Young Farmers contest at Suffolk Show celebrates life of Charlotte Cobbald

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competit

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competition, in memory of Charlotte Cobbald. - Credit: Archant

Young Farmers from across Suffolk and north Essex today took part in a new competition created to celebrate the life of Charlotte Cobbald, who died last year at the age of 17.

Stephen Cobbald presents the award for the YFC Stockpersons' competition in memory of Charlotte Cob

Stephen Cobbald presents the award for the YFC Stockpersons' competition in memory of Charlotte Cobbald, to Hamish Beaton. - Credit: Archant

From an early age, Charlotte assisted her father, Stephen Cobbald, in showing his flock of pedigree Suffolk sheep and she later built up her own flock, of the Texel breed.

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competit

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competition, in memory of Charlotte Cobbald. - Credit: Archant

She was also an enthusiastic member of Young Farmers, being a member in turn of the Gipping Valley and Stowmarket clubs, and the new competition brings together both of these interests.

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competit

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competition, in memory of Charlotte Cobbald. - Credit: Archant

Representatives from nine Young Farmers clubs took part in a challenge which involved both showing and judging sheep, and a test of the livestock knowledge.

Charlotte Cobbald with one of her award-winning Texel sheep.

Charlotte Cobbald with one of her award-winning Texel sheep. - Credit: Archant

Stephen Cobbald described the concept for the competition as “brilliant”.

“It gives Young Farmers a competition which involves them in the Suffolk Show and highlights that, in a world where mental illness has a more devastating effect on young people that any other disease, there are places like Young Farmers where they can let their hair down and have a bit of fun,” he said.

“The order of the day, the competitors have all been told, is smile – no looking back. If Charlotte was here, Charlotte would have loved to be in this competition; it was just the kind of thing she loved to do. She loved showing sheep and she loved Young Farmers, and this competition combines the two.”

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The full line-up of competitors was: Cameron Farnan (Stowmarket YFC), Charlie Felstead (Otley College), Hamish Beaton (Ashdon & Saffron Walden), Harry Middleditch (Halstead), Ed Lewis (Bury St Edmunds), Andrew Hutley (Wix), Charlie Coe (Hadleigh), Peter Fleming (Halesworth) and Megan Pemberton (Debenham).

The winner was Hamish Beaton, whose club will receive a prize of £300.

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