Melton showcases the nation’s rare breeds

Milton Keynes farmer David Blunt with Abbey Caesar, his Red Poll cow, at this rare breed show in Melton EMN-151109-163550001

Milton Keynes farmer David Blunt with Abbey Caesar, his Red Poll cow, at this rare breed show in Melton EMN-151109-163550001

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Farmers came from all over the UK once again to show at this year’s Traditional and Native Breeds National Show at Melton Cattle Market.

Hundreds of rare breed cattle, sheep, pigs and fowl competed for prestigious class prizes and some were sold.

The event has now been running in the town for 13 years after it re-located from Stoneleigh in Warwickshire.

And farmers say the show is crucial in maintaining the profile of rare breed animals at a time when numbers are decreasing.

Jan McCourt, of Northfield Farm, Cold Overton, was at this year’s show, which was on Friday and Saturday.

He said: “There are fewer and fewer suppliers of rare breeds because they are not commercially viable.

“The meat tastes better and they are more popular with customers but it does not reach the price it should do.

“These animals are a big part of our heritage and its thanks to shows like this one at Melton that people are still aware of them.”

David Blunt came to the show from Milton Keynes to show his Red Poll cow called Abbey Caesar. It’s beauty as a rare breed is that is can produce milk while also being sold eventually for its meat.

“I come to Melton because this is the only rare breed show of its kind now in the country and it means something if you win a class here,” he said.

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