Rachel Harrison, a Slaidburn Young Farmers Club member and currently studying A Levels at Nelson and Colne College, was crowned Supreme Champion of Gisburn Auction Mart’s Cattle Over Wintering competition.
Aimed at the next generation of farmers, the annual event encourages youngsters to become expert in the art of improving their stock for competition and achieving the best possible price at auction.
The pre-sale show was judged by Alan Coates, of Hurst Green, a keen advocate of Young Farmers Clubs, and last year’s winner Clare Cropper, of Long Preston.
They selected Rachel (16) as this year’s overall winner after she picked up first prize in the best female animal shown by a competitor aged 12 to 16 and second prize in the best Young Farmers Club member class with her 14-month-old British Blue heifer.
Year 10 Settle College pupil Eddie Holgate, of Rathmell Young Farmers Club, was awarded the prestigious best Young Farmers Club members trophy, supported by Gisburn Young Farmers Club, whose members acted as show stewards.
Pendle Young Farmers Club member Jessica Howard won the reserve champion award with her 12-month Blonde d’Aquitaine heifer. She picked up first prize in the best handled animal shown by a competitor aged 12 to 16, and second prize for best female animal shown by a competitor in that age group.
Gisburn Young Farmers Club member Jack Crocker (14) was winner of best male animal shown by a competitor aged 12 to 16, with his 13-month-old black Limousin-cross bull.
Freddie Shorrock, at just nine, handled his 11-month-old British Blue heifer to pick up the red rosette in the best handled animal shown by a competitor under 11 and was described as “one to watch out for in the future”.
Ben Sutcliffe, of Grindleton, picked up the prize for best male animal shown by a competitor under 11, while his brother Harry, a pupil at Gisburn Primary School, won the daily live weight gain class with his seven-month-old Charolais heifer.
Last year’s winner of that award was Sarah Whitley, whose family farm at Summerbridge, Harrogate, was edged into second place by Harry but picked up an array of awards in her 17 to 27 age group, including first prize in the best presented animal, and second in the best male animal.
Aged 10, Ben Nutter, of Fence, won first prize in both the best female animal shown by a competitor under 11 and highest gross margin award, with his Limousin heifer.
Slaidburn Young Farmers Club’s Stuart Hartley, currently at Bishop Burton College, took time out from studying agriculture to compete with his 11-month-old Charolais steer, which picked up the first prize rosette in the 17 to 27-year-old class.
Jane Chapman, of auctioneers Richard Turner and Son, said: “The competition, which gives young people the opportunity to purchase cattle at Gisburn Auction Mart in the autumn of last year, feed them through the winter and offer them for show and sale, is certainly a hit with the farmers of the future – it introduces them to the business side of livestock farming.”
There’s more on this story in this week’s Clitheroe Advertiser & Times