The Slough is a family run farm headed up by David & Christine Preece, together with their son Martin, daughter-in-law Wendy and grandson Daniel aged 12.
The Slough, Stoke Prior near Leominster in Herefordshire was purchased in 1967 by Christine’s parents and consisted of 9.5 acres of grassland, on which they reared calves and sheep. Dave originally worked full time as an Agricultural Mechanic at Burgess’s before they closed and he then went to Arrow Plant & Tool Hire as a mechanic before retiring in 2016. Dave & Chris purchased a further 5.2 acres in 2001 and they also rent a further 15 acres of grassland within the village. Martin works full time as an HGV driver for Conod’s of Leominster moving plant and vehicles and Wendy works at DHL in Leominster as a Transport Administrator. Daniel goes the village Primary School.
Dave and Chris visited the Highland Show in 2005 where they saw Longhorn cattle being shown and Dave thought he might like some on the farm. They went to Worcester Market to see if they could find any and then heard about the Joint Production Sale of Southfield, Blackbrook and Fishwick herds in October 2007 but came away empty handed. Dave then decided to get in touch with the Society’s official auctioneer Clive Roads at Worcester Market who put them in touch with Peter Guest of the Colaba Herd who lives just up the road! They purchased two 18 month old heifers in October 2007 and then in May 2009 purchased two Rooksbridge cows with calves at foot from Nancy Young. It now became apparent they needed a bull so a little day trip in August 2009 to Dorchester to see Sid Hollier resulted in Long Ash Ian joining the herd as their stock bull.
In 2011 Martin was taken ill and was stopped from driving for six months due to a suspected heart attack but actually was a virus around his heart muscles. In order to pass the time he decided to start to halter train that year’s heifer Slough Kiwi ready for the Society’s Show & Sale at Worcester in April, where she came 2nd and this was the start of halter training.
Obviously the natural progression was to start showing and in 2012 the family entered their first show at Mid Devon where they were placed 1st Bull & Reserve Breed Champion with Slough Lonnie. Since then the show circuit has become a fixture of the summer for the whole family with both local shows and those further afield being attended. Homebred bull Slough Okedokey was consistently in the ribbons in 2015 and 2016 and these successes culminated in him being Breed Champion at the Society Spring Show & Sale at Worcester in April 2017 where he was sold to fellow member David Sheppy for his Three Bridges herd.
Cows and heifers have also done well with Slough Nugget being Reserve Breed Champion at Burwarton and Breed Champion at Mid Devon in 2015 and in 2018 Colaba Logic was Breed Champion at Shropshire Show.
The family are great supporters of the Society’s sales at Worcester and regularly consign breeding females. The males are mostly taken to Worcester Market as stores with the occasional one going to the local butchers at Leintwardine to be killed for the family freezer.
As well as the Longhorns the Preece’s have a flock of Berrichon sheep and Dorset Horn sheep. Daniel has been showing the Dorset Horns since 2018 with increasing success. He was 1st & 3rd in the ewe Class on the Rare Breeds Day at the Royal Three Counties Show 2018 and then followed this up with Reserve Breed Champion. He also had 1st at Mid Devon Show, Burwarton & Moreton in Marsh. In 2019 he went one better at the Rare Breeds day on Sunday at The Royal Three Counties Show with a 1st and Breed Champion. He also had 1st Ram Lamb with Stoke Prior Bertie at Mid Devon Show together with 1st Ewe Lamb and Breed Champion with Stoke Prior Becky and then Interbreed Pairs Champions with Bertie & Betty both home bred. He also takes part in the Young Handlers competitions with the sheep and in 2019 at the local Tenbury Show he won his age group (8-10 years) and then went on to be overall Young Handler at the Show whilst being judged by two very professional and experienced judges (Steve Gray & Joshua Brigg).