The best of Norfolk and Suffolk’s Christmas beef went under the hammer to raise around £2000 for charity.
Our sixth annual Christmas Beef Carcase Charity Show saw 58 animals judged before the meat was auctioned off to bidding butchers. Over the past six years the show has become a keenly-contested seasonal highlight for both livestock farmers and butchers, not to mention everyone at HG Blake.
The 58 animals entered in the show were slaughtered on the 2nd December and judged that afternoon by Adrian Crowe, a licensed classifier with 30 years experience from MLC Services. “I really look forward to this show, even though it gets harder every year; the quality just gets better and better,” he said.
“Over the course of a year around 5pc of carcases are awarded the EU’s coveted E-grade for outstanding quality. Here, I have given E grades to 75pc of the beef I have judged – that’s a mark of the standard achieved at this show. Although judging between the entries was tough, there was no doubt about the best in show, which stood loin and shoulders above the competition.”
Supreme Champion for 2015 was a 14-month-old Limousin heifer entered by Potter Heigham farmer Roger Balls who won two classes as well as additional second and third-place prizes.
Mr Balls said: “We’ve had seconds and thirds in previous years in this show, but to win the Supreme Champion is fantastic. We found the right animal, we fed it right, got it to the right stage; you try to get it spot on, we did, and it’s won. We’ll cherish this forever. It’s a very special moment.”
Reserve Champion was a 17-month-old Aberdeen Angus cross heifer entered by Paul Barwood of Fleggburgh.
This year, an additional accolade was added to the schedule for exhibitor-bred beef. Colin Butcher of Welborne, near Dereham, took the award with his 16-month-old Limousin cross heifer.
Andrew Clarke, Managing Director of HG Blake Ltd, said: “It is an extra-special achievement for a farmer to win prizes for an animal born on their own farm, rather than one they have bought in to finish off.”
After the judging Graham Ellis of Stanford Auctioneers wielded the gavel amongst brisk bidding to sell the Supreme Champion carcase for £6.30/kg.
Successful bidders Impsons Butchers in Swaffham and Clarkes Quality Meats in Hevingham, each took half of the carcase.