Centre West Club report 2009


by Peter Burgess

Herd Competition Results 2009

Large Herd: Boddington Estates - (Sterling)

Medium Herd: David Bush - (Chapman)

Small Herd: Judith Cockerill - (Farnborough)

Best Suckled calf 2009: Beanhill Atlas

Best Bull Calf up to 2yrs old: Wroxhall Wallace

Best In Calf Heifers: Tilbrook

Best Maiden Heifers: Crackley

The Shebdon Trophy goes to Boddington’s Sterling Barbarella “the 18yr old cow that looks like 10”.

The Christmas meal again kicked off another year for the Club. Held as usual at The March Hare, Broughton Hackett the diners enjoyed the normal bumper meal, followed by a huge raffle. This event always has a very nice feel to it and is looked forward to by the members.

Our AGM was held in January in the meeting room at The Stoneleigh Park Farm Shop which is situated very close to the Simmental offices on the showground. The AGM was straight forward and so it was on to the quiz. The room was filled to capacity as teams representing South Devon Cattle, Charolais cattle, Blonde Cattle and Texel Sheep joined teams from the Club to exercise their brains, and I’m afraid I have to report it was the Charolais team that emerged victorious at the end of the evening.

May brought with it our Annual dinner held at the Kings Head in Worcester. I’ve never been anywhere that serves bigger meals than this place and it’s a real challenge to clear your plate!

Guest speaker this year was South West club member David Edwards who related tales of his time as a police officer in Bristol and Manchester to a hushed room. This was a sobering insight into inner city life and I would think a complete contrast to his present life as a farmer. Thank you David.

Results of the Calf Show

Male Champion: Tilbrook Warrior Reserve Burytown Atlas

Female Champion: Sterling Wendy Reserve : Sterling Whilamina

Young Handlers: Aged 12 & under: 1st Levi People 2nd Joshua Evans 3rd Joshua Kimber

Aged 13-17: 1st Hannah Fields 2nd Leo Hoskins 3rd Richard Andrews

Aged 18-21: 1st Emma McMillan 2nd Robert Pearce [Big Dave]

Kenilworth Show again proved fruitful for the Birch family, this time it was Stephanie who came out on top following on from her father’s success of the previous two years.

Another of our local shows, The Royal, was held at Stoneleigh for the last time, but produced best ever results for the breed with a clean sweep of the Inter-breeds including the prestigious Burke Trophy.

Congratulations to Boddington Estates for the major part they played in this fantastic achievement. By the way Jimmy McMillan said to be sure to mention him, so there you are Jim! Moreton-in- Marsh show followed the pattern of many shows this year with the Sterling team producing the Champion and Interbreed Champion with Sterling Viking 2nd.

The herd competition was held in early September. This years judge was renowned British Blue, Beef Shorthorn and Charolais breeder Danny Wyllie from Tamworth, who spent three days inspecting the clubs herds before agreeing to attend our Christmas meal in December to present the prizes. Many thanks to you Danny for judging and agreeing to return for the presentation.

Our Calf show was held at Cirencester Market at the end of September with a very good entry being put before experienced judge David Barker. David judged the cattle and the young handlers in his usual confident and decisive manner despite the ring being very full for several of the classes! Lots of people helped make this a very successful day, thanks to you all including of course Mr. Barker.

Farm Walk at David and Nikky Fields, Burytown Simmentals

A week later and a farm walk by very kind invitation of David and Nickky Fields, Burytown Simmentals. The Clubs members were joined by members of the South West Club on a very bright morning to be shown around this young herd. Credit must be given to David and Nikky for putting together this impressive herd in such a short time and with homebred heifers now coming into the herd it is certainly interesting times. Lunch, like the cattle, was a sight to behold and many thanks must go to David, Nikky and daughter Hannah, for such a splendid morning / afternoon.

As this has been my third year as Chairman it will also be my last and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee and members for their support during my term in office. Secretary Sam Evans, who is also standing down at the AGM, deserves a special mention for helping to make my time as Chairman painless and enjoyable and I would like to thank her on behalf of the Club for all the excellent work she has done in the last four years.

East Anglia Club report 2009


by Phillida Hurn

Following my involvement with World Congress last year, I had expected a slightly quieter, less demanding year ahead, only to find at meetings and at shows I was encouraged and supported to take up the role of being a Council member! Well here I am now, as I write this report, a Council Member for the next three years!!

