South West Club report 2009

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By Len Curry

In January our ladies, organised by Marjorie Ellicot together with Kath Edwards, Sandra Francis, and Margaret Thompson won the annual quiz beating 5 other breeds. Well done Ladies we are proud of you all.

At our A.G.M our Secretary Pauline Barker announced she would be retiring as Secretary, Pauline has been doing the job for twenty-one years, she has in that time been a prop to many Club Chairmen myself included with her contributions in running the Club. Pauline, I speak on behalf of all previous Club Chairmen and Club Members in wishing you good health and good fortune in whatever you decide to do in the future.

Sally March kindly agreed to accept the Secretaries post and we all wish her well. Jack Ellicot was re-elected Vice Chairman, David Edwards was re-elected Treasurer, and myself as Chairman. Philip Webber and Andy Grossey were elected to join the committee, all other committee members re-elected en-bloc. Mr Ed Simmons, mine and others local Vet was our guest speaker, giving us much to think about at the dinner following the A G M. After dinner Clare Rowbotham who had travelled down to the West Country to be with us, presented Pauline with a bouquet of flowers. The Club presented Pauline with a cheque in appreciation for all the work Pauline has devoted to this Club.

A herd visit with Centre West Club to Burytown herd thanks to Dave & Nikky Field

The South West Club, supported by the Centre West Club, Show and Sale at Bristol Sales Centre on Saturday 9th May, saw some excellent cattle through the sale ring with average prices almost going through the roof, a packed ringside saw 17 Bulls sold for an average of 3116gns showing a massive increase of 764gns. In addition Martin Boucher, Loxton Herd from Somerset had a very good reduction sale, with a small dispersal from Mr J N Hoskins, Sabre Herd from Gloucestershire. Interest in Females proved no let up in demand with many new buyers present, the Female average not including the dispersals rose to a staggering 1615gns for the 42 sold an increase of some 336gns compare this to last year’s sale when 18 Females sold for an average of 1279.25gns. My thanks to Richard Turner (Staggs) and Clive Roads (McCartney’s) our joint Auctioneers, and to our Chairman of Shows and Sales South West, Roy Loud.

With the show season rapidly approaching breeders are busy with the preparation of their cattle for the weeks ahead. Congratulations must go to Boddington Estates for their fantastic show of cattle winning everything in front of them well done to Jimmy McMillan. Congratulations also to David Barker in winning coveted Cow Bell at the Royal Bath and West Show. I absolutely refuse to mention the weather.

October 4th, David and Nikky Fields invited the Club to visit their Burytown Herd being a young herd set up in 2007 they really did surprise us with high standards they have set themselves, well done to you both and a big thank you for the excellent lunch.

Best large herd 1st and Champion Herd Boddington Estate. 2nd Gavin and Gemma Doyle, Joint 3rd David and Nikky Fields with Roy Loud.Best small herd 1st Sandra Francis 2nd Jeff and Viv Hall Joint 3rd John and Bridget Old with James and Belinda Kimber.

Best Cow and Calf (Devon and Somerset) Len and Adrian Curry

Best Cow and Calf (outside Devon and Somerset) Jeff and Viv Hall

Best Young Stock Boddington Estate

Best Heifer Calf Gavin and Gemma Doyle

Best Bull Calf James and Belinda Kimber

Best Novice Micky and Marigold Christian

Flexi Trophy Philip Webber

October seems to becoming a very busy month for the South West Club, on Thursday the 15th we were again at the Bristol Sales Centre together with the Centre West Club for the Autumn Show and Sale once again we were not disappointed with excellent cattle on show, selling 18 Bulls out of 21 forward. Henry Widdicombe with his Bull Starline Westminster taking the Champion rosette and sash, the South East Club also presented the Champion with a sash, he later sold for 2000gns, his other Bull Starline Marquiss topping the sale at 3300gns. Breeders looking for Top Quality Females were not disappointed, with an in-calf heifer Greenfields Vesta, from Giles Green selling for 2550gns. With two other entries selling for 2300gns from D & N Fields, and J & B Kimber. Oakhill Heidi 2nd from Mrs S Wakefield, Oakhill Herd dispersal sale opened the Female Section selling for 2900gns. Our thanks to all the breeders and buyers in making the Bristol Sales so successful.

There’s still more to come, Sunday October 25th , saw some seventy enthusiasts arriving at Boddington Estate for a day of cattle judging, foot trimming and preparing cattle for showing. What an absolute fantastic day we all had. David Bell kindly agreed to be our Master Judge, I saw him later tucked away in a corner trying to decipher some of the cards in front of him. David you did a grand job. A big thank you to Richard Davies for showing us what’s involved in foot trimming making it look easier than it really is. What can I say about Jimmy McMillan, he along with other members of Boddington staff work extremely hard in bringing all the events together, which worked like clockwork, Jimmy I owe you one mate. After all the walking and head scratching we adjourned for lunch and what a feast it was with meats, salads and all the trimmings cheese and biscuits apple pie and cream all served on china plates and dishes with proper cutlery as well. For all this we have to thank Sally March, Kath Edwards and all the lovely Ladies of the Club for all their contributions. Thanks also to Rob and Pam Hewlett and Kathy McMillan from Boddington Estate for the tea coffee and biscuits on arrival and at lunch time and the cream tea as well all you Ladies did us proud. We hope the outcome of this will result in new members joining the club.

Our herd competition Judged by Peter Burgess assisted by his wife Sarah, rumour has it Sarah did most of the driving visiting some fifteen farms from Cheltenham down to the end of Cornwall.

Last but not least we come to the results of the cattle judging, David Bell our Master Judge presented prizes to the best entries, over eighteens were Dan Coalman, Des March, Steve Blomfield, Emma Blomfield, under eighteen Hannah Fields. After the presentation David went back to the cattle lines to explain his reasons for his placings, this was appreciated by the members, once again many thanks David.

In closing, thanks to Penny Lally and the Cornwall Club for inviting members to join their visit to Northern Ireland, I must say I met some fantastic people and I know I made some lasting friendships. This I think is why belonging to the Simmental Society is so special.