- Royal Smithfield Club trophy goes to Massey Divas
- Jess Pugh wins RSC-sponsored Butchery Challenge
This year’s National Young Stars event once again saw young agricultural enthusiasts descend on the Royal Three Counties Showground 21-22 August 2018 for two days of competition in various cattle, sheep, pigs and butchery sections including stockjudging, show preparation, ring craft, public speaking, marketing and publicity and industry knowledge competitions, making this event a stand-alone national platform for agriculture’s next generation.
Jess Pugh of the Shropshire-based Ludlow Food Centre returned to the Malvern Showground to retain her Royal Smithfield Club-sponsored butchery title from last year. Jess impressed the AHDB judge Martin Eccles and independent butcher Viv Harvey with her butchery knowledge, thorough work process and imaginative presentation skills. In second place was Jake Edwards sponsored by Althams Butchers with third spot going to Ben Greenfield who was sponsored by Greenfield Lamb.
Coming through on top in the beef section winning a Norbreck Genetics and Semex clothing and genetics package was the Black as Night team, represented by Ellie Westaway, Glos; Robyn Westcott, Somerset and Kian Frain, Cornwall, who came with a pair of Aberdeen-Angus heifers. These three competitors excelled in areas of stockjudging and clipping and presentation with the judge for the latter, Wendy Morgan saying that all three individuals excelled at team work and were very clear in their approach and style of presenting their animals.
Runners-up in the beef section was the Lim-It team of Emma Rathbone, Stoke on Trent; Brooks Carey, Somerset and Elliw Roberts, Anglesey, representing the British Limousin Cattle Society, while the Canadian exchange team came third.
In a change to previous years, the judges and stewards selected three individuals to represent the UK in Canada at the Royal Winter Fair, Toronto, in November. Joining beef team winner Ellie Westaway in Canada will be Michael Dumbreck and Tom Brown on the Northern Boys Charolais team.
A new competition for this year saw a dual purpose/beef untrimmed section added to proceedings with the Delightful Dexter team flying the flag for their sponsors The Wise Cow and Rayner Farms. This team consisted of Millie Bennet and Evie Welch, Somerset along with Oliver Spence, Swindon, all of which will receive a team cash prize of £300. Runners up here was the Sussex Martlets, consisting of Grace Twyman, Kent along with Sarah Dykes and Freddie Hutchings, Sussex.
Winning a trip to The European Show in Libramont having shone in the dairy section was the Roan Rangers Dairy Shorthorn team, sponsored by the Farmers Guardian. Bob Crank, Cheshire, Florence Mannerings, Kent and Hannah Morgan, Shropshire, took the top spot ahead of the Just Jerseys team of Emily Davis, Jess Ravenhill and Jess Tapp from Devon.
In the sheep lines competition was split this year in to untrimmed and trimmed sections with 10 teams competing across the board. Coming through on top in the trimmed section and winning their set of Heineger sheep clippers were the Kerry Hill Young Breeders of Chris Adamson and Henry Scott from Somerset and Tolly Ridge, Sussex. These three individuals impressed the judges with a fantastic promotional stand which won the overall promotional stand award of the show and high standard of presentation throughout all areas of the competition.
Commenting on their win, judge Brian Davies said: “These three young men are a credit to their breed and impressed us with their work ethic, teamwork ethic and dedication to the competition.” Runners up in the trimmed section were the Hampshire Down Hot Shots of Ellie Alvis, Stephen Short and Samantha Todd.
Meanwhile, in the untrimmed section, the top spot and recipients of a £300 cash prize was the Somerset-based Dorset Down Dazzlers team with Alex and Aaron Hext and Harry Stamp. This team gained strong points in all sections with nine-year old Harry Stamp particularly impressing the judged with his strong work ethic over the two days.
Runners-up in this section was the Blue Texel Sheep Society’s True Blues team, consisting of Harvey Heath, Derbyshire, Ted Lloyd, Herefordshire and Jack Bodily, Monmouthshire.
Runners-up in the pig section was the Spotty Trotters team of Ella Kirtley, Sarah Whitely and Charlotte Gill, Yorkshire, with their Gloucester Old Spot team.