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Suffolk Show 2019: County shows off its beef cattle breeding credentials with strong performance on first day

PUBLISHED: 17:32 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:05 29 May 2019

Nick Reid with his breed champion Aberdeen Angus Overbury Hall Angus  Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Nick Reid with his breed champion Aberdeen Angus Overbury Hall Angus Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Archant

It was a great day for Suffolk beef cattle farmers on the first day of the Suffolk Show, as they showed how the county still prizes its livestock, despite being in a strongly arable region.

Natasha and Richard Mann with their Lincoln Red winners and, centre, judge Chris Page  Picture: SARAH CHAMBERSNatasha and Richard Mann with their Lincoln Red winners and, centre, judge Chris Page Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

A Suffolk Aberdeen Angus breeder expressed delight and surprise after scooping the breed title on the first day of the Suffolk Show, having established his herd eight years ago.

Nick Reid keeps a small herd of 52 head of cattle including quite a number of calves at his 400 acre farm at Overbury Hall, Lower Layham, Hadleigh.

MORE - Excitement builds ahead of county's biggest day out

Judge Andrew Elliot praised his winning cow, Overbury Hall Passiflora, as "nicely balanced" with good locomotion and a tidy udder and good width as he awarded it top spot.

Nick decided to establish a pure-bred breeding herd on land which was unsuited to arable farming as he and his wife liked the idea of finding an alternative use for it. "They are easy living - which is really important - quiet, easy to handle, which given our inexperience is a good feature of the breed. We are breeding to sell young heifers and bulls to other farms."

Natasha and Richard Mann of Iken, near Woodbridge, followed up on their win last year to take top breed honours in the Lincoln Reds contest with Yarn Hill Hannah, and reserve champion with Yarn Hill Xchequer.

Natasha said it was "fantastic" and said they were "ecstatic" at their double success.

The couple, who keep 120 cattle, all Lincoln Reds, said they had chosen the breed because it was docile. "They live out all year round.

Judge Chris Page said the winner and runner-up were "fantastic examples of the breed". "The heifer it's got style, it's got length, it's clean. It makes a marvellous breeder. The young bull has tremendous growth for its age."

The standard of cattle had been "very good," he said. "There weren't too many, but they have turned out very well," he said.

There was also Suffolk success in the Red Poll section, as Lady Getty's Lavenham Brook Kirstie with calf at foot, bred at Lavenham, scooped the breed title.

Lady Getty said she was "thrilled to bits". "It pays for all that hard work and dedication and devotion," she said. Stockwoman Denise Thomas said it was "fantastic" to win, after a really close contest.

Judge Terry Mancey said it was a "really beautiful, well balanced Red Poll cow".

In the South Devons contest, Malcolm and Thelma Broome of Thorpe Langton, Market Harborough, celebrated as Welland Valley Dynamic 11 took the crown. Thelma said they were "very excited" and have been coming to the show for more than 20 years, showing from their herd of around 160/170 cows, with followers bringing numbers up to around 450.

David and Lesley Sapsed, of Hitchen in Hertfordshire, took the breed champion title in the British Simmental competition with their bull, Heathbrow Important. "It's brilliant because the bull is only two years old and he's grown on so well," said Lesley.

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