by Brian Wise
Our Club year started with the AGM in March, held as usual at the Leeming Motel. There were no changes to the committee this year but Caroline Goldsbrough stepped down as Club treasurer, a post she has held for many years. On behalf of the Club, I would thank Caroline for the years of hard work she has put in as treasurer and her help in transferring the papers over to Andrew Steele who has kindly taken on the post.
The 12th of May saw the sale at Thirsk Mart, which continues to go from strength to strength. This year for the first time we had a show before the sale, with the cattle being judged in their pens. Our judge for the day was Richard Elliott, a commercial beef farmer who is a great supporter of the breed. There was a good entry of cattle from the north-east, particularly from the Tidkin herd of Gerald and Steph Towers and the Beaghall herd of Mike and June Brears. Male Champion was Moorside Voyager from John and Gill Smith and Female Champion was Swaleside Violet from Brian and Anne Wise, with the Overall Championship going to the heifer, Swaleside Violet. Top price was 2250 guineas for Moorside Voltage also from John and Gill Smith, which sold to our Judge Richard Elliott. Top female price went to Mike and June Brears for Beaghall Fiona 2nd, selling for 1650 guineas. The champion Swaleside Violet sold for 1120 guineas to Mr. W.Warren. Congratulations to all who supported and sold cattle on the day and we look forward to another sale next year, which is on May 4th.
There is a strong demand for Simmentals in the area, both for pedigree and commercial animals, and as long as we can improve on quality and quantity of animals, then the sale should continue to develop into a major event in the area.
Early July saw the last, in its present form anyway, Royal Show where the Club had young members taking part in the Junior Judging competition. The Club member with the highest individual score was Katie Lambert who wins the Henry Pickering memorial trophy. Congratulations to all who took part and we await to see where the competition is to be held in the future.
A week later saw us at the Great Yorkshire Show where the Club hosted exhibitors and members in the usual way providing all with drinks and food supplied by Club members. The show is our main event of the year where we can promote the breed and this year was no exception with some very well presented cattle. Our judge on this occasion was Alistair Houston, who had a smallish number of cattle to judge, but it was by no means an easy task with some very good cattle to place. Supreme Champion was Scotland Viper shown by Tom Hill, narrowly beating Sterling Krumpets Roxanne from Boddington Estates. Notable Club successes were Reserve Male Champion, Coppermill Vancouver from Peter and Caroline Goldsbrough, a third place in the young bull class with Moorside Warrior from John and Gill Smith and second place in the cow and calf class with Blakewell Kisses Northern Beauty from Ian and Margaret Steele who also won the Swiss cow bell for the highest placed Club member in the class. Many thanks to all the exhibitors for making the effort to attend, particularly Boddington Estates and the Borlases who travelled a considerable distance to get to the show. Thanks must also go to all the Club members who provided cakes, made sandwiches, and helped to serve them for the three days of the show.
The Club members are already looking forward to hosting the National Show here in 2010 and as it is also 40years since the introduction of Simmentals into the country, we feel honoured to be asked to help organise such a prestigious event. Don’t forget to put the date in your diary – July 13th to 15th 2010!
Late September saw some Club members travel to Beeston Auction Mart to the Hockenhull dispersal sale. They travelled down on the Monday and had a look at the cattle before all staying at the hotel before the sale the next day. This was the nearest we got to a Club trip this year. The cattle were everything people expected, and more, and were a credit to Hugo and his family and staff. A few members wanted to buy cattle and tried but most were unsuccessful and came away empty – handed, I know we certainly did. The prices reflected the many years of breeding behind them and on reflection probably were not that expensive, only time will tell.
The following weekend the Club, together with the Eastern Club, were invited to visit the Midhope Herd of John, Val and Craig Hollingsworth near Sheffield. We were shown some tremendous cattle, both pedigree and cross – bred, which were a good advert for the breed. Everyone was then treated to wonderful spread of sandwiches and cakes in the marquee, which, by then was welcome as the weather worsened. Our grateful thanks to the family for the considerable time and trouble they went to in organising the visit, and who knows we may take up the offer of a return visit in a few years time.
Our final event of the year will be our Club Dinner, held as usual at the Golden Fleece in Thirsk. This is our main social event of the year and, as I write, we are looking forward to seeing friends again for what is a fitting end to the Club year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Club and Committee members for their involvement in our different events during the past year and let’s hope that we can keep the Club spirit going in 2010.