Charlotte makes a winning start

CHARLOTTE Cobbald yesterday made a winning start to what might well prove a long career in showing sheep at the Suffolk Show.

Charlotte, 13, is no stranger to success in the show ring, having been assisting her father, Stephen Cobbald, from Acton, near Sudbury, in showing his multi-prize-winning flock of Suffolk sheep for several years already.

However, at the end of last season, the Suffolks ? a breed with which Mr Cobbald has been associated for more than 50 years ? were sold off and the family have started afresh with Texels which, Mr Cobbald says, are is daughter’s sheep, not his.

“It is very much about the future and handing on to the next generation,” said Mr Cobbald. “I am getting on and will not always be around but Charlotte is 13 now and is very keen on showing sheep.

“She wanted to follow me into showing but I said she should change breeds because if she followed me with Suffolks she would always be ‘Stephen Cobbald’s daughter’, not Charlotte Cobbald.

“She decided on Texels; they were her choice. We had a couple of ewes last year but this is our first proper year showing, and the Suffolk Show is our main event of the year.”

Charlotte, a pupil at Ipswich High School, said she chose the Texel breed for its all-round qualities, including its temperament which makes them easier to handle that Suffolk.

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Things could hardly have got off to a better start, with one of Charlotte’s shearling rams winning the first class in which she was involved. and she later added a second class win, this time with a home-bred ewe lamb.

The best in breed title was won, for the second year running, by Neil and Emma Pamplin from Ringstead in Northamptonshire with a shearling ewe, with reserve going to Sylvia Rawlings, from Nayland, near Colchester, with a ram lamb.

However, Charlotte and her father were satisfied with their haul of two red winner’s rosettes, and also took away some valuable tips for the future.

“It is a very difficult breed to get into,” said Mr Cobbald. “The breed society has 2,500 members; it really is a big challenge.

“You also learn some lessons. I now realise that our sheep had too much wool on them today.

“I clipped them two months ago, like I would Suffolks, whereas I now realise I should have clipped them two weeks ago.”

But he added: “I hope Charlotte shows sheep for 52 years like I have, and I hope she gets as much pleasure out of it as I have.”

The Suffolk breed championship yesterday went to a shearling ewe owned by MJ & JA Pinny from Holcot, Northamptonshire, who also claimed reserve with the male champion, a trimmed ram lamb.

The only success for the breed’s home county came in the stock ram class which was won by R Partridge & Son Ltd from Kersey.

The Hampshire Down breed title went to a shearling ram owned by Denise Middleditch from Belchamp St Paul, near Sudbury, with reserve spot going to a trimmed ewe lamb owned by Banks & Green of Thelnetham, near Diss.

In the Jacob breed, the male championship, and reserve overall, went to a ram owned by Craig and Karen Smith from Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds.

The winner was one of three Jacobs given to the couple last August as a wedding present with a difference by Mr Smith’s grandparents, Bob and Trish Baker.

Mrs Baker is a long-time exhibitor of Jacob sheep, although she has now retired from showing.