A COUPLE celebrated after their cow picked up her fourth champion’s crown at this year’s Henley
A COUPLE celebrated after their cow picked up her fourth champion’s crown at this year’s Henley Show.
Mike and Jennie Spooner’s five-year-old Aberdeen Angus Kingwood Willa was awarded native breed champion.
Her previous successes came in 2011, when she was named beef champion and the following year when she not only retained that title but also won supreme Â champion.
Mrs Spooner said: "We’ve never had an animal with such a consistent record as her."
The cattle judging was one of the highlights of the 124th annual show, which took place at the Greenlands Farm showground, near Hambleden, on Saturday.
An estimated 9,000 people attended, including international showjumper Tim Stockdale.
There were scores of competition classes for cattle, sheep, poultry, heavy horses, caged birds, produce and horticulture.
This year’s supreme champion was 18-month-old Limousin cross Priceless, owned by the Hicks family, of Kingwood Farm in Wyfold.
The 800kg heifer was shown by 18-year-old Georgina Hicks who was surprised to receive the top prize.
"It’s a great achievement," she said. "We thought she would perhaps win champion of the commercial section because she was so good but not champion overall."
Georgina added: "She’s my baby."
Her mother Sam said: "All that hard work has paid off. It makes it all worthwhile and I’m proud of her."
The Spooners had not entered Kingwood Willa in the show since her last win.
Mrs Spooner said: "I’m delighted because it’s good to win against other breeds. She was the only Aberdeen Angus cow in the class and there were some good cattle from other breeds."
Another repeat winner at the show was gardener Tim Saint, from Playhatch, who took three prizes in the produce tent.
His 388lb pumpkin and 87lb marrow were both the heaviest and he also had the longest marrow at 39 inches.
Mr Saint, 34, who has been been entering the show for a decade, said he was "chuffed" even though he didn’t beat his winning pumpkin from 2010, which weighed 467lb. He planted his pumpkin and marrow seeds in April and fed the plants with cow manure.
He said: "I would say this is probably my best season in three or four years. The conditions have been good — plenty of rain, plenty of sun — it has been virtually perfect.
"If you overfeed them they will split, if you give them too much water they’ll just go soft and then rot.
"My little niece Jessica absolutely loves the pumpkin. She’s only two-and-a-half and everytime she comes round she has to go up the garden to sit on it and have a photo taken."
Mr Saint enjoys the effect his produce has on show visitors.
He said: "What I like about it is when the young children come in and say, ’mummy, look at the size of that’ — it makes people happy.
"I’ll be doing it until I can’t anymore, I love it."
Other attractions at this year’s show included vintage tractors and cars, showjumping, falconry, ferret racing, a dog show, the food and farming marquee and trade stalls.
There were performances by the Hurst Morris People, the Oxfordshire Jazz Collective and the Corunna Band and displays by Freddie’s Farm, the Gamegoer working dogs and Richard Savory’s popular Sheep Show.
A new addition to the show was a display of Renee Snouckaert’s rare Valais Blacknose Sheep, which she imported from Holland. Mrs Snouckaert, who runs Noblesse Stud in Checkendon, had three ewes to show visitors.
She said: "I had people non-stop from 8am taking photos and wanting to touch them.
"I really wanted to show them to everyone because there’s very few of them in this country. I’m doing the rounds to show how lovely and easy to handle the sheep are.
"The most comments I had were about how big they are.
"The sheep love the attention, they love posing. They really are prima donnas!"
Mrs Snouckaert, who owns four other ewes and two rams, said she hoped to be back at next year’s show. Andrew Ingram, chairman of the Henley and District Agricultural Association, which organises the show, said: "The show went extremely well.
"The weather was reasonably kind to us. It was a bit of a murky start but then it got progressively better.
"Everything seemed to run very smoothly in the main ring, where there were a lot of animals. The produce tent, the food and wine and the shopping arcade were very well supported."
Mr Ingram, who runs the Tree Barn in Christmas Common, added: "I’m a very strong believer that we have got to connect with our roots.
"It’s fascinating stuff for people who aren’t familiar with that and to see the cattle up close. When they are being judged the public can literally rub their noses.
"Our remit is to promote and further the education and understanding of farming and we have been doing that for 124 years and will continue to do so."
Mr Ingram was previously chairman from 1991 to 2001 and said: "I was absolutely delighted to be involved again."
For the show’s 125th anniversary year in 2016 Richard Ovey will be the chairman. His great, great grandfather, also called Richard Ovey, founded the show.
These are the full results for this year’s Henley Show.
Beef champion: D Hicks
Dexter cow or heifer in milk: 1 Felicity Thomson; 2 P and C Stone; 3 Mrs Bobby Savill
Dexter cow or heifer in calf but not in milk: 1 Felicity Thomson; 2 S Vandell; 3 S Vandell
Dexter bull: 1 Felicity Thomson; 2 F Thomson; 3 S Vandell
Dexter heifer under 18 months at show date: 1 Felicity Thomson; 2 Felicity Thomson; Jill Gent
Dexter champion: Felicity Thomson
Best matching pair: 1 Pam Noel and R Snelling; 2 Fiona Woolatt; 3 M Trinder
Heifer born in 2014: Fiona Woollatt; 2 Fiona Woollatt; Mrs L Jackson
Hereford heifer born in 2013: 1 Pam Noel and R Snelling; Â 2 Mrs L Jackson; 3 Megan Trinder
Cow or heifer born before January 1, 2013: Mrs L Jackson
Bull less than two years old on show day: 1 P Noel and Â R Snelling; 2 Mrs S A Cowle; 3 Megan Trinder
Hereford breeders best female: Mrs L Jackson
Hereford champion: P Noel and R Snelling
Commercial beef and calf classes
Beef steer showing no broad teeth: 1 Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine; 2 D Plested
Beef heifer showing no broad teeth: 1 D Hicks; D Plested; Â 3 Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine
Beef calf of any breed born on or after January 1, 2015: 1 Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine; 2 Faith Trinder
Champion: D Hicks
Pure bred Continental
Pure bred heifer of any Continental breed that has not had a calf: 1 Mr & Mrs G R Fountaine; 2 Greyhound Estate
Pure bred British beef classes
Pure bred cow: 1 Mr and Mrs M Spooner; 2 Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine; D Howden
Bred heifer which has not calved: Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine; 2 Sir Martyn Arbib; 3 Mr and Mrs M Spooner
Bull less than two years on show day: 1 D Howden; 2 Sir Martyn Arbib; 3 J Franklin
Champion: D Hicks
Best pair of beef cattle: 1 Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine; Â 2 Pam Noel and R Snelling; Â 3 D Hicks
Young handlers aged six to 12: 1 Faith Trinder; 2 Jake Lake; 3 Archie Bowden
Young handlers aged 13 to 18: 1 James Hicks; 2 P Jee; Â 3 Jenni Lewis
Ram: 1 Mandy Sims; 2 James Wetherall; 3 Angela Reid
Ram lambs: 1 Angela Reid; Â 2 James Wetherall; 3 Mandy Sims
Ewe: 1 Angela Reid; 2 Mandy Sims; 3 James Wetherall
Ewe lamb: 1 Graham Ryves-Webb; 2 Angela Reid; 3Angela Reid
Group of three: 1 James Wetherall; 2 Mandy Sims; 3 Huttons Farm
Wool on the hoof: 1 James Wetherall; 2 Angela Reid; 3 Allison Pink
Young handler, aged six to 12: 1 Thomas Cannon; 2 Skye Saville
Commercial sheep: 1 Mr and Mrs G R Fountaine; 2 Sam Horner; 3 Nettlebed Estate