26 Oct 2023

New venue proves a great success for ABAB Calf Show

The 2023 All Breeds All Britain Calf Show returned to the NAEC at Stoneleigh Park in glorious sunshine.

From Friday 6th to Sunday 8th October, expert young handlers and pedigree dairy calves from across the UK came together to showcase their breeds. A superb entry of 360 calves was presented from seven dairy breeds and with them, came over 300 skilled young handlers.

The Holstein Showmanship Judge James Doherty, of Firstlook Holsteins, Shropshire, greeted the young showmen into the ring on Saturday morning to observe their skills and determine this year's Champion Handler. Judge Izzy Laird, of the Blythbridge Herd in Peeblesshire, took to the Coloured Breed’s Ring to put the youngsters through their paces before choosing her champion handler for each breed. 

James awarded Hattie Hassall from the Scotland Club as his winner of the Junior Class. In the Intermediate Class, Tom Dennison from the Lancashire Club, was in first place with Anwen Thomas from South Wales winning the Senior Class and Border & Lakeland’s Will Horsley placed first in the Mature category. With all first and second place class winners returning to the show ring for the Championship, Will Horsley took home the title of Champion Holstein Showman, followed by Western’s Jodie Nutsford as Reserve, who was placed second in the Senior class, with Honourable Mention going to Tom Dennison.

The coloured breed Showmanship Champion results were: 

Ayrshire Showmanship

Champion: Zoe Walters

R. Champion: Annabelle Tomlinson

H. Mention: George Seaton

British Friesian Showmanship

Champion: David Oultram

R. Champion: Sam Owen

H. Mention: Ruaridh Lawson

Brown Swiss Showmanship

Champion: Neil Hodge

R. Champion: David Howat

H. Mention: Adam Smith

Guernsey Showmanship

Champion: Michael Dawes

R. Champion: Shannon Dawes

H. Mention: Lydia Crow

Dairy Shorthorn Showmanship

Champion: Ellie Fisher

R. Champion: Harry Collins

H. Mention: Molly Collins

Jersey Showmanship

Champion: Isla Arrell

R. Champion: Sioned Morris

H. Mention: Izzy Davis


With all the Showmanship classes complete, a stock judging competition and clipping and showmanship classes took place.

Scotland Club HYB member, Kyle Scott, who is working towards achieving the Duke of Edinburgh Award at school had organised a Charity head shave that would see him sacrifice his lovely long locks, alongside HYB Australian Exchange student Andrew McRae, to raise money for Cancer Research. This is a charity which means a lot to both young men, and at the time of writing, their efforts have amounted to over £5,000 in donations to this charity.

It was an early start the next morning as calves were washed and prepared for the National Holstein Calf Show. Taking to the centre of the ring was Mr Andrew Patton (Ards) of County Down who had the privilege of judging over 150 calves that had qualified at HYB Club Calf Shows across the UK.

The Holstein Calf Class winners from the day are:

Class 9 – Born between 1st April & 31st May 2023 - Crystalclear Adorable Pantene, ML Farming (Yorkshire)

Class 10 – Born between 1st February & 31st March 2023 - Racewood SC Lambda Jasmine, S Harris & C Thomas (Cornwall)

Class 11 – Born between 1st December 2022 & 31st January 2023 - Riverdane Artist Hyacinth, Riverdane Holsteins (Western)

Class 12 – Born between 1st October & 30th November 2022 - Drointon Jordy Crispy Promis, Grayridge & Drointon (Scotland)

Class 13 – Born between 1st August & 30th September 2022 - Wolston Denver Vaakje 18, AD & RM Thomas (East Midlands)

Class 14 – Born between 1st June & 31st July 2022 - Woodcatt Crushabull Rapture, B & G Donald (Border & Lakeland)

Class 15 – Born between 1st April & 31st May 2022 - Vetech Chief Sheri 3, Newdawn Holsteins (Lancashire)

Class 16 – Red & White calf born between 1st November 2022 & 31st May 2023 - Slatabogie Willows Avina Red 2, Newmeadows Holsteins (Scotland)

Class 17 – Red & White calf born between 1st April & 31st October 2022 - Bailmoor Robin A Redrose Red, The Coates Family (Yorkshire)

With a packed ringside and anticipation rising all around, all first and second placed class winners returned to the ring for the Championship. Mr Patton took one final observation before eagerly tapping out Western’s January born calf, Riverdane Artist Hyacinth, exhibited by Riverdane Holsteins as his Champion. The winning October – November calf, Drointon Jordy Crispy Promis from Scotland, exhibited by Grayridge & Drointon was named as Reserve Champion with the final ribbon of the day going to the August - September class winner Wolston Denver Vaakje 18 from the East Midlands Club, exhibited by AD & RM Thomas who received the Honourable Mention title. The award for the Best Red & White Calf was Bailmoor Robin A Redrose Red, The Coates Family (Yorkshire).

