Simon Randall CBE, the President of the Moreton-in-Marsh and District Agricultural and Horse Show Society, said farming will thrive when Britain leaves the European Union at the end of this month.
Speaking at the annual Moreton Show Farms and Crops prize presentation evening, sponsored by Knight Frank at the Fosseway Garden Centre, he praised the ‘variety, quality and prowess of our Cotswold farming’, adding: ‘It will not only survive but thrive after March 29, despite predictions to the contrary.’
Randall, a solicitor who lives in Blockley, has been a supporter of Moreton Show for more than 30 years and is chairman of the Friends of the Cotswolds, a charity which owns the Grade II listed Georgian prison at Northleach. He has been involved in local politics in London for 30 years and was awarded the CBE in 1991.
More than 140 people were at the presentation evening, where among the big winners was Daylesford Organic Farms Ltd. Farm Manager, Richard Smith and his team collected the Nancilbel Gregory Trophy for the best flock of sheep, the Leadbeater Bowl for its quality potatoes as well as cups for the farm’s beef cattle and commercial rams. Daylesford’s David Gauld was also named best shepherd. To top it all, Daylesford also picked up the Harry Ferguson Salver and Tea Service for being crowned champion farm.
Richard Smith said: ‘At Daylesford, we have a truly diverse, mixed farm with a great team and I’m thrilled to bits to have won so many trophies.’
He also shared the president’s optimism about Brexit, adding: ‘I think it gives us a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate how we farm. Public opinion is swinging towards supporting environmental issues and animal welfare and I’m glad to be part of a farm that champions these causes.’
Among the presentation were long-service awards to Richard Timbrell, Richard Jones and Will Wilkinson of the Charlton Abbotts Estate, Cheltenham and to Hugh Mitchell, the retired estate manager at Sezincote, near Moreton-in-Marsh.
The Farms and Crops competitions have always been an important part of the work carried out by the Moreton Show society which, this year, is celebrating its 70th anniversary. This year’s Moreton Show is on Saturday, September 7.
The winning Daylesford team (back row left to right) Phil Gordon-Jones (Head Stockman), Simon Bing (Assistant Farm Manager), Ben Perrin (Student)
(front) Dave Gauld (Shepherd), Richard Smith (Farm Manager), Katie Cooper-Windscheffel (Stockperson), Beth Houghton (Student)