South East Club report 2009


by David Sapsed

It was a great honour for me to become Chairman of the South East Club, taking over from Tony Jukes, who did a sterling job steering us through a difficult time with Foot and Mouth and Blue Tongue.

Our Club year commenced in March with our AGM which took place at the Farmers Club in Whitehall. This was followed by a very interesting talk by Susan Duphie of the Biobest Health Scheme and Graeme Mason of Westpoint Veterinary Services. The evening turned out to be quite lively with 23 members attending.

The summer shows soon came upon us and our members enjoyed good County and National success. The shows in our area were reasonably well attended; special mention must go to the Grenham/Carter partnership who, with Dirnanean Shane, won championships at the South of England, Kent and Bucks shows. Herts. Show was won by Heathbrow with Dirnanean Sarah and Suffolk by her son, Heathbrow Wizard. Several members made the long trip to Cornwall to support the National Show and returned with many prizes including Tony and Ann Jukes winning Reserve Female Champion, congratulations to them both. Other show results in our area included Sterling Viking winning breed and Interbreed at Edenbridge and Oxted.

Our annual calf show was also held at Edenbridge but unfortunately this was not well attended. Heathbrow Admiral gained the top prize. The final Royal Show proved a great success for our members with show teams from Sacombe, Sway, Boars Head, Beeches, Ravensdale, Swallowhill, Pode Hole and Heathbrow. Results included Junior Champion, Junior Male and Female as well as 3 first, 4 seconds and 1 third; really well done everyone. A special mention must go to Beeches Whisp, our breed Junior Champion; it was a popular win having lost Mike Jones forty eight hours before judging.

The Interbreed Beefbreeder competition was held on the Thursday and this was won by Mr. & Mrs. Hind with Heathbrow Wizard. Thank you to everyone who attended the summer shows and also a big thank you to all the ladies who provided such sumptuous refreshments after judging at all our adopted shows; it was great to get together with friends and fellow exhibitors for a drink and a chat. What would we do without the show season!

Our young judges who have enjoyed success in the past couple of years were up against some stiff competition this year, but very well done to the two Emma’s – Ogden and Blomfield who took 3rd place in the team event and thanks to the rest of the team. We also wish you good luck for 2010.

Inspecting the cattle on the Club’s herd visit to Boddington Estates

Our herd visit this year was to the Stephen Hitchin’s Sterling herd. Arranged jointly with the Welsh Club, it was a truly magnificent day. The weather, cattle and hospitality were all outstanding, we could not have wished for better. Rob Hewlett, Jimmy McMillan and their support teams looked after us well and we saw some great cows, calves and heifers. However, the best was left until last where we saw Sterling Viking, Roxanne, Naomi, Rhapsody and Petra – it certainly was a memorable day. Many congratulations to the Boddington team on all their successes at the shows; it really has put our breed to the forefront.

The results of the Herd Competition are as follows:-Champion Herd D. & L. Sapsed (Heathbrow)

Large Herd 1st D. & L. Sapsed (Heathbrow) 2nd D. & N. Field (Burytown) 3rd A. & P. A. Hurn (Twyford)

Medium Herd: 1st M. K. D. Hind (Ravensdale) 2nd C. Patmore (Norman)

Small Herd 1st R. J. Grenham (Boars Head) 2nd A. W. & A Jukes (Swallowhill) 3rd B. Borlase (Perrywood)

Best Bull Calf 1st Heathbrow Admiral (D. & L. Sapsed) 2nd Burytown Atlas (D. & N. Field) 3rd Beeches Ace (C. H. Carter)

Best Heifer Calf 1st Norman Christina (C. Patmore) 2nd Boars Head Grace 5th (R. J. Grenham) 3rd Key Jaydin (J. & S. Key)

Best Cow and Calf 1st Heathbrow Star and Norman Andy Pandy (C. Patmore) 2nd Ravensdale Goldie and Ravensdale Goldie 7th (M. K. D. Hind) 3rd Key Alice 21st and Key Absolutely Fabulous (J. & S. Key)

Family Group 1st AWL Starlet (D. & L. Sapsed) 2nd Ravensdale Goldie (M. K. D. Hind) 3rd Boars Head Grace (R. J. Grenham)

Best Stock Bull 1st Dirnanean Shane (R. J. Grenham) 2nd Corskie Radium (D. & N. Field) 3rd Hollingwood Tom (J. & S. Key)

David Barker Award Rhys Grenham, for his commitment to promoting the Simmental breed and willingness to assist other breeders.

Merion Jones Young Stock Award 1st Key Herd (J. & S. Key) 2nd Burytown Herd (D. & N. Field) 3rd Heathbrow Herd (D. & L. Sapsed)

Shebdon Trophy for Best Group of Maiden Heifers 1st Beeches (C. H. Carter) 2nd Key (J. & S. Key) 3rd Swallowhill (A. W. & A. Jukes)

The herd competition was judged this year by Terry Ford of the Shebdon Herd. Many thanks to him for giving up 31/2 days of his time for us. The competition has been extended this year, with additional classes, which is mainly due to sponsorship from the Westpoint Veterinary Group. We are hoping to extend this further next year with extra competitions at the summer shows. It was good to welcome Terry to our dinner in November and to see new members both competing and winning some of the classes, well done everyone. Our annual dinner was quite well attended by 30 members on the 12th November at the Farmers’ Club.

On a very sad note our Club has lost four members this year – Mary Clements, Stuart Shrive, our President, John Bance and our Treasurer, Mike Jones; obituaries are published in the Review. Needless to say, they will be greatly missed by us all and our condolences go to their families.

This autumn has seen the dispersal of the noted Oakfield herd of Sylvia and Derek Wakefield. It has been a difficult time for them with family health problems but the herd was a great credit to them and the cattle sold well, a number going to established herds in our region.

The Bristol sales this year have been very encouraging as a successful southern sales centre for Simmental cattle and our Club are most enthusiastic to help and support these events by bringing forward good quality cattle to sell. The venue is situated near a good motorway network, which allows many breeders and prospective buyers from the South West and East, East Midlands, Wales and the North to travel there relatively easily.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Judy Borlase as our new President; she and her family have been great supporters of the Club and breed for many years and it is good to have Judy on board.

Finally, I would like to mention the Society AGM which was well attended by our Club. A great deal of discussion and discontent was voiced at the meeting. Let us hope for all our sakes that Council have listened to the constructive suggestions that were made. To Phillida Hurn, Iain Green and David Donnelly, we wish them good luck in their new roles and hope that they can make some significant contributions to the running of the Society Council. We are banking on you!

My thanks to Lesley, Peter Grenham (our Hon. Secretary) and other Club members for their help and support during the year, and in 2010 we are commencing new initiatives to promote our breed and our herds in the area.