Suffolk Show 2012: First Texel title for Stephen Cobbald and daughter Charlotte
SHEEP breeder Stephen Cobbald and his daughter Charlotte added another title to their collection on day one of the Suffolk Show.
And their latest championship was all the more pleasing as it represents their first since selling off their highly successful flock of Suffolk sheep three years ago and switching to Texels.
Mr Cobbald, from Acton, near Sudbury, has been assisted in the show ring by his daughter, now aged 15, for several years.
When she expressed a wish to follow him into sheep breeding he suggested that a change of breed would help her to establish a reputation in her own right rather than continue to be spoken of as his daughter.
As a result, the Suffolks, with which Mr Cobbald won of host of trophies during a 50-year association with the breed, were sold off at the end of the 2009 show season and they started afresh with Texels.
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Although they have scored a number of class wins with their Texels in the past two years, including one at the Suffolk Show in their first season with the breed, championship success had proved elusive – until yesterday.
They won two classes, with a shearling ewe and a ewe lamb, and the shearling went on to claim the breed title, with reserve going to shearling ram shown by Jenny Prentice from Creeting St Mary, near Ipswich.
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Mr Cobbald said the champion shearling ewe was by a ram from the Kelso flock, with which they won a class at last year’s Royal Norfolk show, out of a ewe acquired from a flock dispersal in Aberdeenshire.
He added that, while pedigree was important, the key factor was meat potential and the top line and back end of the champion was exactly what a butcher would be looking for at a sale.
The Middleditch family from Belchamp St Paul, near Subury, completed a hat-trick of championships with the Hampshire Down breed.
A fully home-bred shearling ram shown by Harry Middleditch retained the title which the family have also won for the past two years.
The ram, one of three class winners for the family, was sired by the ram with which they won the interbreed championship at the show two years ago, out of a ewe which was also home-bred.
The family’s other class wins came with trimmed and untrimmed ram lambs.
Reserve champion was a shearling ewe owned by Eleanor and Annabel Jones from Morley St Botolph, near Wymondham in Norfolk.
The Suffolk breed championship went to a four-year-old ewe being shown for the first time by David and Julie Inman from Thorpe Satchville, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.
There was little by way of success for exhibitors from the breed’s home county, with reserve going to an untrimmed ewe lamb owned by Merrick and Julie Pinny from Holcot, near Northampton.