At this point I would like to say I will do my very best for the Society members and the Simmental Breed. I will always be here for any members who have queries or points of view to take to Council meetings.

Well now on to our Club members and activities of this year, we have had great highs and lows. Alan Abram had a very nasty accident with a Simmental cow in May and unfortunately broke his back; the good news is that as I write this he has been home for four weeks. Then four days before the Norfolk Show, Paul Gunther phones me and say he is unable to do the food for the exhibitors, Oh dear!! Well in the next breath he tells me he is in hospital and not allowed home until he has had an operation on his heart at Papworth on Monday of the show week!! Thankfully all is well and Paul and Alan are coming to the Club Meeting and Dinner in November!!

Thanks to Hayley and Andrew Clarke we did have a very good BBQ in the evening of the first day of the Norfolk Show, it was a great success with about 30-40 exhibitors attending, thanks goes to all involved!

Some members managed to have a meal in Wroxham and then on to the Boat Trip on the broads again in July! We had a lovely evening dancing on deck to the music and drinking cool beer, as we sailed onto the broads.

I would like to mention what an asset Tom Hume; as a member, has been to our Club for the last two years, giving us all very useful advice on many veterinary topics, and on the importance or calving and conditions of animals, also over the advice on Blue tongue vac. etc. I would like to welcome him as a new Simmental member and Breeder, as he now owns his first Simmental Cow and Heifer Calf!

Well I think the cattle should be mentioned! Our members have some great Simmentals; we have three Kilbride Farm young bulls travelled to Norfolk farms from Northern Ireland this year! And I believe some very good Hockenhull cattle came home too from the dispersal sale in October! So watch out next year in the show ring!!

William Abram with his heifer Wagtail winning at the Aylsham Show

I would like to congratulate our Club members for their tremendous success at the shows this year, especially at the Royal Norfolk Show, where there were some of the best cattle in the country, and we gave them a run for their money!! Also to congratulate William Abram (age12) for all his success with his heifer at the local shows this summer and my Granddaughter Camilla Morgan- Evans (age 7) for entering her first ever young handlers’ class and winning! I have to say it was such a relief not to have restriction for blue tongue or foot and mouth or such like!!

Some of our members are off again to the Christmas Concert at Thursford in December, which I am sure they will all enjoy.

Tony and I have just come back from a lovely holiday New Zealand, Having visited their Simmental President Helen and John Ellis’s herd of Simmentals, I can recommend anyone thinking of going to the World Congress in Australia, to go onto the post tour in New Zealand, it is the most beautiful country, well worth at visit, but please take lots of warm and waterproof clothes!!

Thanks again to our Chairman Ian and the Club members for their support this year and to my long suffering husband Tony!

Midlands Club report 2007


By Rob Evans

The Midland Club started off it’s 2007 campaign with a very upbeat and pro active talk by Mr Henry Lewis from The British Livestock Genetics Consortium on the export markets. He explained in detail the opportunities and pitfalls of exporting cattle and the help available to us all. As a direct response to Henry’s hard work we were informed of marketing opportunity for Simmental into Poland, which is currently on hold due to ‘Blue Tongue’ restrictions.

Our spring meeting was a quiz night held at the Greyhound Country Inn at Yarlet (the new venue for club meetings). I would like to thank all the visiting teams, especially the students from Harper Adams and the ‘Egg Heads’ from the Centre West Club who for about the third year running won the competition.

This year’s summer farm walk saw the club visit Stuart Shrive and Family’s ‘Brigstock’ Simmental herd in Kettering Northampton. Twenty members ventured over to sample the fine hospitality and setting offered by the Shrive family and enjoy an afternoon browsing around the herd. I would like to thank the visiting members who raised £75 on the day for Stuart’s chosen charity, Cancer Research.

Herd visit to the Shrive family’s Brigstock herd.

Mention too must go to Jimmy and Vikki Woods on their successful showing season culminating in a win at the Royal Show with their cow “Popes Nellys Princess”, congratulations also to Robert Heaps their stockman.

Our herd competition this year was judged by John Trafford and I would like to thank him for making it to judge the Wroxall herd before we had to make the decision to call the whole thing off due to ‘Foot and Mouth’ and therefore one obvious winner!!!!

