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Stackyard News Jun 06

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Great Yorkshire Show 2006 - New Chief Steward Pig Section

One of the most important sections at the Great Yorkshire Show has a new leader. Peter Brier, who has been involved in helping to run the pig classes for many years, is the new Chief Steward of the section.

Peter Brier & Saddlebacks

Peter Brier & Saddlebacks

Mr Brier, who comes from two generations of butchers and has lived at Burley in Wharfedale near Otley for more than half a century, takes over the role after around 20 years' involvement in the Great Yorkshire.

The Great Yorkshire Show is the region's largest annual rural and farming event. Held on the edge of the spa town of Harrogate, last year's show attracted a record-breaking crowd of 134,810 visitors. Dates for this year are Tuesday 11 - Thursday 13 July. The 2006 event sees the highest number of entries in the section for five years. There are a total of 324 pigs entered compared with 300 last year and 277 in 2004.

Mr Brier said: "I've been working with pigs all my life. The first one I owned was a Middle White when I was15 years old, preparing it and helping to show; ultimately I won my first championship with an Essex and together with my father Matthew, I founded our pedigree Essex herd in 1948."

After returning from military service in 1954, Mr Brier returned to pig farming and has won most awards at national level with the Landrace breed, including Champion Landrace at the Great Yorkshire Show for four years in succession.

He is currently vice-chairman of the British Pig Association and chairman of the Landrace Breed and Modern Breeds committees, as well as holding various other offices within the industry and is a founder member of the Consortium of Independent Breeders. Married to June since 1956 and with five children and 12 grandchildren, Mr Brier is still involved in the redevelopment of the BPA at national level.

At this year's Great Yorkshire Show, he says, the classes will be as hotly contested as ever and there is a new class for young pig handlers. Youngsters aged from eight to 12 and from 13 to 17 years of age will battle it out for the honours in two categories of the British Pig Association's Young Handlers' Competition, a qualifier for the national final of the contest held later this year.

He says the Young Handlers' classes will be a great showcase for new talent coming up through the ranks: "I have felt for some time that the ring skills and quality of some of the handlers between eight and 18 years of age were so much improved due to Young Handler classes at shows up and down the country. After all, they are the future of the classes, and it's great that the Great Yorkshire Show is supporting this."

Once again the show will host the prestigious BPA Pig of the Year Final. Mr Brier explained: "This is one of our Supreme Pig Championships. It is for the winners of heats at 12 shows around the country, including the Great Yorkshire, and has been running and growing for several years. The judge of the final is not allowed to judge at any other show that season and is selected more than a year in advance - this time it is Mr J Millard of Caxton."

He added: "The Housewives' Choice is always a popular class - this is where six ladies from the audience are invited to judge the pigs in pairs, under the guidance of an expert. They will get a special rosette as a memento, and the class aims not just to entertain the public but also highlight the importance of welfare standards and pride in stockmanship."

link Great Yorkshire Show 2006 - Tomorrow’s Agriculture Exhibition
link The Great Yorkshire Show - Something for Everyone
link Great Yorkshire Show Supports Operation Bumblebee
link The Great Yorkshire Cheese & Dairy Show
link Great Yorkshire Show: The Art of Woodcraft

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The Great Yorkshire Show
The Great Yorkshire Show