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The Hampshire Farms & Conservation Competition 2014

This year’s prestigious annual event took place on the 23rd & 24th June.

g horn & sons

Left to right: Chris Horn, Stephen Horn and John Horn.

The Judges were invited onto 30 Hampshire farms representing 71,000 acres of the county. The farms were judged in four Open Classes and a Championship Class. This year the farms ranged in size from 650 to 6,700 acres.

The Patrons of the competition, The Hampshire Farmers’ Club and Romsey Agricultural Society, organised ten high quality judges from around the country as well as abroad, with one judge flying in from Denmark purely for the competition. In gratitude for their hard work over two days, the judges were treated to excellent accommodation in spectacular surroundings at Bereleigh House, near Petersfield and competitors, judges, stewards and sponsors enjoyed a wonderful hog roast at West Stoke Farm. The results were announced at the annual Farm Walk held at the Farleigh Wallop Estate, home to the Earl and Countess of Portsmouth on Friday 27th June in front of 260 of the Hampshire farming community.

First place in the 2014 Championship Class was awarded to G Horn & Sons of Bushey Down Farm with the reserve champion going to Rees Farming.

The Judges were most impressed by the high standard of the farms that they saw. Crops, livestock and buildings are all inspected with emphasis given to the overall achievement of the farmer in relation to their available resources. A range and number of diversifications undertaken by the farms, and a particular emphasis on conservation and environmental stewardship were taken into account.

Chairman of the organising committee, Alastair Wilson said, “This year was a record for the number of acres being judged, which goes to show the tremendous support for the competition and which is the envy of many other farming organisations throughout the country. The high standards that are set by the entrants is second to none, and helps everyone to look at their own businesses and see where there may be room for improvement. I would encourage those farmers in Hampshire who have never enter before to consider doing so, as those who do find it a rewarding experience. We are of course extremely grateful for the loyal support from all of our sponsors, in particular our main sponsors, NatWest Bank and Bunn Fertilisers without whom the event could not have taken place”.

The 2014 results are:

Championship Class:

Champion – G Horn & Sons

Reserve Champion – Rees Farming

Special Award – Whitsbury Farm & Stud “for Hugo Lee as an up and coming young manager”

Class 1:

1st – M & R Morton

2nd – Barfoot Farms Ltd

Special Award – Rotherfield Farms “for their exceptional standard of environmental stewardship”

Class 2:

1st – CA & BA Hall

2nd – Lower Norton Farms

Special Award – I & S Clarke “for an excellent crop of organic barley”

Class 3:

1st – HN Butler Farms Ltd

2nd – Trinley Estate

Special Award – Matterley Estate “outstanding farm diversification and for involving the next generation”

Class 4:

1st – Snoddington Manor Farms

2nd – Simon Martin Farms

Special Award – Carolyn Seligman “for the quality of livestock and excellent herd management”

Further information about next year’s competition in June 2015 can be obtained from Alastair Wilson, Chairman of the Farms Competition on 01962 763900.

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