A week before the Royal Show, Hawarden Hereford breeder Beverley Forrester at the cattle working bee was asked to knit one of her renowned woollen jerseys – on the condition it could be done in time for the show.
As she mulled it over she was told it was to be presented to Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal – Princess Anne. The princess was visiting NZ on a four day visit, representing her father the Duke of Edinburgh at the 23rd Commonwealth Agricultural Conference, hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand (RAS).
The trip included a visit to the Royal Show. With Princess Anne’s basic measurements provided by the palace Beverley and friend Vicki Sharp got to work and 42 hours later and just in time it was done – a jersey fit for the princess.
“We went flat out,” recalls Beverley. Beverley said she opted for the iconic hill-country musterers jersey with a drop shoulder and round neck. She used wool sourced from her own Corriedale and Romney flocks which had been hand carded and handspun on the Waiau Hereford Stud property of Colin and Fay King by Heather Lilley retaining the natural colour and oils of the fleece.
“It is 100% natural colour, 100% NZ and hand made, 100% natural NZ wool,” said Bev.
“It really was an honour to be asked.” Beverley, who is on the committee of the Canterbury A&P and a member of the RAS has an extensive wool business which sees fibre harvested form her flock shipped to England where she has established an outlet in Oxfordshire along with a dedicated fibre business based from her property in the South Island.
Beverley was also given the honour of presenting the jersey to Her Royal Highness. But before the presentation was made she joined executives and dignitaries at afternoon tea function where Beverley was introduced to Princess Anne.
They chatted about the show and livestock exhibits which the princess seemed particularly interested in and the fact Bev was exhibiting sheep at the show. “She was fascinated and we talked about the wool industry in Britain.”
Beverley said she also mentioned her business based in England retailing pure wool clothing, yarns and accessories to which she airfreights a bale of knitting wool etc every six-seven weeks.
The group was then ushered out to watch the grand parade where the presentation was also to take place. With a curtsey and smile, Beverley presented the garment to Princess Anne wrapped in red Royal Show ribbons.
Once the presentation was made Princess Anne asked “is this really for me?” Beverley replied “yes and specifically made to your measurements” going on to explain where the wool had come from.
“She looked me in the eye and said ‘thank you very much’. She kept stroking the jersey.” Bev has since been told that as she turned to leave the stage where she had presented the garment Princess Anne lifted the jersey to her nose to inhale its unique smell.
Beverley said she was very nervous but the princess was lovely. “It was a thrill to be asked and to give it to her from the Canterbury A&P and the NZ Royal Show Society.”
Associate judge Gary Peters, left, NZHA president John Morrison, Marc
Robertson, Senior judge Mike Langtry and Carolynn Robertson(with calf)
after the Supreme Champion Hereford title was awarded to the
Robertson family Duncraigen stud.
Dam Duncraigen Cynthia 606 gathered up the major Hereford accolades at the Royal Show in Christchurch last month. The dam with calf at foot was judged the Supreme Champion Hereford, champion senior female, (the performance plus class) and best cow with calf at foot.
She also earlier this year earnt sliver benchmark dam status. Bred and exhibited by the Robertson family at Wyndham, Southland, Cynthia 606 is a result of joining sire Lake U104 and Duncraigen Cynthia 59.
Duncraigen stud principal Bruce Robertson said Cynthia 606 hasn’t been shown for five years. They decided to enter her and the bull calf at foot because the family believes the dam is a good example of the kind of cattle the beef industry needs. Sentiments obviously agreed with by the Hereford judges.
“She’s thrifty, easy doing, extremely sound and moderate in size. I believe the industry needs more animals like her,” said Bruce. As a cow her primary role is to do her calf well, a job the dam does with ease he said. It was pleasing to have done so sell at the Royal show, however he said it would be even better if more Hereford breeders exhibited there.
Doc Sidey, left and handler Peter Heddell, with the Reserve Champion
Senior Female Jandoc Leonora 02-170.
“It is another shop window for the breed and it would be good to develop Hereford numbers a bit.” Judging the 2008 Royal show Hereford line up was Mike Langtry of the Awhea Stud, Feilding, and Gary Peters of the Willowspring Stud, Otorohanga.
Mike felt the cow was an outstanding six year old with sound constitution. “I liked the extra volume and constitution.” He said a good cow should be able to carry herself through a tough winter or summer with a calf and foot and Duncraigen Cynthia 606 was displayed all the traits of being able to do that. He also thanked associate judge Gary Peters.
“I enjoyed working with him”. Mike, who also judged the inter-breed classes and said the standard of cattle across all breeds was high. Reserve champion senior female went to the Jandoc Stud of Doc and Jan Sidey with a cow and calf pair – Jandoc Leonora 02-170.
Handler Ben Burgess from Northland accepts the silverware for Champion
Yearling Male on behalf of Lake Station Herefords from Canterbury Hereford
Club president Ian Stokes and NZHA president John Morrison.
Other highlights of the show saw the Richon Hereford Stud of the Stokes family win Champion senior male with Richon Frontier. The champion yearling male was won by Lake Station Herefords with Lake C128. With a big change in weather from the 2007 Royal Show spirits were high and crowds large.
The Canterbury Hereford Club again hosted an evening function on the showgrounds, serving succulent dry-aged Hereford Prime where the commorady of the breed shone brightly.
A rising star in the Hereford exhibiting circles is Roz Stokes captured in action.
Rob Stokes and daughter Roz with the Champion Senior Male Richon Frontier.