The Goosetree Show Season 2013
23 March 2014
Kim Arden gives us an insight into a year of shows for Goosetree Lops
It’s Febuary and the schedules start landing on the doormat…
2 weeks before Newark our July boar started to turn his back feet in so off to the butchers he went leaving us without a July boar - not the best start to the show season.
Newark 2013 and our show season has started after a long winter, time to catch up. Being the first year Newark held LOY qualifier the Lops were better supported than previous years which has to be good. Popularburn Duke 13 came away with male Breed Champion but being too old to qualify the qualifier went to Newpastures Charles 3 and our first qualifier of the year went to Goosetree Sunshine 5, as well as Breed Champion female and Reserve Breed Champion. Poplarburn Duke 13 took overall Breed Champion.
Stafford 2013 a new show for us and the first outing for the Januarys, not the best of weather but you have to make the best of it, the welcome from the stewards more than made up for the rain. The Lops were put in with the Tamworths and Large Blacks. We came away with 2nd in the sow class , 1st & 3rd in the July gilts Goosetree Sunshine 5 beating her sister again! Januarys turn next, boars and gilts together so a good strong class. Goosetree Sunshine 8 came away with a 3rd place. Second day showing and Goosetree Duke 2 comes away with reserve POY & reserve YPOY and Goosetree Sunshine 5 another reserve POY, so close but no qualifiers. Next came a 3rd in the pairs which delighted us as it was a well turned out class.
With just 5 days before the next show lots to catch up with and a welcome rest for the pigs.
South of England here we come - another first for us. At this point I should like to point out at the start of us showing it was agreed I do the showing with help from friends and Barry does the prep work… after I have bathed the pigs, I can usually be found in the wash pens about 4/5am, there never seems to be a long queue at that hour for some reason!!
We came away with Breed Champion for Goosetree Duke 2 and Reserve going to Goosetree Sunshine 8 both going forward for LOY. And following on from the previous week Goosetree Duke 2 comes away with reserve POY & YPOY, and his litter sister reserve YPOY. Close again but still no qualifiers. Remember me saying Barry is not into showing… well, needing help for the trio’s he dons his white coat and rounds up help, lots of help but on closer inspection of the ring he is missing… I spot him ring side with his trusty catalogue, never one to miss a result he escaped the board & stick!! Another first for the Goosetree team was to follow in the form of a commercial class, much more Barry’s style he has on his white coat and gets stuck in coming away with a 1st in the traditional pairs and 1st in the single porkers.
A rest of 9 days at home this time before we set off for Lincoln show. No breed classes, just traditional & modern classes - second outing for Popularburn Duke 13 and he brings home a 2nd along with Breed Champion. Goosetree Duke 2 comes home with a 2nd too and Reserve Breed male. Then time for the females and they don’t let us down, Goosetree Sunshine 5 taking 2nd & Reserve Breed Champion and her litter sister Sunshine 4 a 3rd place and another 3rd for the January Goosetree Sunshine 9. Another chance at POY and we finally get one with Goosetree Sunshine 5 she then goes on to get reserve overall. One of the delights of Lincoln has to be the red gloss paint they use on the pig pen gates that then transfers to the pigs which is not a problem at Lincoln because everyone’s pigs are red but with less than a week at home before Norfolk it takes some removing not only from the pigs but our white coats and anything else that has had the misfortune to rub near the gates.
Royal Norfolk classes saw the Lops in with the Welsh & Large Whites. Our first meet up in the ring with Hayley & Jack Lake in their first year showing Lops. Our smallest member of the show team brought home reserve section champion, reserve traditional champion, breed champion and another reserve YPOY… not that we were counting our 7th of the year and a LOY qualifier, with the male LOY qualifier going to Hayley & Jack Lake with Goosetree Duke.
Back home for just over a week and this time we headed north to the Great Yorkshire show - what a difference a year makes, wall to wall sunshine. The Lops were well presented with 5 exhibitors. Under the watchful eye of Nick Elcombe, we brought home reserve Lop male and another POY reserve now by my calculations that was number 8 of the season. On POY day we get a phone call from home to let us know our Julys had just been born, not the best planned farrowing date but all was well on our return.
The next show was possibly the most nerve racking of the season, we were to be judged by Jullian Collings nothing personal Julian but we knew if we had made any mistakes picking our show team we would soon find out! So off to Stoneleigh we head and the pigs did us proud bringing home Breed & Reserve Breed Champions. And to top this Julians kind words about our pigs were the icing on the cake! Thank you Julian. The following day saw us in the biggest pairs class we had been in; over 20 pairs. After what seemed like the longest class ever we came away with 2nd place. Next class traditional commercials where we were given Traditional Champion and Reserve Supreme. Whilst I was busy in the ring showing my pig Barry was busy selling both her and her litter sister. We were not quite finished with our winning streak Barry was in the winning team for the tug-o-war competition - what the pig men will do for a few beers has to be seen!!
Melton bound for the LOY with 4 qualified gilts and 1 qualified boar. Instead of the pigs settling into their pens as usual our two January gilts decided to open up the gate and go for walkabouts, luckily enough they came and found us before getting into too much mischief. LOY day, early start, cup of tea and into the pig wash, before we knew it we were in the ring with the boar then its time for the gilts, in the rush and claw I gave the wrong pig to the wrong handler! Luckily Barry spotted and numbers were sorted. LOY going to Goosetree Sunshine 5 she was our first qualifier of the year & reserve to Goosetree Duke 2. A huge well done to all the qualifiers especially to Hayley Lake and Steve & Claudia Berryman in their first year showing.
The final outing of the year and we are heading to the English Winter Fair, being November and cold the sleeping arrangement in the van was swapped for a hotel bed and comfort. We take along 3 of the gilts born POY day 2 in the porkers class and one weighed in as a baconer, 3 classes and three 1st places.
Hundreds of miles covered…
A substantial amount of alcohol consumed... cant think of a nicer way to spend our summer!
In addition to more of the same in 2014 we have decided to do more winter fat stocks. Schedules for this show season are already falling on the door mat so it wont be long before we are all off again!