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Royal Reminiscing
sees the fi nal instalment of the Royal Show at Stoneleigh. Diminishing
agricultural returns has much to do with the decision to call time on this
landmark event, with the expense of attending now prohibitive to many would-be exhibitors.
Traditionally a useful communication tool between producers and consumers, the show had
BELOW: 1984; The Royal
become more generalised in recent years but many farmers and agriculturalists have very
Show’s fi rst Supreme Dairy
fond memories of the terrifi c atmosphere that prevailed in the ‘good old days’. From bustling
Cow in 1984, GM Pearson
‘Semen Alley’ to the nightlife that dominated each of the breed pavilions, many a deal
& Sons’ Somerford Falcon
was done during the week. The loss of one of the UK’s fl agship agricultural events is a sad
Primrose 5. Pictured with
indication of the belt tightening that has been unavoidable over the last decade or so, and in
Northsea Herd Manager
recognition of the Royal’s fi nal hurrah, falling as it does within our Centenary Celebrations,
Harold Nicholson and
breed stalwart Richard Beard and the breeder of two Royal Champions Islwyn Griffi ths share Supreme judge (right),
some memories. Canada’s Bert Stewart.
Richard Beard of Holstein UK
The show that stands out for me would be the display put on in the Holstein ring in
1984. 80 females from 24 exhibitors put on the best quality show to date
and an ever growing ringside audience came to watch Allangrove
Master Breeder Doug Wingrove at work in fi ne style. The young
Ontarian was especially impressed by the in-milk classes and
delighted with his Championship line-up which included some big
names. A home grown product in the shape of the breed’s living
true type model triumphed over two Canadian imports with Senior
Cow Somerford Falcon Primrose 5 taking the title over Junior class
winner Noel Acres Sheik Pam in Reserve and the Senior in milk Heifer
Werrcroft Moch Dawn. After standing second in 1983, this fabulous
fi ve-year-old returned not only to take the Grand and Best Udder
titles but also the supreme individual dairy cow in the new Nat-West
contest for her owners G M Pearson & Son. She was also the highest
yielding cow in any breed in the show with 13,050 kg and 993 kg CFP
in 307 days. Just two weeks fresh, Primrose 5 was beginning to show
her working clothes and udder quality while her younger herdmate
from Northsea, the second calf Sheik Pam, won the day’s strongest class,
the pair repeating their NHS successes giving the Pearson’s a unique
double. Primrose 5 returned to repeat her success in 1985 when she also
teamed up with the Shuffl ebotham’s Avondale Marquis Frances 2 to lift the
Burke Trophy – the fi rst time for the BHS. She claimed a hat-trick in 1986 with a
third successive Royal titles, the only time this has ever been achieved.
Islwyn Griffi ths of Cardsland Holsteins
When one looks back over the shoulder at what has happened over a period
like 25 years, it brings to mind many different aspects of an institution such as
the Royal Show. When we as a family decided to show cattle at the Royal, those
were happy days when you were welcomed by both exhibitors and offi cials
at the show and many a night was spent in their company over glasses of you
know what, discussing the merits of certain breeding lines available at the
time. These were great times when we were promoting the type of black and
white cattle which was to change the national herd in the long term.
I was proud to be around when the breed was gaining momentum with such as the Spink’s,
Monogram’s, Pamela and others promoting our side of the breed. On a personal note, there
is nothing that gets the adrenalin fl owing better than coming top of the line at the show.
ABOVE: 1988; BHS
We were lucky to be able to exhibit two homebred cows namely Cardsland Matt Delila and
Champion and Best Udder;
Cardsland Eclipse Flo who gave us that exhilarating feeling and also to see the offi ce staff
Cardsland Matt Delila, with
joining in the celebrations.
breeder Islwyn Griffi ths.
Showing is like a drug – once you start it is diffi cult to give up, but unfortunately the Royal
Hon Mention, Ex Bred
has got bogged down by offi cialdom and rules and regulations. This, coupled with the cost
and Best Udder went to
to exhibit at the show, means they have lost touch with the grass roots farmer and priced
themselves out of the market place. If only they had taken notice how the other major shows
Cardsland Eclipse Flo in
had adapted to the changing times.
1991 who took the HFS title
in 1992 and 1995 for the
Holstein UK is including the 2009 Royal Show in the Centenary Celebrations.
Cope’s (Huddlesford).
If you do intend to take time out to come to Stoneleigh, please visit us, as usual,
in the Holstein pavilion, for one last time.
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