Champion sheep handler's trophy triumph - at the age of just five
PUBLISHED: 16:14 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 17 December 2019
Bethany Atkinson Photography
The enthusiasm of the farmers of the future - including a champion handler aged just five - was celebrated by Norwich's civic leaders as they joined an annual tradition at the city's livestock market.
The Christmas sheep show and sale at Norwich Livestock Market on Hall Road on Saturday sparked competition among the region's prime lamb producers, as well as the fledgling young handlers who represent the industry's next generation.
The trophy for the champion young handler went to five-year-old Rosie Criddle from Kenninghall, who also won the Class 1 prize for handlers aged under six. The Class 2 prize (over six and under 10 years) went to Aaron Denny, seven, from Harleston, and the Class 3 prize (over 10 but under 16 years) was won by Rosie's older brother Richard Criddle, 10.
The prizes were presented by Sheriff of Norwich Dr Marian Prinsley and Lord Mayor Vaughan Thomas, who said: "Cattle and sheep have been traded in the centre of Norwich for 1,000 years and I am delighted to see this market flourishing in the 21st century.
"I have really enjoyed my visit here today. There is a terrific atmosphere. It is a great pleasure to see the enthusiasm and dedication of these farmers of the future."
In the rime lamb contest, the best pair of animals under 40kg, and overall winner of the market cup, went to Jim Denny of Alburgh Lamb in Harleston and the sheep were sold to Graves Butchers for 405p/kg. Mr Denny also won the reserve champion and the best pair of lambs over 40kg.
The competition was judged by John Coleman of Colchester. The prime lamb classes were sponsored by Norfolk Liquid Feeds, and the young handler classes were sponsored by Alan Peck.
- Norwich Livestock Market's annual Christmas poultry sale will take place at midday on December 21. For more information, see norwichlivestockmarket.com.