by Tony Jukes
Our first Club meeting this year was our AGM at the Farmers Club
when we were given a really interesting and informative talk by
Robert Drysdale, the founder of the Westpoint Veterinary practice.
They also cover Eastpoint and Northpoint practices. This South
East based practice treats large animals only (so impressive that
we now use them ourselves as do a number of our members).
our Show season was curtailed this year due to the Foot and Mouth
outbreak – compliments of Pirbright! – there were nonetheless
some good times. In particular, I would like to congratulate our
Breed Champions who were Charles and Sally Horrell who took the
Championship at both the Herts Show and then East of England. Paul
Gunther who was Champion at the South of England. David and Lesley
Sapsed, Champion at the Kent Show and at the last Show of this
shortened season, it was Joey and Claire Peters who took the Championship
at the New Forest Show.
All the Shows in our region were very well
supported by members and exhibitors from other Clubs. I thank you
all for coming and taking part. I should also like to thank those
members who make such an effort to provide the hospitality that
involves all of the exhibitors at the end of showing to get together
to eat, drink and relax.
In mid June our Group were invited by
Michael and Jackie Hind to visit their farm at Mayfield in East
Sussex where they successfully run both a herd of pedigree Sussex
cattle and a Simmental herd. We were expertly drive around the
farm by tractor and trailer to view the animals (remember the rainy
season?) and were shown some very good animals. Afterwards, we
were treated to a delicious supper in lovely surrounding. Our thanks
go to Michael and Jackie for making us so extremely welcome.
the end of June, we had another farm visit this time to Henry Bonner
who farms near to Milton Keynes. Henry runs a mixed farming enterprise
which includes 200 suckler cows crossed with Simmental bulls. The
progeny were impressive and the whole enterprise was extremely
well managed. After a trip around the cattle it was down to the
pub for a great Sunday lunch which was enjoyed by all. Our thanks
to the Bonner family.
Turning to our annual Herd Competition, our
gratitude goes out to Roger Birch for giving his time and expertise
to judge for us this year. Thank you to all those who took part
and I encourage more members (subject to DEFRA restrictions) to
take part in 2008.
Top spot went to Mike and Janet Jones for winning
the Champion Herd.
The full results were as follows:-
Revelex Cup – Champion
Herd C.H. Carter
Best Bull or Heifer born 2007 D & L Sapsed
Dam and One Progeny Beeches Marigold & Beeches Thrift C.H.
David Barker Award (Successful promotion of Polled Genetics)
D & L Sapsed
Large Herds 1st C.H. Carter 2nd D & L Sapsed
3rd A Hurn & Partners
Medium Herds 1st B.S. Shrive 2nd J & C
Peters 3rd M & L Rix
Small Herd 1st R. Grenham 2nd C.Horrell
Ltd 3rd A & A Jukes
Merion Jones Award - Best Young Stock B.S.
|Mike and Janet Jones’ C.H. Carter, Beeches
Herd. Winners of the Herd
Competition and Revelex Cup
The future of our breed is with our Young Handlers and in this
respect it is important to recognise the contribution made by Judy
and Bridget Borlase, and in particular Lorraine Blomfield. The
proof of these efforts are in the results that have been achieved
this year. At the Royal, Luke Blomfield was Overall Junior Champion – our
congratulations go out to him. Also to Emma Blomfield and Luke
who achieved second in the pairs competition. It is also excellent
news that Luke Blomfield, Emma Blomfield and Emma Ogden will be
representing the Society and our Group at Agribition in Canada
later this year. We know that it will be an unforgettable experience
for them and shall look forward to hearing about it on their return.
At our autumn meeting and dinner held at the Farmers Club, it
was unanimously agreed that John Bance be appointed our Group President
for his service to the group and the Breed. Further it was unanimously
agreed that Mel Brewer our Past President be appointed an Honorary
life member in recognition of the contribution that Mel and his
wife Diane have made to the Group over the many years.
At the same
meeting, it was agreed that the Group would have its own website.
Work was well advanced on the project and it was expected that
the site would be up and running for 2008.
On a more sombre note
of late we have sadly lost two of our members – Sarah Hurley
from Kent and John Brown from Suffolk. Both were stalwarts of the
breed for many years and our sympathies go out to both families.
Lastly turning to the seemingly endless catalogue of problems
facing the livestock industry, I would like to empathise with Sylvia
and Derek Wakefield who found themselves at the epicentre of the
Pirbright Foot and Mouth outbreak and to Alan Bishop who was
close by – it
must have been a very difficult time for them. Thankfully the Pirbright
outbreak is subsiding but now we are in to Bluetongue!
As I write
this report the majority of our members find themselves in the
Protection Area and the remainder are in the Surveillance Area.
What this means for 2008 nobody can be sure at this stage. My intention
as Chairman is that whatever transpires I shall use my best endeavours
to ensure that our Club continues to flourish through this period