Gallery: Thousands descend on a sun-soaked Tendring Hundred Show

Tendring Show. Up to 25,000 are expected through the gates at Lawford House Park, near Manningtree,

Tendring Show. Up to 25,000 are expected through the gates at Lawford House Park, near Manningtree, for the Tendring Show. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of people enjoyed soaring temperatures at the Tendring Hundred Show today.

The event, a highlight in the county’s calendar, was bathed in sunshine with crowds of around 25,000 expected through the gates at Lawford House Park, near Manningtree.

First held in 1899, the show has become an opportunity to bring the rural and urban populations of north Essex and the surrounding area together.

The show is organised by the Tendring Hundred Farmers’ Club, a non-profit organisation which, according to its chairman David Lord, seeks to put on a great show for the public and create the best possible platform for local businesses and traders.

Today’s temperatures, however, did prove to be a challenge for livestock, their handlers, stewards and judges alike.

The contrast with the mud of last year’s rain-affected show could hardly have been greater, with this year’s dry conditions helping the judges to maintain a lively pace and avoid exposing the animals to the full heat of the day for too long.

In the commercial cattle classes, the champion beef animal was a Belgian Blue heifer owned by Bob Manning Farms of Cornard Tye, near Sudbury.

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Reserve was Blonde-cross heifer owned by Will Ketley from Toppesfield, near Halstead, which judge Mike Dickens from Milton Keynes, said just shaded a Limousin-cross heifer shown by Heather Blythe from Horsford, near Norwich.

In the sheep rings, the classes for the Suffolk breed were dominated by Chris and Sarah Partridge from Kersey, near Hadleigh, who won the championship with a shearling ewe and reserve with a shearling ram.

The judge, Ray Woolway from Cambridgeshire, said of the champion: “She is a very correct sheep with a good body and she moves well; just a bit better all round than the ram.”

Mr Partridge said the champion had steadily matured as this year’s show season progressed, having come fourth in her class at the Suffolk Show at the end of May, when she was still a bit young, and second at the Royal Norfolk Show a month later.

Numbers in the Suffolk classes were slightly disappointing, despite livestock entries for the show generally having been encouragingly high this year.

Suffolks were, in fact, outnumbered by Southdowns, whose breed society again held its national show at the Suffolk Show this year.

The champion Southdown at the Tendring Show was a two-shear ram owned by the Hutley family from Great Holland, near Clacton-on-Sea, who is known at home as “Kangaroo”, due to his tendency to become a bit of a woolly jumper when first being trained for the show ring.

Simon and Jayne Hutley, who have 72 sheep in all, have been keeping Southdowns since 2001 but ownership of the champion is claimed by their son Andrew who said it was only down to him that the champion ram had been brought to the show at all.

“I was not going to show him here but obviously I have been proved wrong,” said Mrs Hutley.

Among the rare and minority breeds of sheep, the supreme championship went to the winner of the Longwool section, a Whiteface Dartmore ewe lamb owned by CA Coe & Son of Great Wenham, near Ipswich.

Winner of the Mountain section, and reserve to the overall champion, was a Lleyn shearling ewe owned by Nick Whitehead from Old Newton, near Stowmarket.

Other section champions included a Ryeland ewe owned by Jordan Stone from Scoulton, near Norwich (Downland breeds); a Hebridean shearling ewe owned by Miss B Chamberlain from Lawford, near Manningtree (Primitive breeds); and a Norfolk Horn shearling ram owned by Neil Beaton & Son from Ashdon, near Saffron Walden (Heathland breeds).