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Great Wenham: Longhorn cattle farmer steers way to success at Native Breeds Carcase Competition

06:00 31 May 2014

Suffolk show day 1 
Winner of rare breed carcase competition run by Suffolk Food Hall and Bramfield Meats. 
Natasha and Richard Mann of Iken hall farm, Charles and David Coe, Chile mills of Bramfield meats and Oliver Paul Front Suffolk food hall

Suffolk show day 1 Winner of rare breed carcase competition run by Suffolk Food Hall and Bramfield Meats. Natasha and Richard Mann of Iken hall farm, Charles and David Coe, Chile mills of Bramfield meats and Oliver Paul Front Suffolk food hall

A Longhorn cattle farmer from Colchester steered his way to success in a closely-fought native breed beef contest last week.

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David Coe of A Coe & Son, Great Wenham, took top prize in the Native Breeds Carcase Competition, which was organised by Suffolk Food Hall of Wherstead, near Ipswich, and Bramfield Meats.

The winning carcase was displayed at the Suffolk Show after being judged from hoof to hook.

Six judges concluded that David’s Longhorn steer was the clear winner out of a total of 12 carcases from across the region, covering five native breeds.

The competition was open to native British beef breeds reared in East Anglia and was judged on the hoof’ through a farm assessment, on the hook from the butcher’s perspective, and on the hob through a taste test by local chefs.

Charlie Mills, who runs Halesworth-based Bramfield Meats, said it had been “an outstanding contest, not only in the number and range of entries but also the quality of the contestants”.

Judges said the Longhorn was the out-and-out winner, as the leading animal when judged on the hoof and on the hook, and also one of the highest scoring steaks when judged on the plate.

Gerard King of Salters and King butchers in Aldeburgh and Kevin Allen of Halesworth carried out blind judging of carcases. The chefs’ assessment was led by cookery writer, presenter and farmer Mary Kemp.

Second place went to an Angus heifer reared by Andrew Brown of Hawstead Lodge Farm, while Richard and Natasha Mann’s Lincoln Red steer from Iken, near Aldeburgh, came third. The winning entry went on display in the EBLEX chiller trailer at the Suffolk Show, and David was presented with his award at the Suffolk Show. A Beef Celebration Dinner was held after the final round of judging on Thursday, May 22, which raised £1835 in aid of www.memorialcycleride.co.uk.

Oliver Paul of Suffolk Food Hall said: “It is really important to us to recognise native beef breeds, and the qualities with which they excel, as too much meat is served up with only real regard for yield. This competition has looked at benefits of breeding, rearing systems and eating qualities; with two outcomes, learning for the farmer and reassurance for the consumer.

“Ultimately customers can see the advantages of probably eating a little less but much better quality, particularly in tenderness and flavour.”

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