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  • Writer's pictureKatie Smith

#FabulousYoungFarmers – Stock Judging Competitions

This weekend I took part in my first competition putting points towards this year’s county rally. I was in a Junior stock judging competition for breeding ewes.

I don’t know a lot about sheep, almost nothing, but somehow I ended up signing myself up for this stock judging competition. This is exactly what Young Farmers is, for those of you wondering; you think you’re going to sign up for the cookery competition and you end up doing stock judging, face painting, cookery and metal work, along with other things. (Does anyone know how to make a weather vane by the way?)

Anyway, the day came and I turned up with my shirt, tie, black trousers, clean wellies and white coat in hand and I arrived at the farm to take part in my competition. Honestly, I didn’t really know what I was doing but it turned out to be a fun day.

My category was one of the first, so I got my card to write my notes and final order on; donned my white coat and headed over to my pen of ewes.

For those of you that don’t know how stock judging competitions work: you are assigned a pen of ewes, cattle, pigs, horses (whatever animal you are judging), and you are given 3 minutes outside the pen so assess the animals, and 7 minutes inside the pen to handle them and make more judgements. With the ewes, you are looking for a young, healthy animal with good teeth, good udders, and good feet that will be able to rear good crops of lambs. You then have to order them using their assigned letters (ABXY) and write the order on a card which you hand into the judge. You have the other half of the card to make notes on which you will use to make a 2-minute speech about the animals.

I did okay for my first time, I got the order of the sheep a bit mixed up BYAX rather than XYAB so didn’t end up placing. There’s always next year! But my club did quite well considering we didn’t have that many competitors, we came away with a first in Intermediate Horse, two seconds in Senior Live Pig and Senior Lamb Carcase and a third in Senior Live Sheep. It put us in a good position for rally and got us all excited for more competitions. 

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