Celebration of Bedfordshire Young Farmers – Annual Show and Rally a huge success.
After 18months of planning the highlight of the Young Famers calendar took place at Manor Farm Pertenhall on Saturday 21st May when their 69th Country Show and Rally took place. This year’s event was hosted by North Beds Young Farmers club by kind permission of the Bates Family.
A record attendance of over 3500 people experienced a wonderful array of activities and events with over 50 trade stands, 40 craft stalls, birds of prey, Morris dancers, beagles and plenty of farm machinery and animals to see ensuring there was something to interest everyone. The weather held off and provided a perfect day for the fun to evolve.
Over 400 young farmers from the 7 clubs across the county arrived at the site from the early hours with cattle, sheep, pigs and horses to compete and win one of the many livestock awards. Alongside this members created some amazing flower arrangements with displays depicting the decades gone past and an underwater exhibit with standards so high they could have been done by professional florists. Meanwhile other members where dropping off cookery items which ranged from quiches, trifles, bread, sausage rolls and mug cakes. Finally handicrafts were displayed in another area with recycled sculptures, dog beds, canvas collages and up cycled chairs to name just a few. Overall there were a record number of entries with over 2000 items exhibited by the young farmers who where all out to win one of the coveted prizes for their masterpiece after the judging took place during the morning. While this was all going on, livestock were being shown and practical skills classes got underway which included tractor skills, situation vacant interviews, roping a load on a trailer, building skills and first aid classes. The livestock awards where mainly won by Will Ludgate and Patrick Fraser both of Leighton Buzzard club with Bedford and North Beds scooping a couple of awards with Fred Evans of Bedford Club winning the prestigious overall champion animal in the afternoon’s Grand Parade of Stock. The show jumping and dressage was won by members from Biggleswade and Silsoe club. Whilst Silsoe’s member Alice Redman went on to win the award for gaining most prizes in the Handicraft and the flowers section – quite an achievement- the other flower awards where won by Leighton Buzzard and Blunham members and Iona Sapsed of North Beds won the award for the most points gained in the Cookery section. The main awards in the skills sections were split between all 7 clubs with every club winning one.
By the afternoon the attention focused on main ring activities and the first highlight was the tug of war competition with the Junior and Ladies competitions won by Leighton Buzzard and Blunham winning the converted men’s trophy. Interspersed between the young farmer’s antics doing assault courses, slide challenges and chariot races, the Oakley Hunt paraded their hounds and kids searched for sweets but the finale of the day was the long awaited decorated floats which had themes across the decades gone past. The judging of these declared Woburn club the winner of the floats and ensured they also won the most points in the main ring activities. The afternoon finished off with the long awaited flour and water fight where numerous numbers of children from the large crowds around the main ring had a huge amount of fun getting wet and dirty.
The entire day was finished off by a large party in the evening where 500 Young Farmers members attended to hear the overall rally results which were in joint 6th place Bedford and Biggleswade, 5th Woburn, 4th Blunham, 3rd Silsoe, 2nd Leighton Buzzard and the overall winners were North Beds Club which special awards to Simon Caves who was awarded Mr Handsome Harvester and Emily Bates named as Miss YFC 2016.
The event could not have been better organised with special thanks to the Bates family for hosting the day. If you were there or wished that you had been there and want to get involved with the Young Farmers organisation and are aged between 10 and 26 please see www.bedsyfc.co.uk or contact the County Organiser on 01234 765903 to find out your local club and what is going.
Remember– You don’t have to be a farmer to get involved with Young Farmers but just have a passion for the countryside and want to have fun and the more you put in the more you get out of it !!!