D. A. Sapsed
High Heath Farm, Codicote, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 8SZ
Tel: 01438 820216
|Mr P B Grenham,
Boars Head Farm, Boars Head, Crowborough, Sussex, TN6 3HD
by David Sapsed
I am pleased to report another enjoyable year for the Club. Anyone
connected with agriculture will know that this has been a see-saw
year with prices up and down in different sectors. Never has the
old saying of “up corn down corn” been more relevant
with corn prices rising dramatically and beef going in the opposite
direction. However there is still a god trade for quality cattle.
Our new season of events commenced as usual at the Farmers Club
with a well attended AGM. I must thank Janet Jones for agreeing
to take over as our Club Treasurer, a role that her late husband
Mike had held for many years. I would also like to pay tribute
to Neville Ealdon who recently passed away; he was our Honuary
Auditor. We all send our condolences to his Family at this sad
time. After the AGM Bridget Borlase gave us a most interesting
and informative talk on the development of her very successful
Bridget ‘B’ Meat operation.
In May members attended the first of our herd visits which was
held at Lopmede Farm, owned by John and Ellen Rixon, situated near
Thame. This impressive 180 Pedigree Cow Herd is run on economic
and commercial lines. We were transported on a trailer round the
fields and I must say that the cattle all looked very well; it
was also interesting to see that John is going down the polled
route. At the end of the visit Ellen laid on a superb lunch.
The show season started in May and good entries were reported at
most of the shows in our region; Herts County led the way with
49. Here Vicky Woods placed the Birch family’s Treetops Tallulah
Breed Champion with Clonagh World Class reserve; Tallulah went
on to win the Interbreed Champion. Well done Boomer Dirnanean Sarah
from Heathbrow was Champion at South of England with Boars Head
Argonaut reserve. Beeches Wisp and Heathbrow Admiral were placed
reserve Interbreed in the pairs and Admiral went on to win reserve
Interbreed Beefbreeder. Kent show unfortunately coincided with
the National and there were fewer cattle forward but Beeches Wisp
deservedly won Breed Champion.
The National drew a very good representation from the South East
area which resulted in class wins for Pode Hole and Swallowhill.
Sacombe won Junior Male Champion with Clonagh World Class, Heathbrow
won three firsts, including Best Calf in the Simmental classes
with Heathbrow Balmoral, before Hayley Clarke won Junior Champion
with Sterling Grace’s Wilhemina and the following day the
coveted Junior Interbreed Championship. Well done everyone for
making the long trip.
Giles Green had Champion at East of England and Perrywood Wispa
took the Breed Championship at Edenbridge. Sway Rosetta was reserve
Champion at New Forest and finally at Bucks County, with Jimmy
McMillan as our Judge, Dirnanean Sarah won Breed Champion and Reserve
Continental Interbreed with Perrywood Wispa Reserve. Our ladies
once again looked after the Show hospitality with excellent eats
The climax of the season was the result of our new competition,
sponsored by Westpoint Veterinary Services, the SE Simmental of
the year. This was won by Dirnanean Sarah, shown by Heathbrow.
The competition was designed to encourage more entries at our sponsored
shows and every animal attending a show had the chance to accumulate
points towards the Westpoint Trophy and a cash prize.
The Herd Competition was judged by Vicky Woods this year and we
very much appreciated both Jimmy and Vicky giving up their time
to join us in the SE area for three days. All the competitors were
pleased to see them and received their constructive comments.
The junior judging competitions this year were held at the Royal
Highland which ruled out most of our team because of the distance
involved. However Emma Blomfield and Luke travelled to Scotland
Our autumn herd visit was a joint day. In the morning we visited
the Ravensdale herd where Brenda, the herd manager, made us welcome.
Ravensdale is more noted amongst the Sussex breed but the foundations
are being laid and, from what we saw, it will not be long before
this herd will be as famous for Simmentals. In the afternoon we
visited Boars Head, a herd which is now consistently producing
show winners and it was not difficult to understand why due to
the strength in the female families on view. Boars Head Argonaut
has been shown successfully this season and was runner up in the
SE Simmental of the year. He continued his good form by winning
1st prize at the Sterling Bull Sales in October and selling for
a tremendous 7,200gns.
Our members once again supported the Bristol sales and trade in
April was very satisfactory. In October Sway Simmentals were male
Champion and Boars Head were Female Champion. Well done to the
Blomfields and Rhys respectively and to all our members who attended
the show and sale.
Our Calf show moved to a later date this year and we were able
to obtain a licence to hold the show on a farm. Heathbrow were
hosts for the day and a very good entry of 39 calves and handlers
resulted. Boomer Birch kindly travelled down to judge the calves
and he made Heathbrow Balmoral Champion with Swallowhill Autumn
Reserve. William Abram was champion handler and Lizzie Harding
took reserve. Sacombe won the Pairs Trophy. We had a new award
this year – Our President, Judy Borlase, presented the Sacombe
Trophy to a young member who, in her opinion, has ‘contributed
the most to promote the club and breed throughout the year’.
This prestigious award was deserverdly won by Emma Blomfield. The
show was a great success with over 80 members, friends and visitors
attending. My thanks to all the helpers who made the day run so
smoothly. The weather was fantastic for the time of year which
was the icing on the cake. Now that we have made a good start our
idea is to rotate the show around the region thus sharing organization
The final event on our calendar is always the autumn meeting followed
by our dinner and prize giving. This year over 30 members joined
in to hear Neil Shand, our new Chief Executive, express his thoughts
and ideas for the future of the Society.
My final duty is to thank my wife Lesley for all her work in the
background also Peter Grenham, our secretary, and many other club
members who have supported me during my two years in office.
2008 club report
2007 club report
2006 club report
2005 club report