Cornish trio claim top prizes at national cattle show
THREE of west Cornwall's finest farms have claimed top prizes at a national cattle contest, with one herd heralded the finest in the land.
The overall winner of the Devon Cattle Breeders' Society's competition was St Just's Bollowal herd, owned by Jeff and Pat Thomas.
Also claiming the coveted best stock bull of the year award for their animal Jack of all Trades, the couple were elated.
Mr Thomas said: "We're very proud because it was the national competition – to win that was pretty special.
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"We have got the best cows in the country – of the ones that entered. We're very pleased."
Mr Thomas opened the doors to his farm last Friday and said visitors from as far as Northumberland and Cumbria came to have a look at the winners.
It was not the first time the farmer's herd has come up trumps at a farming showdown. According to the society, the Thomas' livestock has been consistently up there with the best on the breeding circuit for many years.
West Penwith was further honoured by judges on the day, with two other farms given awards – one of which was Steve and Bridgette Clamp's, who own Higher Trenowin in Nancledra, close to Penzance.
The pair, who had never entered before, claimed best cross-bred calves for their Red Ruby Devon and limousine cows breed.
"It's great for us – we're quite new to the breed," said Mr Clamp. "We've been breeding for only a few years. It was our first time entering the competition, we didn't expect to win. We just want to the experience and to get comments from judges.
"We've put in a lot of work and effort. We're constantly trying to improve."
The Clamps also saw their pedigrees come second in the medium-sized herd category - out of over 400 entrants across the UK.
The west Cornish trio was rounded off by the Hoskings, who have farmed in St Buryan for many years. The family took awards for best cow, given to Yeomadon Sally 2nd, and for the finest small herd.