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  • Writer's pictureKatie Smith

YFC Stock Judging 2017 – #FabulousYoungFarmers

Myself and Ruth from Farmer Ruth are starting a new collaborate series! It will be following on from my previous #FabulousYoungFarmers series I did when I interviewed some young farmers on my blog. This is my first instalment in the new lot of posts and Ruth will be sharing her first post shortly… I hope you enjoy reading about my Stock Judging I did just last weekend and that you will enjoy the new posts! 

On Saturday, it was the Worcestershire Young Farmers’ Pre-Show competition day… This is where the Livestock Judging and the Carcass Judging takes place as well as the sheep shearing.

Last year, I took part in the Junior Breeding Ewes competition and it was my first ever time stock judging. I really enjoyed it, even if I wasn’t the most successful but it was after all my first time! I wrote a blog post about it last year which you can find here. I also took part in the Senior Stockman of the Year competition already this year which you can read about here. So by this year’s pre-show day, I had competed in breeding ewes, butcher’s lambs, pigs, dairy cattle and beef cattle judging which left only horses for me to try out.

Feeling much more confident in my judging observations and my presentation of my reasons, I was keen to sign myself up for the horse category this year. I have been around horses my whole life so I thought that if I stood a chance at anything it should be horses.

Saturday quickly rolled around and I left early in the morning, with my shirt, tie, black trousers, white coat, riding hat and clean boots ready for a day of judging!

When we got there, me and the other girls from my club who were doing horses signed ourselves in and waited until they called our class to start. The first thing we had to do was the questionnaire that they had put together for the horse judging. I think it’s safe to say that we were all sufficiently challenged by it and there were definitely some tricky questions. The one that caused the most discussion had to be “In which discipline would you find a Trakehner?”. Those of you who are horsey will probably know that a Trakehner is both a breed of dressage horse as well as a cross country fence. After much discussion between the competitors after the questionnaire was over it became clear that half of the group had taken it one way and half had taken it the other, but much to all of our delight, the judges decided to allow both.

We then headed up the road to the riding school where the horses we were going to be judging were. The judges went in to look at them and decided that we were to judge them as family riding club ponies.

The juniors went in first and the horses were paraded in walk and trot for 3 minutes firstly, then we were allowed to handle them for a further 9 minutes. I placed them in an order I was fairly confident with and then started to finalise and practice my reasons.

We went back to the farm we were based on for the day to present our reasons, and once again the juniors were up first. Not wanting to stand around and forget what I wanted to say I volunteered myself to go up first. I went in and gave my reasons (probably too quickly as per usual) and came out feeling very relieved that I didn’t have anything else to do!

At the end of the day the results were presented and much to my surprise (and delight!) I had come second! It was a lovely day of competitions and well done to anyone from Worcestershire who competed… Bring on Rally!

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