Cornwall Club report 2008

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by Penny Lally

2008 was a busy year for the Simmental Society and also for our Club. We try and have something organised for most months to keep the social aspect of the Club healthy as we enjoy each others company and share a keen interest in the Simmental Breed.

Our AGM was held in November at Callestick Farm and was attended by about 25 people, excluding myself due to illness, however, Roger Pascoe took the Chair and Geoff Thomas, who judged the Herd Competition presented the prizes.

Our Annual dinner was held as usual at the Godolphin Hotel, Marazion, where about 60 of us had a really good evening especially enjoying the ‘Irish Bingo’.

In February we invited the South Devon Club to a ‘Quiz Evening’ at the County Arms, Truro, where brains were stirred into action. The South Devon Club promised us a re-match in February 2009.

In March, Fiona Sloan was asked to give a talk to our Club with some commercial farmers joining us. She braved hideous weather with severe gales and rain to venture into the depths of Cornwall. She was well received by the interested audience present on such a stormy night.

May saw the Devon County Show where Viv Hall was the only Cornish representative doing well with her 2 year old Heifers.

On May 4th we held a Herd Health Day at Bosahan Farm, where 2 vets were booked to come and talk – both dropped out at the last minute leaving Jim Buckland to step into the breach talking us through the reasons why we should take Herd Health seriously.

Herd Competition Results

Large Herd 1st Place - Steve & Gill Gummow, Killiworgie 2nd Place - Kevin Thomas, Crowgey 3rd Place - Stephan Pearce, Liskerret

Small Herd 1st Place - Penny Lally, Chyanhal 2nd Place - John & Bridget Olds, Bosahan 3rd Place - Viv & Geoff Hall, Chegwidden

Best Cow 1st Place - John & Bridget Olds, Bosahan 2nd Place - Penny Lally, Chyanhal 3rd Place - Viv & Geoff Hall, Chegwidden

Best Bull Calf 1st Place - Viv & Geoff Hall, Chegwidden 2nd Place - James Berry, Cathedral 3rd Place - Barrie Wynter, Bolankin

Best Young Stock 1st Place - Kevin Thomas, Crowgey 2nd Place - John & Bridget Olds, Bosahan 3rd Place - Viv & Geoff Hall, Chegwidden

Best X-Bred Calf 1st Place - David Allen, Penallen 2nd Place - Steve & Gill Gummow, Killiworgie 3rd Place - Anthony Hart, Treverbyn

Judges Prize – Best Stock Bull Chegwidden Newman - Viv & Geoff Hall, Chegwidden

We were taken on a tour of the Olds family cattle and farm including their own quarry and then ‘fed and watered’ admirably and went on our way having had a lovely day out.

About 25 members came to Rose Farm for an open evening to celebrate 20 years of having Simmentals and starting the Pet Crematorium. Everyone enjoyed a sociable evening walking around the cattle and the memorial gardens (which since went on to win the first prize in the ‘Pet Cemetery of the Year’ awards!).

At the end of May, I set off on the adventure of a lifetime on a 12 day trek through the Andes in Peru to Machu Picchu for the Cornish Hospice Care Charity, arriving back the night before showing at the Royal Cornwall Show (32 hours travelling from Peru straight to the Royal Cornwall Showground!)

Everything had been well organised by the committee and there was a good number of Simmies in the unusually empty cattle shed due to Bluetongue. The Olds family and Kevin Thomas’ family were showing for the first time. The Sterling herd were there in force and Jimmy Macmillan (who is now fluent in Cornish!) was really helpful to our new showing members. This is what makes showing so much fun – outside the ring everyone is helpful and friendly, but inside the ring everyone is very competitive. Our stand was looked after by Viv Hall’s nephew, William (or Prince William as Jimmy called him!) who was called upon last minute to help, we were most grateful to him for everything he did. Our Judge was Gerald Smith, who I think enjoyed his visit to Cornwall and hopefully was impressed with the cattle and the friendliness of the Show. Boddingtons swept the board, but members did well too. 2009 is the BIG ONE – THE NATIONAL SHOW. We hope more Simmental breeders will come and sample Cornish hospitality – IT WILL BE GOOD – BE THERE!!

In July we held a farm walk at new members Steven and Angela Pearces’ farm TRENODDEN near Liskeard at the top of Cornwall. We enjoyed a perfect evening. The cattle looked very well, the setting was beautiful, the company was great and the food – divine! Thanks to them.

In August after a couple of attempts before, the Club at last visited the Hawkeys’ farm on top of the hills near the windmills overlooking Bodmin. Unfortunately I missed this as I spent most of the day waiting for an AA man to fix my broken down vehicle which ‘expired’ whilst on the way to the farm walk, which resulted in an uncomfortable drive home with NO suspension at 35mph for 40 miles!! Whilst everyone else enjoyed a good day out with great hospitality from the Hawkeys’ looking at their Simmentals and commercial cattle.

