Students spuce up animals in stockmanship challenge

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Agricultural students from the Scarborough and Malton area tested their skills at the weekend in an annual stockmanship competition.

The annual event at Bishop Burton College, the oldest college-run stockmanship competition in the country, saw more than 120 students from agriculture and equine take part in a closely fought battle to find the college’s prettiest stock.

Among them were local students Annie Shearsmith, Ewan Stork and Leanne Beckett.

Horses with braided manes, shampooed sheep and blow-dried cows were paraded in front of judges, with marks being given for appearance, halter control and the student’s husbandry skills.

Preparations began around 12 weeks ago when, as part of their studies students from Bishop Burton, they were allocated an animal to enter into the competition.

The animals, all bred and reared at the college, were handed over to students in January, becoming the sole responsibility of their student partner until the day of the competition.

From feeding to grooming and even training them how to walk on a lead me, the students took great pride in their beasts, putting in hundreds of hours in the lead up to prepare their animal.

Jeannette Dawson OBE, principal and chief executive said: “I’m often out and about on campus early in the morning and late at night and it’s always heartening to see the extra hours some of these students put in.

“They work hard during the day and then there they are, after hours halter training the animals and grooming them.

“There is no doubt in my mind that such dedication helps put them head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to entering the workplace. Today’s competition has been a wonderful and I’m proud of those students that competed.

“They all turned out wonderfully groomed stock and should be proud of their achievements today. My thanks also go to the parents and staff that supported them in their preparation today.”

The big awards of the day, the overall champion for agriculture and equine, were won by Jake Furhmann and Samantha Moody respectively.

Samantha, a student studying L3 Equine Science at Bishop Burton College, prepared and presented Bayley, a college horse, beating more than 100 other students to the top prize.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted and I didn’t expect it at all. I’ve loved getting Bayley ready and to see all my hard work and patience pay-off is such a great feeling. I’m so proud of Bayley – he really pulled it off in the arena today.”