Society Patron, HRH The Princess Royal visits the 2018 Development Day

We welcomed our Patron HRH The Princess Royal to our annual Development Day for new and young members, this year staged on 1 August at Low Stonehills Farm, Fraisthorpe, Bridlington.

Host, Geoff Riby provides commentary during the workshops before members take a final tour of the farm

Host, Geoff Riby provides commentary during the workshops before members take a final tour of the farm

After meeting over 60 breed society members who earlier in the day had attended workshops featuring performance recording, health schemes, linear classification, and ring-craft and dressing, HRH The Princess Royal joined in their afternoon’s activities featuring a workshop designed to help them breed higher quality cattle.

Host member, Geoff Riby commented: “We were thrilled to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to the East Riding of Yorkshire and to have the opportunity to demonstrate how we are successfully progressing this native breed as a functional suckler cow meeting today’s market demand. She expressed huge personal interest in Beef Shorthorn and congratulated the Society on the progress the breed is making both numerically and in terms of improved quality.”

The afternoon was rounded off with a workshop led by Society member, Donald Biggar offering the following nine top tips to first time official showring judges.

  1. Firstly, find out how many entries are forward and the rough size of the classes.

  2. Check out every animal as it first comes in to the ring; first impressions are all important. Form an opinion on the quality of each class.

  3. Keep the entries moving as they come in to the ring; locomotion is vital. Structural correctness manifests itself while the animal is walking.

  4. Chose a spot to stand in the ring where each animal walks up to you, then get behind each in order to assess its track width.

  5. Be aware the handler maybe trying to hide a fault, watch out for tricks.

  6. Once you have a fair idea of the order of placings, signal the first three in; make sure they are clear of their positioning, followed by the rest of the class.

  7. Walk down the back of the line-up and then proceed up the front.

  8. If you are not certain about the placings, make sure you are absolutely right by asking one or two to walk around.

  9. Nod to the winner, signal to the rosettes and then sign your life away

What the members said

“I’ve had a brilliant time. I’d like to be an official judge one day, so the stock judging workshop was really useful informing me on what to look for when the animals first come in to the ring and those first impressions. I also learned about classification for the first time, again what to look for - it’s not about colour but how an animal walks, its depth, length, size and so many more physical attributes.”

Alasdair Marshall, Castle Douglas

“The performance recording workshop provided extra information and cemented what I already knew about EBVs. I think performance recording is really important; by looking at the figures they indicate the animal’s breeding potential so they help you to select animals for breeding more carefully, they add value and they are particularly useful say if one animal is not in peak condition, but has high genetic potential. We already record the family’s 12 cow herd.”

Lois Haigh, Market Rasen

“I enjoyed leading the cattle around in the ring-craft and dressing workshop. I’m responsible with my brother Max for prepping our show team selected from the family’s herd of 50 cows. It’s given me some pointers what to better next time as well as a lot more confidence to get out there. I’ve had a great time, and socially it’s been really good.”

Jake Clough, Pickering

“I liked the linear classification workshop. It’s helped me to look at cattle closely when picking out the faults, rather than just at first glance. It’s also been nice to chat to other young members. We tend to see each other at big shows but we are often far too busy to meet up properly.”

Erika Ivinson, Penrith

“The more information we can get the better and I intend to put in to practice what I’ve learned when I get back home. The workshops have stimulated me to start both performance recording and classifying my 15-cow herd.”

Leigh Nobes, Norwich

A great day was had by all

A great day was had by all