Cattle entries for this week’s Royal Three Counties Show have reached record levels.
The show boasts a grand total of 970 cattle this year – around 30 beasts up on the last record entry in 2012, when the breed societies were out in force with their national shows.
Even more significantly, the beef entry is now higher than that of the Great Yorkshire Show and The Royal Highland Show – both major events on the livestock showing circuit.
Rather fittingly, 2014 is also the year in which the prestigious RASE Beef Burke Trophy comes to Malvern for the very first time.
Royal Three Counties Show Manager, Doreen Smillie, who has been involved with Show for nearly four decades, said she was thrilled to see the Society’s longest running event going from strength to strength in recent years.
She said: “The first Three Counties Show was held on the streets of Hereford way back in 1797, and has been on its current site since 1958, so it’s definitely a show with staying power.
Agricultural shows usually reflect the fortunes of the industry they serve, and the challenges of animal disease, falling market prices and inclement weather conditions have certainly impacted this event in varying degrees over the years.
In recent years, we have worked extremely hard to give the Show a new look, with dedicated zoning and improved showing facilities, and since 2009, it has paid dividends. Last year we were awarded a Royal title, this year, HRH The Princess Royal accepted our invitation to become the Show’s Patron, and now we have the highest recorded cattle entries in the event’s history.”
Livestock entry levels are up across the board on 2013 numbers.
The sheep tally stands at 2470, an increase of 169 from last year, there are nearly 400 pig entries (to include rare breeds) and almost 300 goat entries. Additionally, poultry stands at just under 800 entries, and alpacas at just over 100.
National breed society shows include the Aberdeen Angus, British White, Gloucester and Murray Grey cattle societies and the Limousin Cattle Society is staging its Grand Prix. The National Angus Show alone has attracted an all-time record 117 entries from 26 exhibitors. Judges include Tom Arnott from Haymount and Paul Westaway.
On the sheep lines, Malvern welcomes the Southdown Sheep and the Ryeland Flock Book Society shows, and the Beltex Sheep Society is holding its English National Society Show at Malvern for the second year running.
The prestigious RASE Beef Burke Trophy is the FA Cup equivalent of the Beef showing world, and was originally presented annually at the Royal Show at Stoneleigh from 1951 until its closure in 2009.It will be awarded to the best pair of Beef cattle at Malvern this year.The Beef Pairs Championship is sponsored by McCartneys - official auctioneers to eight cattle breed societies and fourteen sheep societies - and carries a top prize of £500.The Society has invited renowned judge Mrs. K. Adam of Glamis, Forfar, Angus to select the winning pair and the Society's President, Dame Janet Trotter DBE HML, and McCartneys Chairman, John Uffold, will present the trophy in the Main Arena on Saturday 14th June.The Royal Three Counties Show takes place at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern in Worcestershire. High lights in the Farming Village include national breed society shows, the daily Grand Parade of Animals, the Rare & Minority Breeds Show and sheep shearing.Arena entertainment includes the Bolddog Lings motorcycle stunt team (semi-finalists in Britain’s Got Talent) and the Red Devils Parachute Display Team. There’s also an International Orchid Show, countryside pursuits, a children’s Discovery Zone and superb shopping.