The Commercial Showcattte Society, a new organisation open to everyone in the UK with an interest in commercial beef cattle, is to be officially launched at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate. (July 8-10)
It is the brainchild of some of the country’s leading names in the commercial show cattle world — both exhibitors and judges — many of whom have agreed to act as officials and directors of the new society.
The Commercial Showcattle Society’s first chairman is Jim Hollingsworth, from Afonwen in North Wales, who has been exhibiting commercial show cattle for many years. He has won multiple titles with his pedigree British Blues, Blondes and Limousin-cross cattle, and is also much in demand as a show judge.
Mr Hollingsworth explained: “There have been many positive developments within the commercial show cattle world over recent years, when it has become a much more recognised and active sport.
“We can also look back on a long and proud history in excess of 200 years following the formation of the Royal Smithfield Club in 1796 and a growing interest in this aspect of agriculture.
“An opportunity was identified to form a new society to develop and protect the interests of all involved in showing commercial show cattle, along with those breeding animals suitable for exhibition and others who organise and stage such events throughout the UK.
“All of the pedigree cattle exhibitors at local and national agricultural shows are governed and supported by their respective breed societies, but, until now, there has never been a society to represent the interests of the commercial showmen and women.
“This new society is intended to be a ‘breed society’ for the commercials and will seek to improve their lot whenever the opportunity presents itself.
“The principles of the organisation revolve around the introduction of a recognised format and standard of etiquette for those both judging and exhibiting at commercial cattle events.
“In particular, it was felt throughout the sport that some form of training and standardisation was required in the approach to judging commercial cattle. We will meet this need by arranging seminars and workshops on a continuing basis in order that all recognised judges, along with others who may be selected to perform such duties, should have the opportunity to attend.
“All those who were initially connected with the formation of the society, or have since become part of the directorship, have for many years been deeply involved with exhibiting commercial show cattle.
“Every national show without exception in England and Wales has been won by at least one of the directors, as has almost every county show. What’s more, each of these shows during the past five years will have been judged similarly.”
Mr Hollingsworth commented: “There is little doubt that agriculture — and in particular the red meat industry — has in recent years faced increasing difficulties with new regulations, diseases and foreign competition.
“However, through all this, agricultural shows and similar events have continued to provide an outstanding shop window for all involved in the exhibition of beef animals - an opportunity to display the quality of the work of British beef producers, who continue to perform well in a difficult climate.
“Anyone with an interest in the production or exhibition of such animals will now have an equal opportunity to input into the actual formation and future development of all aspects of the society.”
The Commercial Showcattle Society has been set up as a legally formed registered company limited by guarantee
Vice-chairman is British Blue stalwart Neil Lloyd, of Leominster, one of the leading cattle showmen in the country and a member of the Royal Smithfield Club Council.
Nicola Hardy, from Nottingham, has been appointed company secretary. Nicola has been showing cattle for many years alongside her father Mick and has achieved noted success with their “Jericho” herd of commercial cattle.
Alan Hall, of Darlington, who is acting as treasurer to the society, is a retired chartered accountant and former treasurer and member of the British Blonde Society Council. He has had major successes in the show ring with his pedigree Blondes and commercials.
The other directors are:
Michael Alford, of Blackborough, Devon, one of the UK’s top butchers and a past winner and judge at Smithfield.
Richard Bartle, a Herefordshire-based Limousin herd manager, who is one of the best-known cattle people in the country. “Bart” is a prolific showman and is also much sought after as a judge of both pedigree and commercial cattle.
Mark Hallam, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, a high profile showman and pedigree Limousin breeder, who has won at Smithfield and other major events.
Wendy Morgan, of Llangadog, South Wales, a well-known breeder and exhibitor of show cattle, who has sent out past winners of major shows, including the National Primestock Show champion.
Ian Pickup, of Blackburn, Lancashire, a British Blue specialist and up-and-coming showman who is one of the younger members of the board.
Steven Priestley, of Denholme, Bradford, West Yorkshire, a leading producer and exhibitor of pedigree Limousins and commercials.
Phil Sellers, of Derby, a long-standing exhibitor of commercial show cattle, who has won many national events in the UK, following in the tradition of his father Sid, who was also recognised as an outstanding commercial showman.
Elfed Williams, of Sennybridge in South Wales, another specialist showman who has landed many national titles was reserve champion at the last Smithfield.
Commercial Showcattle Society membership forms will be available throughout the Great Yorkshire Show, or from treasurer Alan Hall at the society’s registered office, Preston Tilery Farm, Brafferton, Darlington DLI 3LF, tel 07525 721306, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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