Cream of the cattle show

SUFFOLK dairy farmers were the cream of the cream at the county show after scooping supreme inter-breed champion and reserve awards.

The economics of dairy farming caused supreme champion owner Simon Dain to come out of it at his farm at Pentlow, near Sudbury, back in 2001.

But he still managed to retain some of his herd by keeping them with a herd of Fresians belonging to friend and fellow farmer David Burroughs, at Aldeby, on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.

His winning Holstein, Foxhole Duplex Pamela, is one of a herd of about 25/30 of the breed now looked after by Mr Burroughs as part of his dairying operation.

“It’s just topped the week off really,” said Mr Dain. “I didn’t expect it - I knew it was going to be a tough call between us and the Ayrshire (the runner-up). I’m chuffed to bits.” It was the second supreme championship win for Mr Dain, wife Julie, and father-in-law Peter Brand.

“It makes it all worth while keeping a few back,” he said. “My thanks go to David and Margaret his sister and Robert Ives who milks the cows. Without them, it’s impossible to do it, simple as that.”

Runner-up was Moorside Marie, an Ayrshire belonging to 16-year-old Robert Crawford, of Topcroft, Bungay. His father, Thomas, was delighted.

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“I’m very proud of him. The Ayrshire herd started about seven or eight years ago with one calf which my wife bought for me as a birthday present,” he said.

“We have slowly built up to about 20 Ayrshires which are registered in his name which gave him a great interest and a way into dairying.”

Thomas Crawford keeps about 150 Holsteins at the farm, as well as the Ayrshires.

Dairy inter-breed judge Chris Window, from Worcester, described the champion was as a worthy winner, and said he was impressed with the show she put on considering she had calved some time ago.

“I thought it was a very good cow, an excellent cow that was a paraded very well,” he said.

“There wasn’t too much between them, but a worthy interbreed champion.”

He added: “I think you have got a tremendous showground here and it’s tremendously well run . I have been very impressed with the organisation and the stewarding.

The overall winner in the beef inter-breed championships was British Simmental Dirnanean Sarah 58, owned by David and Lesley Sapsed of Hertfordshire.

Mr Sapsed said he was “very, very pleased”.

“She was reserve breed champion here last year so we have gone one better and gone up to win the supreme which is absolutely marvellous,” he said.

Brockhurst Bolshoi, owned by W J & M Mash Ltd, of Buckinghamshire, was reserve inter-breed beef champion.

Beef inter-breed judge Alan Fotheringham, from Perthshire, said he had no hesitation in his decision to award the prize to the Sapseds.

“It has been a bad spring. The cattle are looking very well. It’s a good show, a lovely show. It’s rather unfortunate the Royal Show has gone - it’s a good job this is here.”