Suffolk cattle takes top prizes

SUFFOLK cattle reigned supreme on the second day of the county show after romping to victory in the inter-breed championships.

Duncan Brodie

By Sarah Chambers

SUFFOLK cattle reigned supreme on the second day of the county show after romping to victory in the inter-breed championships.

Two Waveney Valley cows took top places in the dairy inter-breed category, as Poringland Dreamgirl 9, a Jersey, of Cawston Ltd, Hill House Farm, Woodton, Bungay, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, took the supreme champion rosette, and British Friesian Oakalby Breadwinner S Ruth 34 of Burroughs & Son, Oaklands Farm, Aldeby, Beccles, scooped the reserve champion title.

Meanwhile, in the beef cattle inter-breed championships, an Aberdeen Angus bull, Hawstead Lodge Eurevine, of Hardwick Farms, of Horsecroft Road, Bury St Edmunds took the supreme champion title. A British Simmental cow, Theberton Rose, owned by Justin and Emma Dowley, of Theberton House, Leiston, took the reserve prize.

Andrew Brown, owner of the winning Aberdeen Angus, expressed his delight at the win.

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“I'm absolutely delighted. It was very unexpected. He was out in the field with the cows two weeks ago and we really haven't done much with him at all, just put him straight out. He's quite a natural showman though, he loves it,” he said. “It makes it all worthwhile.”

He praised his stockman, Kevin Byford. “I'm very lucky with Kevin Byford. He's brilliant,” he said.

Mr Brown started its Aberdeen Angus herd six years ago, his son, Ben, explained.

“The family has been involved in livestock for many years, pigs and calves. We have been out of cattle for about 20 years and we have got back into it again, and it's become an obsession of my father's. We set up the herd from nothing. We went up to the Perth bull sales and bought the supreme champion. His name was Blelack Blackberet. He's sired Euro. He's sired everything we've shown.”

Len Cox, who judged the beef cattle inter-breeds, described the entries as “top quality”.

“There were good cattle in there,” he said. “The top one, the Angus, that was a good bull. He had got some good motivation, some good power there,” he said.

John Cawston, whose Jersey triumphed in the dairy inter-breed championships, said he was “over the moon”.

“We have got 120 Holsteins and 25 Jerseys,” he said. “I didn't expect that really first time out. She's never been out before.”

The cow had good length and depth of body and an “exceptional” udder, he said. They had bred her mother and grandmother on the farm, he added.

Robert Ives, herdsman at Burroughs & Son of Oaklands Farm, owners of the reserve dairy champion, said she calved six times and had a caesarean as a heifer.

“She's sharpened herself up this year,” he said. “She's looking really well.”

The farm has about 210 cows, and milks around 160 to 170.

“We hang on in there. That's all you can do at the moment,” he said. “At least the milk prices have improved a bit.”

Stephen Brett, herdsman at Eastbridge Farm, near Leiston, the home of reserve dairy champion Theberton Rose, described their success at the show as “absolutely incredible”. “I can't believe it. This kind of thing only happens once in a lifetime,” he said.