Guernsey becomes show's 'big cheese'

THE prize-winning herd of Guernsey cows behind the popular Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses range scored its biggest success yet at the Royal Norfolk Show yesterday.

THE prize-winning herd of Guernsey cows behind the popular Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses range scored its biggest success yet at the Royal Norfolk Show yesterday.

Jason and Katherine Salisbury established the business at Coddenham, near Ipswich in 2004 following the dispersal of the large commercial herd of black-and-white dairy cattle for which Mr Salisbury had been herd manager.

The cheeses, which include Suffolk Gold and Suffolk Blue, are sold through farmers' markets, farm shops, delicatessens and restaurants and Mr Salisbury also finds time to do a small amount of showing, as well as running the herd day-to-day while his wife focuses on the cheesemaking.

As usual in livestock breeding success did not come overnight but the herd has become increasingly successful at shows and yesterday it claimed its first breed title.


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The honour went to the five-year-old cow Sharnford Marigold which beat off strong competition from the six-year-old Instead Beauty 25, owned by Mr & Mrs Nigel Kennard from Weybread, near Bungay, who have won the title many times themselves.

The result meant that Weybread narrowly missed out on a double, with Mr B Etteridge having earlier claimed the Jersey breed title with the five-year-old cow Moonshine Hallmarks Lady Aster.

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The two Channel Island breed champions were also placed joint reserve for the inter-breed dairy title which was won by the champion Holstein, the three-and-a-half-year old cow Airfield James Miss America, owned by Robert Paterson from Shipdham, near Thetford.

The championship in the multi-purpose Red Poll breed, which originated in Suffolk, went to the five-year-old bull Beasthorpe Major, owned by Miss E Grint from Little Plumstead, near Norwich.

There were class wins for Mr I N Thomson of Lavenham, with the two-year-old heifer Lavenham Virtue and for Writtle College, based near Chelmsford, with the maiden heifer Lordship Xanti.

Among the beef breeds, local successes included the Aberdeen Angus championship for owner Andrew Brown and stockman Kevin Byford of Hardwick Farms, based at Hawstead Lodge Farm, Pinford End, near Bury St Edmunds.

Their champion was the year-old bull Hawstead Lodge Ebonn, sired by bull from the highly successful Blelack bloodline.

Harwick Farms also claimed the female championship, and reserve overall, with the year-old heifer Hawstead Lodge Ebonnie.

George Redpath from North Yorkshire, who judged the breed, said: “The quality of the cattle here was very, very good, the youngsters especially.

“The champion is a very strong young bull with good strong legs, which is essential in a bull, but there was very little in it between the bull and the female champion, also a junior, which is an outstanding heifer for the breed.

“It was a very near thing but the bull is the one I would have liked to have taken home!”

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