Young teams go head-to-head in Hexham livestock competition

The Young Show Stars Challenge is coming to the North East for the first time

Josh White with mentor John Mitchell
Josh White with mentor John Mitchell

A livestock competition for young people is coming to the North East for the first time.

The Young Show Stars Challenge, which is open to 14 to 23-year-olds, is set to be the highlight of the Nationial Beef Association’s flagship Beef Expo event at Hexham Mart on May 22.

Featuring eight teams from the UK and one from Canada, the competition will see entrants caring for their animals from the moment they set hoof in the venue, then taking part in a series of classes.

Young Show Stars was brought to the UK by Neil Lloyd, who is co-ordinating the event at Hexham.

He said: “It’s a great competition to nurture the beef farmers of the future – it broadens competitors’ minds to look at the bigger picture from marketing animals and breed promotion to developing their personal and presentation skills.

“There is no other livestock competition like this in the UK. We are delighted that we have such a broad range of teams entered from here in the UK and also representation from our friends from Canada.”

The teams, which include North of England Hereford Breeders’ Association, Welsh Black, Charolais and Limousin entrants, will be judged on every element of their performance as they battle to win the overall title and the prize of an exchange visit to Canada.

Josh White, from Otterburn, who is representing the North England Hereford Breeders’ Association with Mark Statton from Morpeth and Matthew Rolland from Bury, said: “I am keen to be involved in the Young Show Stars Challenge because I am very interested in stock and want to learn a lot more about the showing side as well as the commercial side.

“I am looking forward to the whole competition but especially the clipping and turning out part.

“Matthew, Mark and I have also been working on some original ideas for the display which has been good fun to put together.”

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