The 2016 East of England Smithfield Festival has announced the introduction of three new classes for this year’s event, to meet changing industry needs and to appeal to the increasing number of young farmers that the event is now attracting.
The first new class for 2016 is the market ready beef pair, where two native and continental steers or heifers, which are ready for slaughter, will be judged for the honoured title. These animals will be judged in the pen so only minimal halter training is required. However, they must be under 650 kg live weight and from a farm assured holding to qualify. The champion and reserve will be offered for sale at the event.
A new breeding ewe lamb competition has also been added to the schedule and includes classes for purebred and crossbred, native and continental breeds. A specific class will also be held for the best North of England Mule lamb. Again, the champion will be sold at the festival.
The third new section, has been introduced due to increased interest, and is for British White cattle. Classes will be available for bulls and heifers in the pedigree calf show.
William Haire, show director is also delighted to confirm the addition of Martin Irvine to the judging team. Martin, known to many for his award winning Braehead Limousin herd, and star of the BBC Two series, “This Farming Life”, will judge the Young Stockperson of the Year Award.
The young stockperson class has seen a tremendous amount of interest this year, and aims to recognise up and coming talent in the cattle showing industry. Applicants qualify for entry into this class throughout the year at local and regional shows, and require a high standard of both skill and knowledge.
The College Challenge will also make a return this year and will see teams from agricultural colleges around the UK compete for this prestigious title. This will also be judged by Martin Irvine, together with NFU livestock board chairman, Charles Sercombe. The College Challenge is predominately a stock judging competition, but also includes feed raw material identification and silage sample analysis. This class proved incredibly popular in 2015.
“As promised, the Smithfield Festival continues to listen to the industry and change the format for new demands,” says William Haire, festival show director. “The new classes reflect the changing face of the industry.
“The growing support for the young stockperson award and the college competition also highlight the immense talent and enthusiasm we have coming into the industry from colleges around the UK. It gives me great pleasure to work with such professional and knowledgeable individuals and I’m looking forward to yet another incredible Smithfield Festival,” concludes William.
Full details of all classes can be found at www.eoesmithfield.co.uk
Notes to editors
- Market ready beef pair class – animals must not have been shown the previous day in commercial classes and must have had three movements or less on the day of the show
- The North of England Mule lamb class will be held under NEMSA rules.
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Issued by: Julie Scanlon, Pinstone Communications, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, t: 07580 378080