North East Club report 2008

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by Brian Wise

The year began with our AGM in March when I was elected Chairman after having served two years as Vice-Chairman. David Burkill stepped down as Chairman after his two years in office and I must thank him for all his hard work during his term of office.

In early April the club had a visit to the Tidkin herd of Gerald and Stephanie Towers. We were shown a fine display of cattle and a scanning demonstration, which some of us found interesting, as we had not seen it before. A stock judging competition followed, with Brian Lundy as our Master Judge. A very enjoyable afternoon was rounded off with refreshments and drinks and a huge thank you must go to Gerald and Stephanie for all they did in producing a very entertaining visit.

Exactly a week later saw some Club Members visiting the Caistor herd of Brian Lundy in conjunction with the Eastern Club. Although the day was very cold and dull we soon forgot about the weather once we started round the cattle. Brian explained his breeding policies and his reasons for using German and Danish bulls. The cattle were different to what most of us were used to, but nonetheless we all found it very interesting. Had it not been for the cold wind we would have spent much longer viewing the cattle, but we all went inside out of the cold, where we were all treated to a wonderful barbeque and welcome hot drinks. Again, many thanks to Brian, his wife Margaret, and their team of helpers who looked after us all very well.

Early May saw the Thirsk sale, where although entries were very low due to Bluetongue restrictions and the Newark sale, prices were better than anticipated and a good clearance rate resulted. Congratulations to David Burkill for getting the highest price on the day with his bull, Beechtree Turbo, which made 2550 gns. There were many prospective buyers who went home with empty trailers, so please support this sale as the demand is certainly there!

HERD COMPETITION RESULTS

Best Stock Bull 1st D & J Greensit - Hazelden Promise. 2nd M & J Brears - Beaghall Rip van Winkle 3rd Gerald Towers - Sterling Roysten

Best Young Bull (Homebred) 1st I & M Steele - Blakewell Vandal 2nd D Burkill - Beechtree Vibrant 3rd D & J Pick - Scarthingwell Vinnie

Best Group of Heifers (Born 2007) 1st I & M Steele (Blakewell) 2nd D & J Pick (Scarthingwell) 3rd D & J Greensit (Goskins)

Best Cow and Calf (calf born 2008) 1st D & J Pick - Scarthingwell Laurel and heifer calf Scarthingwell Willow 2nd M & J Brears - Beaghall June and heifer calf Beaghall June 2nd 3rd G Towers - Hockenhull Natalie 39th and bull calf Tidkin Wrangler

Best Large Herd 1st I & M Steele (Blakewell) 2nd D & J Greensit (Goskins) 3rd J & K Gittus (Coldharbour)

Best Small Herd 1st D & J Pick (Scarthingwell) 2nd M & J Brears (Beaghall) 3rd G Towers (Tidkin)

The Best Overall Herd and winner of the Farmway trophy was I & M Steele (Blakewell) and the Reserve and Winner of the North East Simmental Rose bowl was D & J Pick (Scarthingwell).

Once the Thirsk sale was over, Club members turned their attention to our Club event at Thirsk Rural Business Centre for the forthcoming World Congress, where preparations were entering their final phase. After a long time spent planning and fund raising it was hard to believe that the day was almost upon us. As time drew on things were getting hectic, but thanks to the Club member’s thorough planning and hard work we never felt as though we were losing the battle. Sunday and Monday saw cattle arriving at the mart and exhibitor’s stands starting to take shape. By late Monday evening everyone was exhausted but all was done and looked just perfect. Early Tuesday morning saw last minute preparations and a last minute sweep up before the delegates arrived.

As Chairman, it was my job to greet the delegates and I must admit that whilst waiting for the coaches to arrive, more than a little trepidation was starting to set in. Then, the first coach appeared and it was too late to worry about anything else. As the coaches started to unload the smiling faces of the delegates allayed any fears, I knew we were in for a good day. Once the formalities were over the delegates started to look round the display of cattle and trade stands. They also had the opportunity to visit the nearby James Herriot Museum with Club members Anne Wise, Jane, Fran, & Sarah Pick acting as guides. Lunch went ahead very smoothly and, after another look round it was soon time for goodbyes and before we knew it the delegates were leaving.

Some members were unable to bring cattle due to Bluetongue restrictions but many brought static displays for the delegates to see and this added to the variety of the displays. The support from the exhibitors was commendable and overall they put on a fantastic display of pedigree and crossbred cattle, which was a credit to them. The delegates certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, talking to the exhibitors, and the whole atmosphere was very relaxed. Unfortunately due to the unusually fine weather we were disappointed with the number of local farmers who came but I later found out they were busy catching up with silage and hay after the poor weather. Thanks go to everyone who exhibited and helped on the day to make it one of the highlights in the clubs history.

Special thanks go to David Burkill, Jim Brindley and Andrew Steele who were on the organising sub-committee, Caroline Goldsbrough for the beautiful flower displays and the exhibitors who, in some cases travelled considerable distances with their cattle. We are indebted to the directors and staff of the auction mart for allowing us to use the building and our sponsors for the event, particularly Green Farm Health Ltd and Ritchey PLC, who were our main sponsors on the day. Thanks also to Carol Johnston and her team at the Gavel Café for the lunch and refreshments, and by no means least, to Gerald Towers who was our photographer for the day. We all had a wonderful day and it was very rewarding to see so many Club members with smiles on their faces, who obviously enjoyed talking to all the different people. Congratulations go to Peter and Caroline Goldsbrough who won the Society goblets for the best exhibit, judged by the delegates.

At the Royal Show the Club was represented in the Junior Judging competition and the winner of the Henry Pickering Memorial Trophy for the best individual score was Sarah Pick.

July saw Club members at the Yorkshire Show with many helping on the Club stand as well as exhibiting cattle. Many thanks to all who provided refreshments and helped during the Show, as everyone who visited the stand appreciated it. Club members put on a good show of cattle and many received rosettes as a reward for their hard work.

This summer saw our biennial herd competition and this time Rob Fitton accepted the invitation to Judge the herds. He spent two days touring the area looking at cattle and the results of his deliberations are shown in the panel on page 81. During the summer month’s members were out at the shows with their cattle promoting the breed.

Fortunately the shows were not affected too much by the weather and members put on a good show of cattle. The Dalgety Trophy for the most points obtained at local shows was awarded to Gill and John Smith (Moorside herd).

The past year has seen a great deal happening for the Club and it has been great to see members pulling together to promote the breed, and most of all, enjoying themselves in the process. I hope the club can build on the past years success and look forward to 2009 when we can continue to develop the Simmental Breed even further on the North East.

On a final note, I would like to confirm, I have been duly elected onto the Council of the Society and if any members would like me to discuss anything on their behalf, please do not hesitate to contact me.