The South Devons’ Young Handler Competition, kindly sponsored by Towergate Farm Insurance, was recently held within the breed’s National Show at the Royal Cheshire County Show.
The competition was divided into two sections according to age, with the older group (16 to 25 years) qualifying for the main prize of £400 towards the cost of an overseas trip to see South Devons under different management and environmental conditions.
Candidates were put through their paces in the ring, being required to: prepare a heifer for show; lead and show her; and then place four heifers and give reasons for the positioning.
“It was a very impressive professional performance by all the candidates,” commented Breed Secretary Caroline Poultney, ”and they were a great credit to the breed.”
Overall winner was Fin Whitehead from Telford in Shropshire. In joint second place were his older brother Connor, and Lucy Gould from Mells Park in Somerset. In the younger section, the winner was Josh Ford from Market Harborough in Leicestershire, and in second place was another member of the Whitehead family from Telford, Shropshire – younger sister Poppy.
Judge Gordon Tully from Brixham, Devon, announced the winners, who received their awards from sponsor Paul Short, Towergate Farm Insurance, and said he hoped their participation in the competition would encourage further involvement with the breed, and a successful career in agriculture.