Record-breaking year for livestock at Royal Three Counties Show
There were record numbers of livestock entries at this year’s Royal Three Counties Show, in association with JCB, which saw more than 100 breeds competing across the weekend in a celebration of farming talent.
Although atrocious weather conditions had forced the cancellation of a string of events across Britain, the investment made into the Three Counties Showground over the years paid dividends with visitors enjoying a carnival atmosphere as the region’s agricultural industry took centre stage.
Head of Shows Diana Walton praised her team for an outstanding show despite some torrential downpours across the weekend and thanked the public for keeping their spirits high.
“This year’s show will be remembered for some fantastic competitions regardless of the adverse weather, with thanks to not only our incredible volunteers but to the livestock exhibitors, traders and public for all coming out and helping to make it yet another brilliant weekend of agricultural celebrations in the Farming Village, sponsored by Ballards LLP.
“We are proud of the Society’s 220-year history and each year we’re delighted to see so many people come together to bring a brilliant atmosphere to the Show, something the team here at the Society work particularly hard to achieve across all of our events.”
Thanks to the resilience of the ground and the competitors at the show, more than 900 classes took place over the three-day event, with over 3,000 sheep entries - a record for the event.
The Royal Three Counties Show was also home to a number of national shows for breeds of cattle, sheep and goat, including the first Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders Association, Kerry Hill Flock Book Society, Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset Sheep Breeders Association and Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Society National Shows staged at Malvern.
Top winners from across the Interbreed competitions on Friday and Saturday include Beef Cattle champion sponsored by M&S Food, Aberdeen Angus, Rodmead Bonnie Lass from Mr Angus Neish in Warminster, in the Dairy section a Jersey, Olympic Response Belladonna, from M & J Robertson, Bristol, won the Interbreed Championship while a Suffolk Yearling Ewe from Tom and Aimee Mogford in Tiverton, Devon, took the Interbreed Sheep Championship.
Taking home the Interbreed Pig Champion title was a British Lop Sow, Bezurrell Actress 374, from Giles Eustice in Cornwall, who also went on to take the coveted Interbreed Group of three title on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in the Grand Parade on Saturday, it was the Suffolk Yearling Ewe, crowned Champion of Champions - judged by Show Ambassador Adam Henson.
On Rare Breeds Sunday, heading up the beef cattle classes was a Longhorn Heifer from Mr Bertie Facon’s Banbury-based herd, Gentons Sara. Taking home the Interbreed sheep class champion title was J Rowe & T Webb’s Kerry Hill Ram from Leominster.
The Rare & Minority Breeds Show Champion of Champions title belonged to the British Landrace Gilt Pestcombe Cordelia 18, from Alice Newth in Somerset. The October-born Landrace was judged and chosen by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s President and TV’s Jimmy Doherty.
In other areas of the show, there was a hive of activity in the sheep shearing area with 1,100 sheep being sheared on Saturday alone.
For the first time this year, classes were held for Blade Shearing at the Show. Saturday saw a high-octane Open Shearing competition with a host of International competitors taking part. This was followed by a highly competitive Shearing Test Match between the English and Welsh development squads, with the England Team, triumphant.
Inspiring the next generation of farmers learning at Royal Three Counties Show, the Young Handlers section saw a huge turnout over the weekend. The Elms School won Breed Champion in the Gloucestershire Old Spots with a boar, Elmschool Gerald 17.
This year saw record goat entries, with the Toggenburg Breeders Society National Breed Show making its Royal Three Counties Show debut.
In the equine section, there was a record number of Horse of the Year Show qualifiers this year with 58 taking place across the weekend. The Cuddy Supreme in Hand went to a Hack Broodmare, The Power of Love from Mrs Vicky Smith, based in Newmarket Suffolk.
In the Poultry section, the Poultry champion was a Red Saddled Yokohama while the Poultry Club of Great Britain Regional egg Show, attracted over 300 entries owned by P.D.Wood from Derbyshire - the first held at Royal Three Counties Show.