Mendham farming family so proud of champion Mystique

Gary and son Hayden

Gary and son Hayden - Credit: Archant

A long-established farming family are proud to have won a string of prizes with their home-bred Limousin X, Mystique - culminating in them sweeping the board at the Aylsham Show.

Gary Kent, 47, a third generation farmer at Mendham, on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, returned from the bank holiday event jubilant after the 18-month-old heifer won commercial champion and interbreed continental champion awards before finally being crowned supreme beef interbreed champion.

Earlier in the year the heifer won the commercial champion award at the Hadleigh Show in May and best Suffolk born and bred at the Suffolk Show.

Next up was the Wayland Show, where Mystique claimed the commercial champion and reserve supreme champion trophies.

Gary, whose father James, 76, moved to Mendham in 1939 at the age of one, said: 'A friend persuaded me to start showing cattle seven years ago and told me I would quickly get hooked.

'I had always hoped that one day we would breed a champion and this year was our year. It is very unusual for a commercial animal to win such a prestigious award and the whole family are very proud of our achievements.'

Showing cattle has become a real family affair with Gary's son Hayden, 13, regularly taking part in young handlers' events at shows in the region while his niece, Juliette Tompkins, has also had successes as a young handler over the past few years.

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Kent beef is regularly available at Bramfield Meats, local butchers and restaurants in the Waveney Valley area, including the Sir Alfred Munnings Hotel and Public House in Mendham.

Gary, who farms 650 acres, taking in both counties, said their plan now was to get Mystique in calf and hopefully breed the next generation champion.