Cornwall Simmental Club Tour ‘OVER THE WATER

We thought, we’ll go to Northern Ireland to see what we could see So I spoke to David Hazelton, a splendid chap is he. I told him what we wanted, he said, ‘no problem Penny’ And throughout our super visit…problems, there were not any!

Our club was joined by other, from New Forest, Midlands, Kent David Barker, Robert Hewlett, all made welcome where we went We had a lass from Farmers Weekly making notes along the way There was hilarious fun and laughter on our Yellow bus each day.

We toured the Ards Peninsular, we saw the Spelga Dam Walked the Giants Causeway and ate many scones and jam We were touched by the hospitality from the people everywhere And enjoyed the common interest in the breed that we all share.

We saw some super cattle looking well on rain soaked earth Strong and fleshy cows and bulls prepared for Perth At Omorga with John Moore,… who we almost understood! Then packed into his cosy home for tea and lovely food

At Joe Wilsons’ Ballinalare, there was so much to admire To see such super cattle, surely, none of us would tire At Ranfurly with the Hazeltons we had tea fit for a Queen Proudly, David showed his excellent stock, to experiment, he is keen

On our last day, to Kilbride, the Robsons’ family place Most impressive cows and calves put a smile on many a face We saw some famous family lines and stock bulls looking grand They certainly can breed cattle in this green and pleasant land

So, all you clubs get going, do some travelling, get up and out, You’ll find super hospitality and cows to dream about It will give you inspiration to move on and improve And the laughs and jokes and food and drink everyone will love.

Penny Lally Oct 2009

In September our annual Club trip was to Northern Ireland. David Hazelton organised everything wonderfully. We told him who we would like to visit and that we would like to do some sightseeing around the country as well. 34 of us flew to Belfast where we were met by a big yellow bus. We stayed at Dungannon for the 3 nights and set off each morning, early, after a super breakfast to do some sight seeing. There were only a few moans and groans about the early starts! Our two drivers were super, the second one fairly swift on occasions!! We had lovely weather apart from a bit of drizzle on day one and enjoyed the beautiful views observing how tidy all the gardens were as we sped along.

On day one we visited John Moore at Omorga, where we were shown his fleshy cattle. The ground was saturated with huge amounts of rain which they had during the previous months. John explained his breeding policy and his keenness to provide the commercial buyer with the animal he wants.

On day 2 we went to the Ballinalare herd of Joe Wilson who was in the midst of building his new house. He had some very smart heifers and lovely cows and calves.

On day 3 we were shown the Ranfurly Simmentals and found the Fleckvieh influence most interesting. David Hazelton is not afraid to experiment and try to improve with embryo work.

On day 4 we visited Kilbride Farms and the Robson family. Their cattle were all most impressive with good strong cows with well established cow families. Unfortunately Michael did not expect us that day – he thought we were coming a week later! Luckily someone mentioned it the night before and we were able to see all his wonderful stock including bulls Kilbride Farm Newry and Cairnview Farm Snazzy and then Michael and his family rushed off to a christening!

Over the four days we spent in Northern Ireland, without exception, we were made so welcome, we saw magnificent cattle and ate some scrumptious food. The fields everywhere, were soaked with the huge rainfall experienced over the so called summer and it was sad to see the state of their harvest with machinery stuck in mucky corn fields. Our visit was unforgettable and most enjoyable and we would like to sincerely thank all our host for a wonderful time – especially David for his organisation ….Some of us may even have been tempted to buy!

Our Cornish Herd Competition was held in September and prize giving was at our AGM on November 5th, where our President John Langdon, Carnon herd, who has served us for many years, sadly retired at the grand age of 80. A presentation of Simmental goblets was made to John by the Club. It is a great pleasure that James Lawrey, Tolver herd has accepted the post of President and we would all like to wish him well in his new position.

Congratulations to all winners, and thanks to our Judge, Robert Jordan. In the South West Herd Competition, Viv Hall (Chegwidden) won the Overall Herd, congratulations to her and Geoff.

On a sad note, one of our original members Keith Olver (Cargibbit) lost his fight with cancer this June. He was a much liked member who loved his Simmentals and showing. He bought his first heifer in 1988 and gradually built up his herd. He also bred poultry and latterly Beef Shorthorns which were particularly dear to him. Our sympathies go out to his family and his wife Jacqui. He will be remembered with a smile and we will miss him.

In conclusion, Cornwall Simmental Club board goes from strength to strength, we have some keen younger members coming on and our annual trips are proving popular, meeting and being inspired by breeders far and wide. We look forward to welcoming exhibitors and visitors to the National Simmental Show at the Royal Cornwall in June. We feel confident that everyone will have an enjoyable and memorable visit to Cornwall.