband Gary runs a 490-ewe mixed breed flock at Llandysul, said all the pictures entered were of great quality.
She added: “It takes time to get that perfect picture, and most of the sheep in the pictures stood square on four strong legs and feet. All the competitors must have a lot of patience to get their sheep looking and standing so well.”
The well-supported pig category was won by a January-born British Log gilt, Catrin Thatcher, from Rachel Nicholas, Raglan, Gwent.
Judge Gussie Harmer, who along with her family farms in Lewes, said her top pig entries stood out due to the presentation of the animals in particular the way they were stood. She described her winning gilt as being ‘beautifully presented’. “She shows off lovely conformation, condition and an excellent top line. She is standing square and is a very stylish pig which caught my eye.”
The beef category was won by Midhope Heavenly Light, a February 2016-born Simmental cow with calf at foot sent in by W.J. Hollingsworth, Sheffield.
This category was judged by Boomer Birch, beef programme manager at Cogent, and owner of the Sky High Hereford herd. He said the cow was everything he would look for in a breeding female. “She is moderately framed, natural fleshing but still carries that milking ability and style. She has a fantastic calf at foot and would be an asset to any herd.”
Stephanie Doherty, European breeding programme manager at Genus and owner of the Firstlook herd of Holsteins, chose Ayrshire third calver, East Church Prime Time Blissful, from Jake Sayer, Bridgewater, Somerset as her winner in the dairy section.
She said: “My winning cow is just simply exceptional. She shows style and strength with an extremely well attached udder, which she carries high and wide at the rear. I also really admire her quality of the legs and feet and cleanness of the bone.”
Sheep (Judge, M. Howells, Llandysul) 1, J. Palfrey and B. Stayt, Roelcots Caesar (Cotswold); 2, J. Fisher and M. Hoggarth, Stardust Xanthos (Coloured Ryeland); =3, P. and T. Beckwith, Noblesse Godiva (Valais Blacknose); =3, Windrush Farming Partners, Windrush V8 (British Berrichon).
Pigs (G. Harmer, Lewes) 1, R. Nicholas, Catrin Thatcher (British Lop); 2, A. Newth, Prestcombe Paperasse (Pietrain); 3, A. Horsley, Barlings Stonebow (Berkshire).
Beef (B. Birch, Staffordshire) 1, W.J. Hollingsworth, Midhope Heavenly Light (Simmental); 2, R.K. Rundle, Welland Valley Dominator 2 (South Devon); 3, Westlands YFC, Domino (British Blue).
Dairy (S. Doherty (Shropshire) 1, J. Sayer, East Church Prime Time Blissful (Ayrshire); 2, V. Sloane-Masson, Cairbre Bluesky Honeybee (Holstein); 3, P. Wilson, Glanmore Van Helm (Jersey).