After the reserve breed champion at Newark Show we at last took the Saddleback breed championship with our new 18 month old junior Saddleback stock boar. Also as it was a very good day for the Coal Yeat Herd we took the any other modern breed championship with the home bred Hampshire July gilt.
What was especially pleasing was that the Hampshire gilt was shown by my 9 year old grandson, Harry, in the championship. He did a fantastic job of calmly showing the gilt in the very hot show ring, having had no previous acquaintance with this Hampshire pig.
It’s such a shame that a show of the importance and prestige of the Great Yorkshire Show has decided to omit adult boars from their show ring. This show which takes place in Harrogate on 13-15 July purports to be England’s premier pig show, but how can it be so if it excludes adult mature boars?
I have always shown mature Saddleback and Hampshire boars as the general public love seeing a fully mature boar and are always amazed by their size. Last year at the Great Yorkshire Show I exhibited 4 mature boars without any problems. It is a condition of showing boars that they are detusked so any health and safety concerns should be addressed at home before bringing a boar to the show. In my experience junior boars, the teenagers of the pig world, can be a lot more unruly and undisciplined.
The Saddleback boar who won the championship for me is Prestcombe Guardsman 4 bred by Julian Newth. This may be his last run out this year as I’m led to believe that Westmorland County Show has also excluded mature boars from competing – such a shame to exclude these magnificent animals.
Carole and I took the opportunity to promote the Pigkeeping courses at the show nd through the many conversations with so many interested people it looks like we will be very busy. The Saddleback Breeders Club has finally made up its mind and I will be hosting the annual AGM in October 2010 full details of which will be available shortly.
Finally it is now one all with Brian Mulkeen. We have a jovial unofficial competition between ourselves in the Saddleback January gilt class – pig showing is always such fun with such friendly folk! (sorry Margaret it’s boys stuff). A big thanks to Spencer and Kaisha for all their help in preparing the seventeen pigs for the show ring