The club’s autumn meeting was a talk by Jack and Jackie Smith explaining how a video competition would work. The club plans to hold one early in the New Year - Foot and Mouth and Blue Tongue won’t stop us admiring each others cattle!

For the umpteenth year Mandy, our club secretary, has rallied us all round and steered the club with seemingly endless enthusiasm and my thanks go to her for all her hard work and support.

Our newest member to the club is Callum Leedham who was born back in October – Congratulations to Andrew and Yvonne. And so the year rolls to an end, with all the disappointments and frustrations of cattle farming behind us, we look forward to the New Year and wonder what trials and tribulations 2008 will hold.

With the British hosting The Simmental World Congress we must keep our chins up and show the world why there is a ‘Great’ in Britain.

South East Club report 2007


by Tony Jukes

Our first Club meeting this year was our AGM at the Farmers Club when we were given a really interesting and informative talk by Robert Drysdale, the founder of the Westpoint Veterinary practice. They also cover Eastpoint and Northpoint practices. This South East based practice treats large animals only (so impressive that we now use them ourselves as do a number of our members).

Although our Show season was curtailed this year due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak – compliments of Pirbright! – there were nonetheless some good times. In particular, I would like to congratulate our Breed Champions who were Charles and Sally Horrell who took the Championship at both the Herts Show and then East of England. Paul Gunther who was Champion at the South of England. David and Lesley Sapsed, Champion at the Kent Show and at the last Show of this shortened season, it was Joey and Claire Peters who took the Championship at the New Forest Show.

All the Shows in our region were very well supported by members and exhibitors from other Clubs. I thank you all for coming and taking part. I should also like to thank those members who make such an effort to provide the hospitality that involves all of the exhibitors at the end of showing to get together to eat, drink and relax.

In mid June our Group were invited by Michael and Jackie Hind to visit their farm at Mayfield in East Sussex where they successfully run both a herd of pedigree Sussex cattle and a Simmental herd. We were expertly drive around the farm by tractor and trailer to view the animals (remember the rainy season?) and were shown some very good animals. Afterwards, we were treated to a delicious supper in lovely surrounding. Our thanks go to Michael and Jackie for making us so extremely welcome.

At the end of June, we had another farm visit this time to Henry Bonner who farms near to Milton Keynes. Henry runs a mixed farming enterprise which includes 200 suckler cows crossed with Simmental bulls. The progeny were impressive and the whole enterprise was extremely well managed. After a trip around the cattle it was down to the pub for a great Sunday lunch which was enjoyed by all. Our thanks to the Bonner family.

Turning to our annual Herd Competition, our gratitude goes out to Roger Birch for giving his time and expertise to judge for us this year. Thank you to all those who took part and I encourage more members (subject to DEFRA restrictions) to take part in 2008.

Top spot went to Mike and Janet Jones for winning the Champion Herd.

The full results were as follows:- Revelex Cup – Champion Herd C.H. Carter Best Bull or Heifer born 2007 D & L Sapsed Dam and One Progeny Beeches Marigold & Beeches Thrift C.H. Carter David Barker Award (Successful promotion of Polled Genetics) D & L Sapsed Large Herds 1st C.H. Carter 2nd D & L Sapsed 3rd A Hurn & Partners Medium Herds 1st B.S. Shrive 2nd J & C Peters 3rd M & L Rix Small Herd 1st R. Grenham 2nd C.Horrell Ltd 3rd A & A Jukes Merion Jones Award - Best Young Stock B.S. Shrive

Mike and Janet Jones’ C.H. Carter, Beeches Herd. Winners of the Herd Competition and Revelex Cup

The future of our breed is with our Young Handlers and in this respect it is important to recognise the contribution made by Judy and Bridget Borlase, and in particular Lorraine Blomfield. The proof of these efforts are in the results that have been achieved this year. At the Royal, Luke Blomfield was Overall Junior Champion – our congratulations go out to him. Also to Emma Blomfield and Luke who achieved second in the pairs competition. It is also excellent news that Luke Blomfield, Emma Blomfield and Emma Ogden will be representing the Society and our Group at Agribition in Canada later this year. We know that it will be an unforgettable experience for them and shall look forward to hearing about it on their return.