The Coloured Breeds Calf Classes were awarded as follows:


Ayrshire Championship

Judge: Peter Berresford

Champion: Brieryside Hail Pauline 5 - JBL Young

Reserve Champion: Sandyford Ringer Mayflower 2 - Evie Tomlinson 

Honourable Mention: Beeline Reagan Ladybird - S N Bailey & Partners

British Friesian Championship

Judge: Andrea Debenham

Champion: Lismulligan Brandy Lavender 53 - B. Lawson & Sons

Reserve Champion: Greenway Judd Livvy - Mr L & Mrs T Rockett

Honourable Mention: Lismulligan Empress 83 - B. Lawson & Sons

Brown Swiss Championship

Judge: Colin Laird

Champion: Kedar Dreamer Sanchia La Vista - T Lochhead & Sons

Reserve Champion: Kedar Calvin T-Shirt - T Lochhead & Sons

Honourable Mention: Toi Toi Pavlova ET - Toi Toi Genetics & Simon Dowle

Dairy Shorthorn Championship

Judge: Owain Harries

Champion: Churchroyd Tulip 2 - IRG Collins & Partners

Reserve Champion: Cotonhall Chrome Wild Daisy - RD Kite & Son

Honourable Mention: Cotonhall Cupid Empress - RD Kite & Son

Guernsey Championship

Judge: Richard Bown

Champion: Kimcote Penney Susan 6  - Thomas’s

Reserve Champion: Kimcote Penney Violet 4- Thomas’s

Honourable Mention: Greensfield James Lady  - Greenslade Family

Jersey Championship

Judge: Warren Ferguson

Champion: Blythbridge Chocochip Reagie - Colin & Izzy Laird

Reserve Champion: Blythbridge Chocochip Riley - Gwen Cochrane 

Honourable Mention: Tyfri Ferdinand Queen Blossom - Futuredreams  Partnership


With the Championship coming to a close, the focus shifted towards the presentation of awards. HYB Clubs put a huge amount of effort into decorating their stands, this year to the theme of Nursery Rhymes, and keeping their areas in the barn pristine.

The club awards were presented as follows:

Tidy Lines

Champion: Derbyshire

Reserve: Shropshire

Best Overall Stand

Champion: Derbyshire

Reserve: Shropshire

Best Presented Stand (small clubs)

Champion: East Midlands

Reserve: Cornwall

Holstein Showmanship Champion Team


Best Presented Stand (large clubs)

Champion: Derbyshire

Reserve: Border & Lakeland

Holstein Calf Champion Team

Border & Lakeland

Best Presented Overall Stand

Champion: Derbyshire

Reserve: East Midlands

Holstein Champion Team

Champion: Border & Lakeland

Reserve: Scotland

Club Choice Award




In recognition of his helpfulness, dedication, and passion throughout the weekend, as well as his support and encouragement of younger breeders, the Dick Stapleton Award was presented to George Oultram, from North Wales.

As a result of Tilly Green's outstanding application and interview before a panel of judges consisting of Holstein UK President Andrew Jones, Sarah Hartley, and Semex Representative Graham Kirby, the prestigious Littlestar Award was presented to her. Tilly has been a member of Yorkshire HYB for a number of years.

The Louise Hartley Award in memory of Lancashire HYB member Louise Hartley who sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2016 was presented to Ellie Saxby of the Yorkshire Club in recognition of her commitment to her club. The award recognises her as an outstanding young breeder and ambassador of the breed.

Commenting on the weekend, Naomi Lewis, National HYB Coordinator, said: “It has been fantastic to welcome young breeders and their families from all across the UK to Stoneleigh for this year’s ABAB Calf Show. It has been amazing to see the enthusiasm, passion and dedication of all the youngsters involved in the weekend. Their hard work before and during the show is a real testament to the weekend’s success, and I would like to congratulate everyone and thank all of the young breeders’ families, friends and helpers who joined us. Without your help, the event would not be possible. On behalf of Holstein UK, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has come together to make the event happen, with a special thanks to our judges, stewards and sponsors. I would also like to thank everyone who has donated so generously towards the charity fundraiser.”