Around 60 members, friends and guests came along to the Society’s AGM weekend herd visit to Mike Winterton’s Wanlip herd. We saw two batches of cows with calves at foot and then the bulling heifers before returning to the farm to have lunch of Longhorn beef and burgers.
The Winterton family have owned Willows Farm for three generations, starting with Mike’s grandfather and then added to by Mike’s father and then Mike himself. Bounded by the River Wreake and the River Soar the land was used for gravel extraction up until the 1950’s and has since been reinstated to pasture, with hedges and coppices also planted. Much of the land is prone to flooding and this winter has been particularly trying. Many of the old gravel pits are now ponds and lakes which attract wildlife including otters, and environmental initiatives have encouraged barn owls and other apex predators.
The Wanlip herd of Longhorns was established in 2003 and is currently around 30 cows, with Mike wanting to build the herd to around 40 cows. All steers and some heifers are finished on the farm for supply to Roberts Butchers in nearby Mountsorrel which was bought by Mike in 2018.
Mike and his family own a number of other enterprises as well as the farm including Wanlip Sand & Gravel which also includes a green waste recycling operation, George Walker Ltd (timber merchants) in Syston, Belvoir Sawmill in Knipton and a carp fishing lake run by a syndicate. Mike is also a director of Melton Mowbray Market.
It was great to see so many members again, including some new members who hadn’t had the opportunity to meet other breeders until now.
At the evening meal on Saturday our after-dinner speaker was Alastair Sneddon from Bagshaws Auctioneers who had us all crying with laughter as he recalled tales from his time working as a land agent and auctioneer.
LONGHORN AGM AWARDS
After the formal AGM business the awards for the year were presented by President Nicky Luckett. Unfortunately Stephen Horrocks and Jess Marshall were unable to attend so the awards they won will be presented to them at the Northern Longhorn Breeders’ Group AGM on 30 October.
Bull of the Year for the Maydencroft Award
1st Gentons Usher ET, Mr B Facon
2nd Southfield Panther, Mr & Mrs D&A Blockley
=3rd Gupworthy Thruxton, Mrs J Grant
=3rd Southfield Uproar, Mr H Blockley
=3rd Slough Utah, Mr & Mrs D Preece
Cow of the Year for the Leebarn Trophy
1st Gale Farm Rona, SD Horrocks & Son
=2nd Melbourne Park Fizz, Mr & Mrs B&T Stanley
=2nd Lower Blacup Patricia, Mr B Wragg
3rd Fishwick Superstar, J Close & Son Ltd
Senior Heifer of the Year for the Lesley Hutton Award
1st Gale Farm Tanera, SD Horrocks & Son
2nd Herbertsherd Honey, Master B Stanley
3rd Gale Farm Tonga, SD Horrocks & Son
Junior Heifer of the Year for the Tetford Trophy
1st Gale Farm Uist, SD Horrocks & Son
2nd Gentons Ultra, Mr B Facon
3rd Carreg Utopia, Mr & Mrs B&M Llewellyn
Best Young Handler for the Frank Sutton Award
1st Rhianydd Davies
2nd William Edwards
3rd Jess Marshall
Best Newcomer for the Paul Luckett Trophy
1st Jane Mycock
2nd Jane Grant
Ambassadors Award for the Carreg Trophy
Mr SD Horrocks & Miss Jess Marshall