At our autumn meeting and dinner held at the Farmers Club, it was unanimously agreed that John Bance be appointed our Group President for his service to the group and the Breed. Further it was unanimously agreed that Mel Brewer our Past President be appointed an Honorary life member in recognition of the contribution that Mel and his wife Diane have made to the Group over the many years.

At the same meeting, it was agreed that the Group would have its own website. Work was well advanced on the project and it was expected that the site would be up and running for 2008.

On a more sombre note of late we have sadly lost two of our members – Sarah Hurley from Kent and John Brown from Suffolk. Both were stalwarts of the breed for many years and our sympathies go out to both families.

Lastly turning to the seemingly endless catalogue of problems facing the livestock industry, I would like to empathise with Sylvia and Derek Wakefield who found themselves at the epicentre of the Pirbright Foot and Mouth outbreak and to Alan Bishop who was close by – it must have been a very difficult time for them. Thankfully the Pirbright outbreak is subsiding but now we are in to Bluetongue!

As I write this report the majority of our members find themselves in the Protection Area and the remainder are in the Surveillance Area. What this means for 2008 nobody can be sure at this stage. My intention as Chairman is that whatever transpires I shall use my best endeavours to ensure that our Club continues to flourish through this period of uncertainty.

South West Club report 2007

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by Pauline Barker

When we were enjoying that wonderful weather back in April, the old saying, “Oak before Ash expect a splash, Ash before Oak expect a soak; well in most of the South West the “Ash was out well before the Oak, and from what we have seen this summer, the rest of the Country as well, and if anyone didn’t believe in old country folklore before, I’m sure they will now, because have we had a SOAK!

The effects from that atrocious weather had disastrous effects for hay and silage making and at one stage cereal crops, as well as many one day shows being cancelled.

Luckily August improved for the hay, silage and cereal harvest, then the next bomb-shell, Foot and Mouth struck, so that put the show season to an end for livestock. Not only is it devastating from the show finances, also for the exhibitors, as we miss catching up with friends, and the competitive side, and our shop window to promote our stock.

Our herd visit to Peter Burgess, Tillbrook herd in August was another event to fall by the way-side, disappointment yet again.

Enough gloom and doom. Members (though thin on the ground) enjoyed an arousing talk of his life and work, by a local vet. Marjorie Ellicott organised a quiz for members, 3 teams took part, a lot of fun, ignorance and frustration was enjoyed by all.

At the A.G.M. in March, A. Grossey wished to stand down from the Committee, Len Curvey accepted the vacancy. Mr. Derek Mead was the speaker at the dinner following the A.G.M.

The Bristol Sale proved a success, as Richard Pringle was moving on from Stags, the Club presented him with a Simmental figure in appreciation of his work at our sales. Champion Male was Sterling Samson from Boddington Estates, sold for 2,000 gns. Reserve Champion and top price Bull was Tilbrook Turpin from P. Burgess and sold for 3,100 gns. Cliftonswood Beauty 4th from H. Brown was Female Champion and sold for 3,100 gns. Wishful Sunbeam from D. & C. Mills was Reserve Female and sold for 2,500 gns.

Mr. & Mrs. A. Grossey’s Shellthorn herd was dispersed. The cattle were a credit to them, for their presentation and condition and it reaped its reward with Shellthorn Hannadante 6th selling for 8,000 gns to L. & A. Currie, top price Bull was 3,500 gns. I am pleased to say Andy & Di’s boys are setting up their own herd; Lower Sea as their prefix, with 2 females not forward at the Sale.

Very few shows took place, as you can see in the Results section. Thanks to the team again for setting up, manning, and providing refreshments at the Devon County Show.

Grand parade Devon County show

Our herd competition took place, Gordon Tully was the Judge and the results were:- Overall & Large Section: Miss S. Francis (Dinton Herd) Runner up - Large Section: R. & V. Loud (Taurus Herd) Reserve Overall & Small Section J. Kimber (Beanhill Herd) Runner up – Small Section: B. Wynter (Bolankin Herd) Best Young Stock: Miss S. Francis Best 2007 Bull Calf B. Wynter Flexie Trophy J. May (Priorton Herd)

To round the year off we visited Miss Francis’s Dinton herd on Sunday 7th October.