2013-03-12 xml
Northumberland County Show Young Sheep Handlers

After some beautiful spring sunshine, this week has seen a return to dark skies and freezing temperatures, typically heralding the onset of the lambing season in the north east.

By mid-march most sheep farmers with breeds such as Mules, Suffolk and Texels expect a scattering of early lambs and are gearing up for the onslaught later this month. Youngsters around the region will be looking closely at the new generation of sheep with the hope of finding a champion amongst them for this May’s Northumberland County Show.

Robbie Binks

Robbie Binks

Chief sheep steward Robert Raine explains, “We have a new class this year for Young Sheep Handlers. Anyone under the age of 16 on show day can put on a white coat and tie, and present any breed of lamb for judging.”

Vickers and Barrass, Chartered Surveryors from Darlington & Stockton Mart, are supporting this new class. Their representative, Adam Barrass said, “I’m delighted to be presenting the prize in this class. I think it’s great for kids to get involved in the agriculture at an early age, and this sort of event is ideal for nurturing their interest.”

One young hopeful, Robbie Binks, aged 11, is very excited about this year’s show. Since the tender age of 7 he has been helping local farmers in the North Tyne valley with their lambing. His enthusiasm has led to the foundation of a successful sheep enterprise. It all started when neighbour, Michael Lishman of Fell Lane Farm near Barrasford, thanked him for his outstanding hard work with the gift of a breeding ewe. He now keeps a flock of 12 Beltex and Texel ewes there, whose offspring recently won several awards at Hexham Mart’s Young Farmers’ Fat Lamb Classes.

Robbie’s entrepreneurial skills are not limited to sheep rearing; after the lambing sheds are empty he rears Saddleback piglets in them, and also sells eggs from his own hens to locals.

His father Tony Binks, proprietor of the award winning Barrasford Arms Pub in the North Tyne valley, is sponsoring the Hereford Cattle class this year. He said, “I don’t come from a farming background, but all of our friends and most of our customers are involved in agriculture. I’m proud that my son has such a passion for farming life. He has become a well known little character in the village.”

When asked about his own involvement in the County Show, Tony explained, “I live and work in the rural community. I believe it’s important to give support and commitment to an event that celebrates the best of the region’s livestock, produce and talents.”

The Show is held on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2013, and promises to be an excellent day out for all the family. With its focus on young people, this year’s show sees the launch of junior handling classes in both sheep and cattle, and children’s baking and handicraft competitions.

Northumberland Show

   
  Related Links
link Show Dates
link Lady Allendale Takes The Reins As Horse Champion Judge
link Northumberland County Show announces Champion of Champions Judge 2013
   


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