Wednesday 25 September 2019

Clockwise from top left: Ryan Coates, James Ludgate, Matthew Rollason and Sophie Harvey

After months of hot competition, the team representing UK Hereford Youth at the World Hereford Conference in New Zealand 2020, and receiving a travel bursary from the Hereford Cattle Society, has been announced.

The competition to represent the country on the world stage concluded with a day at Robert Wilson’s Fluffy Moos venue in Kelso, where applicants undertook a series of team building activities before clipping and dressing an animal, followed by an interview. Leading the team to the other side of the world will be 28 year old Ryan Coates from Newton Harcourt, Leicestershire. Having been involved in the Hereford breed for 15 years, Ryan is a familiar face, and these days is often seen on the steering end of Newtoncroft cattle in the show ring. As the current vice chairman of the Midlands and East Anglia Herford Breeders’ Association and vice county chairman of Leicestershire and Rutland Young Farmers Clubs, Ryan already has a wealth of experience in team leadership. The judges are confident he will ably manage the group in the run up to, and while at the Conference.

Joining Ryan will be Sophie Harvey, 24, from Balfron, Glasgow who has led the Harveybros herd to produce and show its most successful animal to date in the form of heifer Harveybros 1 Crocus Rose. Sophie is a well-practiced show lady and currently holds some 43 young handlers titles to her name. Having previously studied at Scotland’s SRUC, She is a practical girl, with an impressive back-record of freelance work in the pedigree world across a number of breeds as well as commercial stock. Sophie is also a former judge of the Autumn Calf Show at Agri Expo, Carlisle.

James Ludgate will also be travelling as part of the team. At 27 years old, James has been the face of the Rempstone herd based near Thame, Oxfordshire in recent times. Working in the family’s meat wholesale business, James brings a good understanding of the consumer market and carcase quality to the team. He has also a good deal of judging experience having judged the Danish National Show, the Royal Berkshire and the Northern Irish Calf Show, and this year has been tasked with the job of sorting the line-ups at the Hereford autumn show and sale.

The North of England Hereford Breeders’ Association’s junior representative, Matthew Rollason, has also been successful in gaining a position on the team. Aged 23 and from Bury, Lancashire, Matthew works as a graduate manager for Dunbia and is keen to further his knowledge of the New Zealand supply chain and further his existing network of contacts while at the Conference.

Tim Livesey, chairman of the UKHY working group, said: “It has been nothing but encouraging to see such a high calibre of candidates putting themselves forward for this opportunity. The judges truly had a hard job on their hands in what was a very close competition.

“I must extend my congratulations to the successful candidates and thank all the applicants for their time and commitment to this process. I wish the four team members the best of luck in New Zealand.”

The Hereford Cattle Society thanks all those who have hosted, trained, judged and assisted at UK Hereford Youth events throughout this selection process.

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