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Stackyard News Nov 06

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Young breeder scoops Suffolk sheep top accolade

A schoolboy’s dream recently became reality when he won the Suffolk Sheep Society National flock championship, the Bristol Gold Cup. He was presented with his prize filmed by TV crews as he hosted a flock view day last week in Staffordshire, bathed in autumn sunshine.

Tom Cox with his gimmers

Tom Cox with his gimmers

Now 18 years old, Tom Cox, of Manor Farm, Marston, initially purchased six in lamb Suffolk ewes from the Crosemanor flock in the year 2000. Today the “Tomcroft” flock has developed to 50 head with superior breeding attributes, producing progeny of outstanding quality.

His latest win was judged by Scotsmen, Sandy Norrie and Ron Greig, who travelled the whole of the UK plus Eire and Belgium to find their winner. Speaking at the flock view day and presentations held last week, Mr Norrie praised the flock: “The ram Muiresk Adrenaline has left his stamp, with great evenness and balance across the flock. The progeny and ewe lambs in particular, grown off grass only, are tremendous.”

In 2003 Tom jointly purchased Muiresk Adrenaline with Clive Norbury, from the Shropshire borders, for 3,200gns. The acquisition took the Tomcroft flock from strength to strength with championships and reserves at Shropshire and West Midland, Staffordshire and Newport Shows.

Says Tom Cox, “The Gold Cup is an amazing achievement, we have had a great year and this is a fantastic finale to it.” Earlier this year Tom took the interbreed championship at the Shropshire & West Midland Show and hit his first four figure sale with a ram lamb by Castlewellan Nutcraker which he sold at the National Sale at Shrewsbury in July.”

Having recently completed studies at Rodbaston Agricultural College, Tom has now returned to join the family farm run by his parents Steven and Vera Cox. It was a winning week for the Cox family because the previous evening they picked up awards from the Staffordshire Agricultural Society for the Best Large dairy herd and best maize crop.

Co-judge Ron Greig praised entries in the Suffolk competition, “the message from the Society is recording and confirmation, this without doubt has been followed through in the flocks that we visited.” Within the Cox farming partnership with the 310 head of pedigree Holstein Friesians averaging 11,000 litres, figures are nothing new and the Tomcroft flock is already achieving indexes of £3.62.

Commercial director, Robyn Hulme, commended Tom’s outstanding stockmanship combined with his flock’s recorded figures. Still demonstrating that Suffolks have figures to kill for.

Flock competition results:

The Bristol Gold Cup - Champion Flock
Winner - Tom Cox, Manor Farm, Marston, Church Eaton, Staffs.
Reserve – A J & A R Benzie, Meikle, Whiterashes, Turriff, Aberdeenshire.
Tankards go to Tom Cox and Neil Benzie (Shepherds)

The Sainsbury Cup - Best Ewe Lambs
Winner - Wm Borthwick & Son, Auchinraith, Mauchline, Ayrshire.
Reserve – Tom Bailey, Culcommon, Batterstown, Co Meath, Eire.
Certificates of Merit: Tom Cox; Judith J Barbour, Rosefield Farm, Annan, Dumfries.

The Howard Peel Cup - Best Stud Rams
Winner - A J & A R Benzie.
Reserve – Tom Bailey.
Certificate of Merit – P M Fletcher, Gybhouse Farm, Clowstop, Kidderminster, Worcs.

The Bonnington in Bloomsbury Salver - Best flock of ewes
Winner - A J & A R Benzie.
Reserve – Tom Cox.
Certificates of Merit – Claude Vanwijnsberghe, Wm Borthwick & Son.

John Long Cup - flocks of 20 - 30 ewes
Winner - A J & A R Benzie.
Reserve – Wm Borthwick & Son.
Certificates of Merit - Judith J Barbour.

W E Lloyd Cup - flocks of 31 - 60 ewes
Winner – Tom Cox.
Reserve – Claude Vanwijnsberghe, Meierie 15, B8972 Desselgem, Belgium.

Brooks Cup - flocks of 101 ewes and over
Winner - Tom Bailey.
Reserve – R J L Park, Drinkstone, Hawick, Roxburghshire.

Chebsey Cup - progeny group
Winner - Tom Cox – Muiresk Adrenaline.
Reserve – R J L Park – Fordafourie Footprint.

link Tomcroft Suffolk flock wins Bristol Gold Cup
link Suffolks open flock book
link New Suffolk recording scheme launched

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