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Prestigious Beef Trophy at the Great Yorkshire Show for the first time

The prestigious Burke Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Beef will be presented at the Great Yorkshire Show for the first time. Dates for England’s premier agricultural event are Tuesday 12 – Thursday 14 July, and as ever, the livestock classes form the focus of the event. Around 1,000 cattle across 20 cattle breeds plus commercials compete for the coveted red rosettes, and the top “Supreme” awards. The event takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground on the edge of Harrogate.

Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director and Margaret Chapman, Chief Cattle Steward with the Burke Trophy
Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director and Margaret Chapman, Chief Cattle Steward with the Burke Trophy

The Burke Trophy, traditionally awarded at the Royal Show, will be presented to the top cattle pair at Harrogate. It will be competed for by the winning matching pair, one male and one female, selected by the Breed Societies from the ten Blythewood native breeds and the six Blythewood continental beef classes. The presentation will form the climax to the show’s beef cattle classes and will take place on Wednesday afternoon in the Main Ring.

Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director said: “To win this trophy must be the ultimate achievement for any cattle exhibitor. It will follow presentations to the winners of the two Blythewood competitions and thus means that at the Great Yorkshire we will be choosing the finest pedigree animals in the country. The cattle parade, with all the champion and reserve animals, takes place immediately afterwards rounding off this part of the proceedings with an inspiring finale.” The cattle section is sponsored by Asda.

Finlay McGowan of Blairgowrie, Perthshire will have the difficult task of judging both the Burke and Blythewood competitions, and is well qualified for the task. As a young man he worked on pedigree stud farms in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Argentina and now, with his wife Judy, son Neil and daughter Claire, has a 1,200 acre upland farm in the Grampians. Under the Dirnanean prefix they have herd of 50 Simmental pedigree cows and 150 Luing Cattle plus a small herd of Aberdeen Angus. In addition the family runs around 1,000 ewes – Texel, Lleyns and Bleu de Main. At the shows Dirnanean stock have taken many overall breed champions including the Supreme Championship at the World Congress Show.

Cattle classes at the Great Yorkshire have always drawn the best of British livestock. Within three weeks of the schedule being available, all cattle places were taken and a waiting list is already in place. Entries for cattle close on Tuesday 24 May.

“Many of those on the waiting list will end up being allocated places. As we get closer to the show dates and exhibitors are in a better position to judge which animals they wish to bring, then spaces do become free but in previous years, we have always had more exhibitors than we can accommodate,” said Mr Cowling.

Judging for the Supreme Dairy Championship and the Blythewood Dairy Pairs also take place on Wednesday and are judged by James Warren of Penzance, Cornwall. And the commercial cattle judging will also take place on Wednesday, beginning at 830am.


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