A sixth generation of a Cotswold family will be showing sheep at Saturday’s 70th anniversary Moreton Show.
At just two years-old and resplendent in his own white coat and flat cap, young Henry will accompany his grandad, Tom Stayt into the big arena in front of the Members’ Marquee for the Grand Parade. For Tom, it will be a proud moment at the end of a day in which he hopes his white-faced, biscuit colour-dyed Berrichon sheep will have picked up a few rosettes.
Tom, 56, manages his prize-winning Statesman flock of British Berrichons with his partner, Donna Wallis in Church Westcote, where his family history can be traced back 400 years. The story began with his great-grandfather, Tom, nicknamed ‘Guts and Gaiters’ because – according to his great grandson, ‘he was a big lad’. Then came Claude, then Tom’s father, Peter, a well-known and respected local character who kept and showed shire horses and whose life is chronicled in the book, Open Fields & Carthorses.
Tom’s 25 year-old son, Ben is already established as an accomplished stockman, who has been invited to judge at next year’s Royal Welsh Show. Ben will take 20 sheep and four different breeds to Moreton Show.
Tom said: ‘Moreton Show is one of the biggest one-day shows in the country. It’s up there with the best. We’ve got seven Berrichon exhibitors coming on Saturday, from as far afield as Lincolnshire and Wales which means there’ll be 50 Berrichons on show. It’s good for the breed and it’s good for us but it’ll make winning a rosette that much harder.
‘But this is our local show and we’ll be good hosts and it’s important for the breed to be shown at a show like Moreton. There’s so much that goes into getting a sheep into the ring and you can not buy what it feels like to win at these shows. You can’t describe that feeling.’
He added: ‘It’s very important that we keep our local shows going because they’re the farmers’ shop window. People want to see livestock, they’re interested in farming and where their food comes from and it’s important for farmers to tell people what they do.’
The Grand Parade, sponsored this year by Sheldon Bosley Knight and Daniel Colwell & Co, has been a highlight of the show since the very first event organised by the newly-formed Moreton-in-Marsh and District Agricultural and Horse Show Society in 1949. Farmers and farming are still key to the show’s success but there is so much more to enjoy on the 165-acre showground on the Batsford estate.
Ahead of the Grand Parade, the Grand Arena plays host to Broke FMX, the Mounted Games and top-class show jumping. In the Rural Attractions area, a major draw will be the Welsh Axe Men, terrier racing and vintage tractors.
As usual, Moreton Show includes horses of every variety and top judges, including the racing trainer, Kim Bailey and Lady Dulverton. The Home and Garden Marquee is a growers’ delight while the best local food and drink can be found in the Cotswold Food Market.
Savings to be made on tickets bought before Saturday. All the details are on the website at www.moretonshow.co.uk
Generation game: Tom Stayt (top right) pictured with his son Ben, daughter Vicky and his grandchildren, Henry and Maisie and Ultimatum, a Berrichon ram lamb