I have been involved in pedigree cattle breeding for forty years and judging for much of that time. At present I am the herd manager for the Dinmore herds of British Limousin, British Blue and Aberdeen Angus. We also bred Beef Shorthorns but dispersed last year breaking two breed records with a top price of 24,000gns.
I have been very fortunate to judge many prestigious shows including national shows for the Irish Limousin, Blonde, Longhorn and Devon and, last year, the Bicentenary celebration for the Beef Shorthorns. I have also judged in Paris, Royal Smithfield and English and Welsh Winter Fairs.
In the show ring, I have had much success including the Burke Trophy twice and the Fitzhugh twice, and many interbreed championships.
I will be looking for a well-balanced, easy fleshing Hereford with breed character and, most importantly, style and locomotion. I also judged a regional Hereford herd competition two years ago and was very impressed by the easy fleshing abilities and ease of management of the Hereford with their great grazing ability and hardiness.
We are pleased to welcome Nick Hewer again to the National Show and in his role as President. Many of you will recognise Nick from his television work – 10 series of The Apprentice with Margaret Mountford as (now Sir) Alan Sugar’s main aides (shown on the BBC) and since 2012 as the host of Channel 4’s Countdown. It was whilst being researched for an edition of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ that Nick discovered his family link to the great Hereford breed of cattle and their relevance in the history of the breed. Armed with this knowledge, Nick found that just down the road from his home there was a herd of pedigree Herefords and made contact with the farmer – none other than Bob Borwick of Mara Herefords who exhibited the 2018 National Supreme Champion here.
Listen carefully to Clive Davies’s commentary as he will explain the key part 2 Hewers played in the breed in the late 1700s and early 1800s as they are widely attributed with fixing the colour combination of the Hereford. First exported to North America in 1817, Hereford cattle really become popular there in the 1840s. Herefords’ attributes of docility, suited growth and quality of fleshing were, of course, important but the unique trait that gained much praise was the dominant white head which provided a stamp of recognition among crops of calves.
William Hewer (b 1757) and his second son, John (b 1787), selected primarily for cattle of longevity with better growth and fleshing. One bull bred by William that met these criteria was Silver (540) born in 1797. He was red bodied with a white head and from his concentrated use through sons, grandsons and subsequent generations, it ensured that the colour combination was set.
The Hewers and particularly John (who emigrated to America in 1825) were very proactive in ensuring that their bloodlines were widely used, achieved through sales and also through hiring-out working bulls. They became breeders of high reputation; the top cattle of that time were modelled with their breeding. Their bloodlines were used by many herds of those times. John moved farms on many occasions eventually completing his work at The Vern, Marden. He retired in 1873 and died later in that year. The family has not been directly involved with Hereford Cattle breeding since, but the cattle world owes them so much!
(with thanks to Clive Davies)
Prize Money for Classes:
1st £30; 2nd £25; 3rd £15; 4th £10; 5th £5
Section £50 Ch, £25 Res; Sex £150 Ch, £75 Res; Supreme Champion £125 Res Supreme £50