Hear from the participants of the Mosston Muir YDP workshop

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14 September 2018

We managed to catch up with Alexander Crombie aged 12 and Ruby Simpson aged 11, as they attended the Central Scotland workshop at Mosston Muir Farm in Guthrie, Forfar. The workshop took place on the 11th of August and was kindly hosted by Allan Rennie – a big thanks to Allan for being able to host the event at his farm as without the generosity and kindness of our trainers these events would not be able to happen!

Alexander Crombie aged 12 gives us his account at the workshop:

“On the 11th of August I took part in the workshop at Mosston Muir Farm, hosted by Allan Rennie. To kick off the day we had washing with Eoin Cummings where we gave a cow and calf a good old scrub and blow dry. Eoin also taught us how to change a halter and tie a cow up.

After washing we moved onto clipping where Duncan McLaren taught us how to clip the cattle so that we can strengthen their weaknesses and bring out the best in the animal.

Next was dressing with Jamie Rettie where he gave us a demonstration on how to use all the products and tools available before we put it into practice.

In the afternoon we had a lesson in stock judging by Karyn McArthur. We then judged the Aberdeen-Angus bulls and gave our reasons before finishing the day with ringcraft, Jamie gave us loads of useful tips!

I love taking part in YDP because it gives me opportunities I would never have had if I hadn’t found out about the YDP.”

Ruby Simpson, aged 11 was also present at the workshop and tells us about her experience at the workshop:

“This was my second year taking part in a YDP workshop at Mosston Muir, Forfar. I attended my first workshop last year, after Margo Wills, RSABI suggested I attend the event at Mosston Muir Farm.  Since then I couldn't wait for the worskhop again this year!

We spent the day with Allan Rennie, owner of the Mosston Muir Angus Herd on the 18th of August 2018.  The other trainers/assessors for the day included Jamie Rettie, Duncan McLaren, Eoin Cummings and Karyn McArthur.

We started the day of by introducing ourselves to the attendees.  Gayle Bersey then split us into different age groups and we were all given different activities to do.

My groups first activity was washing an Aberdeen-Angus calf under the supervision of Eoin Cummings. We washed down all the dirt using brushes before washing with soapy water, making sure every inch was clean, including the bum and tail! We then blew all the moisture out of her hair using a blower. Once we blew her dry we practised halter tying and replacing a halter ensuring the calf was secure at all times.

After this we got a clipping demonstration by Duncan McLaren. Using a young bull, we all were able to clip some of the hair from the head end, back quarters and belly, whilst Duncan explained what should be clipped off and what to leave on.  I have been practising this a lot since last year as I have been showing a home bred Limousin cross; 15 month old bullock named Jimmy Blue around the local show circuit. 

We then joined Jamie Rettie to talk about dressing your animal.   We tried different products such as glue, spray, soap and foam, all of which are being used to help make the animal look bigger and better. Using a comb we brushed the hair in an upwards direction all over.  After dressing the bull's body we then moved on to the tail which we backcombed in to a ball. This is the activity I enjoy most and again I have been practising this a lot since last year as I have been showing Jimmy Blue.

After lunch (which was amazing, Allan Rennie provided pies and bridies from his Butchers Shop in Forfar which we all consumed in his fishing hut). Karyn McArthur gave us a stock judging demonstration and spoke to us about how to prepare a set of reasons.  We were then asked to place 4 bulls of varying ages, in order from 1st-4th, placing them A,B,X, & Y.  We then had to prepare a set of reasons to justify why we placed the bulls in the order we did. Individually we were asked to present these reasons to Karyn McArthur. I find this part of the day most nerve racking however I feel the more I do this the more experience I will gain and hopefully will improve.

To finish off the afternoon's activities we were given some advice from Jamie Rettie on ring craft and how to show your animal to your best ability.  Making sure you keep the head up, walk properly, stand evenly and keep your eyes on the judge at all times. I enjoyed this element of the day as I love being able to handle the animals, we were all given the opportunity to practise showing the animal and to interact with the judge.

We ended the afternoon by getting a group photograph taken including some of the bulls.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it is definitely something I would do again, what I have learned has really helped me with showing my bullock this summer. `I won the overall young handlers Champion at Kirriemuir Show and Champion of Champions at Strathardle Gathering.”

We would like to thank both Alexander and Ruby for giving us their account at the workshop and we wish them all the best in their very bright futures!

Some images from the workshop:

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