Farmer White scoops top prize for cat­tle breed­ing

The Rugby Paper - - Guinness Pro14 -

FOR­MER Tigers, Eng­land and Lions prop Ju­lian White now has a pres­ti­gious farm­ing award to place along­side his var­i­ous jer­seys, rugby trin­kets and a cab­i­net full of medals won with Le­ices­ter.

White, right, and his wife Sara re­cently won the much-cov­eted Na­tional Herd award for breed­ing South Devons on their farm near Mar­ket Har­bor­ough.

“Af­ter 12 years breed­ing South Devons we are ab­so­lutely de­lighted, it’s right up there with win­ning my Test caps,” says White, who com­bined farm­ing and rugby to­wards the end of his ca­reer.

“Within our farm­ing world and com­mu­nity it’s quite an im­por­tant thing, a pub­lic ac­knowl­edge­ment that you are get­ting things right and the qual­ity of your prod­uct is guar­an­teed.

“Our herd is 250 strong so it’s a pretty full on job – dawn to dusk – as I’m a bit of a per­fec­tion­ist which is prob­a­bly a hang­over from my rugby days.

“We have nearly 1,000 sheep to look af­ter as well now so I’m keep­ing in pretty good shape. I’m 44 and feel as fit as when I re­tired at 39 and I haven’t been any­where near a gym since I packed the rugby in.”

As tra­di­tion de­mands among South Devon breed­ers, White doesn’t get to de­fend his ti­tle. He now be­comes a judge for a year, tour­ing the coun­try with two other em­i­nent breed­ers in­spect­ing and mark­ing the en­trants for 2018 com­pe­ti­tion. Af­ter that he can re­turn to the fray.

“I will be a blazer for a year,” jokes White.

Now there’s a de­li­cious thought to leave you with.

Com­pe­ti­tion mode: White with his award-win­ning South Devon

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