Debut win for Waveney Valley beef farmer

First-time exhibitor Darren Wharton won through to his first inter-breed final with a home-bred Limousin bull on the last day of the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

First-time exhibitor Darren Wharton won through to his first inter-breed final with a home-bred Limousin bull on the last day of the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

A full-time welder and fabricator, he shares the showing duties with his father, Derek, who used to farm at Hethel, near Wymondham, until moving to Withersdale Street, near Harleston.

He has gradually built up numbers since deciding to grade up from pedigree in 1996 and today, they run about 15 head of breeding cattle.

Without about 40 acres of permanent grazing and marsh, Mr Wharton recognises that his welding skills will remain essential to support his hobby of rearing cattle.


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However, he has gained experience by competing at the Royal Norfolk Show in the past couple of years

and is looking to return again.

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His 18-month-old bull, Withersdale Dynamite, is set to make an impression as it was placed third in the pairs' line-up.

And there was success too for Justin and Emma Dowley's long-established herd of British Simmentals. Their herd manager Stephen Brett, who has run their 90-strong pedigree herd for the past 10 years at Theberton, near Leiston, took a two-year-old bull into top spot.

Two years ago that the Dowley's herd, which was established in 1973, won the supreme championship with the bull's mother.

The latest champion, Theberton Wellington was then a calf at foot.

Mr Brett, who said that his son, Nicholas, aged 19, who is in the first year of an automotive engineering degree at Hatfield, was also helping with the cattle.

Mid-Norfolk farmer Alan Abram, of Beetley, near Dereham, who didn't see his 13-year-old grandson William's reserve champion success in the beef handler championship, is gradually recovery from a serious injury last year.

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