Some­thing to cel­e­brate

ROYAL SHOW: Record sheep en­try and first Boer goat competition

Weekend Witness - - Royal Show 160th Anniversary - ESTELLE SINKINS

MORE than 1 600 an­i­mals will be com­pet­ing at the 2011 Royal Show, which cel­e­brates its 160th an­niver­sary this year and which is South Africa’s old­est and largest mixed agri­cul­tural show.

The num­bers are be­ing at­trib­uted, in part, to the fact that the Royal Show is host­ing four na­tional cham­pi­onships — for breed­ers of Here­ford cat­tle and Ile de France, Suf­folk and Hamp­shire Downs sheep.

The record sheep en­try of 660 an­i­mals, the largest en­try for two decades, in­cludes 35 white Dor­pers, who will be trav­el­ling from Lim­popo to com­pete — the first time that white Dor­pers will be tak­ing part, spokesper­son for the sheep sec­tion, Mike Mon­cur said. And Ile de France breed­ers will be show­ing in num­bers this year with more than 170 an­i­mals en­tered for the na­tional cham­pi­onships.

“It’s go­ing to be an un­be­liev­able show,” Mon­cur said. “An­i­mals of some of the top studs in the coun­try will be here.”

The sheep sec­tion will also be host­ing a Boer goat competition for the first time, dur­ing which more than 100 an­i­mals, some of which will be trav­el­ling to Pi­eter­mar­itzburg from the North­ern Cape, will be judged on May 27.

In the cat­tle sec­tion, in ad­di­tion to the Vo­er­mol Here­ford Na­tional Cham­pi­onships, there will be com­pe­ti­tions for the Pinz­gauer, Pinzyl, Santa Gertrudis, Brah­man, An­gus, Li­mousin, Sim­men­taler, Simbra, Braun­veih, Huguenot, Hol­stein and Jer­sey breeds.

The com­pe­ti­tions in both the sheep and cat­tle sec­tions will con­clude with the in­ter-breed judg­ing and the an­nounce­ment of the 2011 supreme cham­pi­ons. The best sheep on show will be re­vealed at the Sheep and Wool Expo venue on June 1, while the prizes for the best cat­tle on show will be handed out in the main arena on June 2, fol­low­ing the Gold Cup pa­rade of cham­pi­ons.

To com­ple­ment the com­pet­i­tive cat­tle sec­tion, classes for around 200 com­mer­cial heifers — to be judged on func­tion­al­ity and per­for­mance — will take place for the third con­sec­u­tive year, on the fi­nal week­end.

Farm­ers can also look for­ward to the Royal Show car­cass competition, one of the best red meat auc­tion events of its kind in the coun­try on June 1.

Hav­ing achieved world record prices in past years (R3 000 per kilo­gram for the win­ning lamb car­cass in 2007) and with more than 200 en­tries ex­pected, competition will be keen.

In line with Royal shows else­where in the Com­mon­wealth, 2011 will see the breed so­ci­eties given mar­ket­ing and brand­ing ex­po­sure via an expo, spon­sored by the Land Bank, which aims to pro­vide cur­rent and po­ten­tial breed­ers and com­mer­cial farm­ers with per­ti­nent in­for­ma­tion, and to in­form and ed­u­cate vis­i­tors to the show.

An­other at­trac­tion is the Sheep and Wool Expo, which is in its 12th year and will in­clude dis­plays of al­pacas, in­dige­nous goats, var­i­ous sec­tions of the Agri­cul­tural Re­search Coun­cil (ARC), daily sheep shear­ing and lots more.

Last, but not least, South Africa’s young farm­ers have the chance to shine in the Youth and Fu­ture Farm­ers’ Show, which takes place on May 29.

The Royal Show takes place at the Royal Show­grounds in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg from May 27 to June 5.

PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED

Last year’s Wool and Sheep Expo at the Royal Show. Fat and flour­ish­ing — two Boer goats stare haugh­tily at the cam­era.

The sheep sec­tion will be host­ing a Boer goat competition for the first time this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.