Results are in from the North East of England herd competition, which this year was judge by Robert Clarke of the Shadwell herd. Below each set of results are comments from robert about each category.
Best stock bull:
1st Wingate Grange with Tree Bridge Exeter
2nd Yearsley with Haymount Earthsmith
3rd Tree Bridge with Abberton Dazzle
Exeter is a young bull with great style and although in working clothes you could still see he had natural muscle and I felt he was a perfect match for the herd he was working on. Earthsmith also was an impressive stretchy young bull, but didn’t catch my eye as much as Exeter and Dazzle, although probably in his last year of work, has proven to be an exceptional breeder of many good cattle which I saw at Tree Bridge. Added to which he was still carrying a lot of flesh for an old bull. All three bulls had the presence to stand out from the crowd.
Best homebred cow:
1st Treebridge Polly Perkins J241
2nd Craggs Lady Lyla
3rd Liley Red Bride
Polly Perkins was an easy winner for me as she is a top draw cow. She has everything and would fit into any herd and most importantly has a very good calf to match. Lady Lyla is another outstanding cow but pushed into second as her calf was not as strong as the first prize cow. My third place cow Red Bride was a very feminine well balanced two year old with a good calf at foot.
Best heifer calf:
1st Ayton Joy Erica
2nd Yearsley Royal Lady
3rd Tree bridge Polly Pride
Ayton Joy Erica was a standout heifer, extremely well grown for her age and carried herself really well. Royal Lady could have a really good year in the show ring as she is very feminine and will make a super cow. The Tree Bridge heifer was only six weeks old, but for me deserved a prize as I couldn’t take my eyes off her every time I turned around to look at the herd there she was posing with beautiful balance and showing off she is a real prospect for the future.
Best Bull calf:
1st Tree Bridge Pembroke
2nd Ayton Ronaldo
3rd Liley Duke Windsor
Pembroke is a calf with a great future ahead of him he already stands out from the crowd with a pose of a future stock bull. Ronaldo was another impressive calf that was very well grown for his age, but just got put into second as I felt the first place bull had a bit more presence about him. Duke Windsor stood out at Liley and deserved his third prize for his character and confirmation and again will make a strong stock bull.
Best large herd:
All three herds were full of quality all the way through and you could argue the case for all three to come first. I placed Tree Bridge first because of the really strong cow herd there. I didn’t see any cows that didn’t do a job and all looked like they were contributing to the breeding program. I also saw a group of yearling bulls I would have been proud to have bred and thought everyone of them deserved to find a home. The Liley herd I’m sure will be pushing for top spot next year as they had the best group of young breeding two year old cows that I saw on my travels. They were very evenly matched and with their new stock bull (Shadwell Earl!) will take some stopping in the future. The Yearsley herd has a good group of cows being bred for a variety of customers wanting large or small bulls, but for me didn’t quite look as much of a herd as my top two but doing the job their breeders want them to do.
Best small herd:
3rd Crook Hill
Probably the most difficult class to judge as all three herds were of a very high standard. My reasons for placing the Cragg herd over the other two were because of the fact that the herd had been established for longer so, therefore, were all home bred and bred extremely well by the owner with a clear focus on what she wants and knew her cattle inside out. The Ayton herd is a newly established herd came second on the strength of their calves having seen a pen of four calves getting ready for showing that any breeder would be proud of. The third placed Crook Hill herd was another new herd with a very good future, I feel that my second and third placed herds have been established with some very impressive females that most could go out a win shows anywhere in the country and also look to be breeding well. The challenge for these herds will be what bull to use and how the breeders can put their own stamp on them.
All the other herds that didn’t get a mention had animals I would have been pleased to have owned and took home and the enthusiasm from all breeders about there stock was the most impressive thing about the weekend and you could see how much everyone loved their cattle.