11 December 2018
Article by Julia Eden, Java South Devons
Our annual trip to Christchurch saw a week of sunshine. Prior to going we were all fully aware that the new protocols would be in place. All animals were entered before entries closed, official IDs were entered and we were all checked off that no competitors were coming from IP, restricted place notice or NOD farms. Upon arrival we were given individual pens, well spaced out and each had individual wash bays! MPI were on hand to scan the animals and answer any questions we had. MPI were also very present throughout the show to not only ensure things were running smoothly but to aid and get any feedback we had.
On the Tuesday night an exhibitor BBQ/meeting was held and the finer points of the new protocols were discussed. In all honesty not a lot has changed, and probably makes for a more smooth running show with a few tweaks.
Breed judging itself was on Wednesday Richard Van Asch had a very successful morning and quite frankly I had no issues coming second to animals of that standard! The afternoon interbreeds bought more success for the South Devon’s with all of us being at the pointy end of the classes.
On Thursday morning the junior and senior meet and wool cups saw Richard Van Asch clearly winning both, along with Brian Thomson being called in as a last minute judge! The afternoon of all breeds also saw the South Devon’s perform exceptionally well with all animals being placed at the top 5 in at least one class they were entered in.
Friday was youth day. Both Richard Van Asch and my heifers along with two Limousin heifers were chosen for the judging. Ebony Eden was representing the South Devon breed and was placed 4th in her age group for handlers (excitedly presented by Simon Bridges, Leader of the National Party) and 6th overall for herdsperson.
The new showing protocols are here to stay and to be honest in my opinion it is a good thing. We are now coming up to speed with the rest of the world on our showing protocols. While for many smaller shows these new protocols may seem very daunting I believe Christchurch is showing the way.
In the Southern region confirmed shows that will continue with cattle and have found ways to execute the new protocols are North Otago and Upper Clutha. The highlights for me and what I took home from our week in Christchurch was not only the South Devon breed doing so well, but as we took a dairy team as well our 9 year old twins; the excitement the smiles on faces the jumping into my arms when they exited the ring after talking on the microphone about their placing’s, The memories created for them, the friends made and the life skills they learn showing cattle at an event as large at Christchurch.