New class adds extra flavour to HG Graves’ seasonal beef show
- Credit: Submitted
The finest cattle raised on East Anglian farms are undergoing selection for one of the festive highlights of the livestock calendar.
The prize-giving evening for the Charity Christmas Beef Carcase Show and Sale is expected to draw 200 butchers and farmers to H G Blake's abattoir at Bull Farm in Felthorpe on December 4.
The stakes have been raised even higher this year with the introduction of a new 'exhibitor-bred carcase' class where farmers can enter stock which they have bred and raised at their own farm.
Andrew Clarke, managing director of HG Blake, said: 'We're delighted to introduce the new category, which widens the field for more farmers to take part in the competition.
'The carcase show is a highlight of the cattle producers' calendar, a wonderful occasion where there's friendly rivalry among farmers who are proud to display their best beef – and among butchers bidding for top-drawer quality meat.
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'Once again we are receiving high-quality entries from farmers in Norfolk and Suffolk. Farmers take the carcase show very seriously. Twelve months of planning goes into selecting their best stock. The ideal carcase will have a good beef yield and enough fat coverage to provide good eating quality without requiring too much trimming.'
This year's charitable beneficiary will be the East Anglian Air Ambulance. There are five other classes in this year's show: Continental Heifer Lightweight, Continental Steer Lightweight, Continental Heifer Heavyweight, Continental Steer Heavyweight, and Native Steer or Heifer any weight.
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The carcases are auctioned during the evening by Graham Ellis of Colchester-based Stanford's Auctioneers. The meat will be hung for three weeks before taking pride of place in butchers' display cabinets in the week before Christmas.
HG Blake is also sponsoring this year's Butchers' Christmas Window Dressing Competition, which will be launched at the carcase show. Promoted by Norfolk Food and Drink, members of the public are invited to take a photograph of their favourite display from 10-12 December and submit it via Twitter @FoodFestNorfolk or Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Norfolk-Food-Drink-Festival. The best picture will win a Christmas turkey.