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Cattle champions thrilled to win Royal Norfolk Show rosettes at virtual competition

PUBLISHED: 20:19 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:04 03 July 2020

Sally Carter with her daughter Millie Liverton and Thuxton Percy, the 18-month-old Limousin bull which won the supreme cattle championship at Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Tom Liverton

Sally Carter with her daughter Millie Liverton and Thuxton Percy, the 18-month-old Limousin bull which won the supreme cattle championship at Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Tom Liverton

Tom Liverton

The loss of this week’s Royal Norfolk Show left a huge void in the farming calendar – but the thrill of winning its coveted competition rosettes was kept alive at a virtual livestock show.

Sally Carter with Thuxton Percy, the 18-month-old Limousin bull which won the supreme cattle championship at Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Tom LivertonSally Carter with Thuxton Percy, the 18-month-old Limousin bull which won the supreme cattle championship at Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Tom Liverton

Easton College held its online show on Wednesday and Thursday, when the county’s major annual summer showcase was due to be held before its cancellation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Exhibitors sent video and photo entries for the traditional cattle, sheep, machinery and young handlers classes, as well as some fun novelty categories, which were judged by students under the guidance of agriculture skills tutor Jade Lanham and livestock lecturer William Haire.

The winners will receive the 2020 show rosettes donated by Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association – prizes which have now become collectors’ items due to this year’s unique circumstances.

Among them were Sally Carter who, along with her partner Tom Liverton, won the supreme cattle championship with Thuxton Percy, an 18-month old Limousin bull reared at High House Farm in Thuxton, near Dereham.

Easton College launched a virtual online show to fill the void left by the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured: College lecturer Jade Lanham with some of the prize rosettes. Picture: Jade LanhamEaston College launched a virtual online show to fill the void left by the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured: College lecturer Jade Lanham with some of the prize rosettes. Picture: Jade Lanham

“Being able to get hold of a rosette from the Royal Norfolk Show this year is quite a privilege,” she said.

“We feel really lucky to have received anything whatsoever as we have not been able to go to any shows at all this year. When you go to a show it gives you a good reassurance on what you are doing. We are relatively new to Limousin cattle so we are still learning if we are doing the right thing or not, and whether the bulls are going to be good enough for other pedigree breeders. We really miss the social side too. We are all in the same situation and everyone is trying to perfect their game. So this has been a good way to show what we produce.

“We do greatly miss the buzz of the show, but with the online show I still felt it – I got really anxious when the results were posted because we couldn’t see what else had been entered.”

READ MORE: The Royal Norfolk Show will return in 2021 – but perhaps not as we know it

Lecturers said the initiative aimed to teach students new skills and contribute to their academic studies during the lockdown, as well as recreating the sense of community spirit which surrounds the livestock arenas at the showground.

One of the sheep entered in Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Tom LivertonOne of the sheep entered in Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Tom Liverton

Abi Keene, Easton College’s head of area for land-based, said: “Within minutes of putting the results online you could tell people were waiting for them, the same as they would have done around the show ring.

“The students have found the whole concept interesting and beneficial but they have also found it challenging. We have worked with them to make sure the learning experience was accessible online, and for many of them I think it has inspired them to consider being stewards or show judges in the future.”

Other winners at the show included supreme champion sheep Cavick Charollais and overall equine champion Lucy Lockett. The Young Handlers overall champions were Evie Lanham in the cattle section, Barley Brook Sellar for sheep and Millie-Rose Cullington for pigs.

• For full results see the Easton College website.

One of the equine entries at Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Sally CarterOne of the equine entries at Easton College's virtual livestock show - where exhibitors competed for rosettes donated by the cancelled 2020 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Sally Carter


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